Thursday, February 4, 2010

CI #63 -- "New York" Stories

When you move to New York from anywhere outside the greater Tri-State area, you come to learn that there are two types of reactions from people back home.

Some find New York and your life there infinitely fascinating and exciting. Meanwhile, others -- who refuse to let go of the fact that NYC is no longer the same city that it was in Taxi Driver -- are basically counting the days until you tell them a pigeon pooped on your face and then stole your wallet.

Exchanges with the latter usually go like this:

EXTENDED FAMILY MEMBER: How are you enjoying the big city? Still big and dirty?

GREG: I really enjoy it actually. In many ways, it's a nice place to live.

EXTENDED FAMILY MEMBER: (disappointed and skeptical) Uhhhh-huh...

GREG: Well, I did see a crack bust in Central Park in broad daylight [I didn't]

EXTENDED FAMILY MEMBER: See, I told you it was a terrible place!

It makes me wonder, What do you want from me, people? New York is actually one of the cleanest, safest big cities in the world.

I think they want something like this story, which is indeed true. I now finally have a story to please the NY skeptics:

I recently had my first intimate encounter with a roach. It crawled across my foot, but the thing is, to get to my foot, this roach took an interesting route -- it walked down my leg. Yep, totally had a roach in my pants.

I was in the bathroom at work, about to head out to lunch, and I decided I'd pee and meet a friend by the elevators. So I'm peeing, and it was a normal pee, pretty unremarkable. And then I go to wash my hands, and I feel something weird around my pocket. I'm thinking, "Oh, my key is sticking me" or it's an inexplicable muscle spasm. Whatever.

I move around a little bit, and it stops. Then I get out to the elevator bank with my friend. We're talking, and all of a sudden, I feel it again. And this time it moves a little bit and then with a thud drops to the bottom of my jeans, and crawls out across my shoe -- it being a medium to large roach.

At this point in time, so I'm told, I did a spot on school girl impression. So I'm screaming, my friend with me is screaming. Luckily, she is a girl, which makes me feel better. And I'm just paralyzed. The roach just walks nonchalantly -- what a jackass roach -- across the floor and into the elevator shaft as if to say "Thanks for the memories. Your money's on the dresser."

So I'm finally calming down, and I look over, and the only other person there is this burly maintenance guy, who's just scowling disapprovingly at me. His look is basically saying "I can't believe you have a penis" and/or, as my friend Kevin put it "Settle down, boy. I've got four roaches in my pants right now."

But here's the kicker: all I had done was pee when I went to the bathroom just then. Very quick. In and out. Little time for the roach to make its ascent up my leg. However, from about 10:30 to 10:37 that morning, when things really start moving for the day, I'd spent some real quality QT in the bathroom -- sitting down, daydreaming and everything.

So theoretically, I could have had a roach in my pants for upwards of half a day. Speaking of, I really should remember to wash those pants.

And that, my friends, is the NY Story to end all "tell me a NY Story" requests.

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