A few weeks ago I went up to New York to attend a gala as a media liason/usher/handholder/ass wipe. Work travel is always something to look forward to as it is the only time someone will pay for you to go on a trip without them (wha?). Totally pumped.
Anyways, my colleague and I took the train up – which should have been a relatively simple task. You show up, board, pick your seats and maybe have a snack. Nope. Not the case. Since his travelling partner happened to be me, everything was going to get fucked – and quickly. Upon me insisting, we boarded the first car. I have this theory that everyone runs to the back of the train thinking that the whole front of the train is already occupied when in actuality all the cars are empty because everyone thinks the same thing (sheep people I call them). I was right. Suuucckkaaaahhhs! Hundreds of jabronies running all the way down to the end of the track when there was ample room right hurr. Little did I know that I had made a horrible, horrible mistake.
We got settled in and I plunked my Nike training bag on our seats and got cozy (was the only thing I could find – I was told later that people don’t typically travel with gym bags….whateves). As a side note – I am the world’s worst packer of all time. On one business trip to Chicago I packed two pillow cases thinking they were two of my white shirts. My boss was nice enough to lend me a few of hers to avoid having to Fred Flintstone around in make shift pillowcase shirts. Another time I packed a down comforter instead of my snow suit. I guess bed-ware and clothing are interchangeable to me. Anyways, that happened.
A few things about me and travelling anywhere ever:
1. I must have a snack and/or the next meal that is coming up readily available.
2. Travelling seats cannot be made for people the size of Tom Cruise or I will not be able to fit in them. This is precisely why on planes I request the emergency exit or I just push on the person’s chair in front of me as they recline to the point where it doesn’t move and they just give up – thinking it is faulty.
3. I talk A LOT pretty much the whole duration of the trip unless I’m asleep.
One and two were sorted. Trains have ample leg room for all walks of life and I had before purchased 16 snacks, a breakfast parfait, and a turkey wrap in preparation for the upcoming meal that would be lunch.
However, three was an effing’ disaster. I had mistakenly directed us to the ‘silent car’ which basically reads, if you are a middle aged asshole with way too much reading material for the duration of the trip and a stinky eyebrow crunch permanently draped across your upper face – then you are most welcome to sit in the silent car. In addition to stinky face, you are silent car material if you get unreasonably pissed off if any, I mean ANY! noise is made in this car. No sneezing; no rustling bags; no digging through things; no getting up and down; and absolutely no talking. I needed to do four out of those five things immediately and simultaneously. Not only was I aggressively talking in one of those whispers where people pretend they’re whispering but are actually just talking normally in a low raspy voice but I had a paper bag which carried most of my belongings in that I had to crinkle and riffle through every 3.2 seconds. OKAY. WE’RE LEAVING.
We gathered all of our things and I hit three people in the head on the way out with my side slung Nike bag. We walked one car forward which was rather luxurious looking and decided to just risk it. It had been a total of 15 minutes travel time and I hadn’t had a snack so after sitting down I racked out my hummus and flattened pretzel treat. Feeling scrum-dillly-umpscious, I dove in just as I saw the train ticket personnel-person was coming by to check our tickets again. I told my co-worker we should probably pretend that we’re sleeping because that works well in pretty much any situation where you don’t want to be confronted or questioned.
As we faked slept, I had to just hold my hummus treat upright which made it a little less believable and I side eyed peeked to see when he was coming. He could blatantly see through our ruse as I made direct eye contact during the half-peek. DAMMIT. “Tickets please. And you there, are obviously not sleeping.” He also recognized us from the car behind. “Hey, it’s you two. What are you doing up here?” I took the liberty of speaking for us, “Oh, well we didn’t realize that was the silent car and it blows. So…. we just popped up here (smiley face and head tilt).”Conductor guy, “Okay, well you can only stay here if you want to cough up $40 extra bucks each. You have to move – we got other people coming on at the next stop.” Again, me talking from my face, “Okay, but I just opened my snack. See? Here is my snack.” I waived my hand around the borders of the hummus and the pretzel trays like if he sees the snack enough, of course he will think this is a legitimate excuse. “Do you think we could just stay here?” Conductor guy, “No. You cannot just stay here. And it doesn’t matter that you have that snack. Please stop waving it around you’re going to spill.”
GEEZUS. Okay. ROUND THREE. We gathered our stuff again and I stacked together my snack to hold flimsily as we traveled at rapid speed back through the fucking silent car where I could literally feel the piercing eyes of silent assholes staring into my back. I was waving around my hummus like hotcakes (uh?) as we hustled through a never ending string of train cars. FINALLY we found two empty seats and could have some relaxing time…except I had to run to the bathroom.
It took me three minutes to close the bathroom latch and when I got around to washing my hands I came to find that the soap dispenser was severely clogged. After ninety-seven violent pumps, the top burst and forcefully explode squirted all over my shirt. I walked back to my seat dripping in a thin milky substance that left behind just enough residue to look casually homeless. I sat down feeling relieved to have gotten out of the bathroom at all (it’s all about small victories). My co-worker asked me where the hell I had been all this time and why I was covered in weird white shit. The whole situation looked bad. I just asked if he could please pass me my pretzel snack.
Finally arriving in New York, I was happy to get off the train and leave behind all the haters and malfunctioning soap canisters. We arrived at the hotel via cab and entered into a grand atrium with hanging old things aka chandeliers, fans, and other crystal uglies. It was nice but super old. The check in lady gave us very specific instructions to not put our key cards within a 50 mile radius of our phones or they would be deactivated. Fine. Let’s go.
On the walk up to our rooms I tactfully tucked my key card into my phone case to hold them in one hand (moron). Of course, when I got to the room the key didn’t work. I went back to the lobby two minutes later and told her that I had not taken her advice at all (she looked at me like really? Its been 30 seconds). She re-activated my card and back up I went to unlock my room. It still didn’t work. Back down to the lobby I went and waited in line.
My lady was now gone so I went to another lady who was a few spots down at the desk and told her the whole story. “Okay….” she said, “But are you staying in the hotel?” (What the fuck?) “Yes, I’m staying in the hotel. Why would I be telling you all of this? I just came from upstairs.” I pointed over to the empty counter spot and said, “The other lady that is like you but stands over there can vouch for me.” She looked at me skeptically,”Alright, but can I see your ID?” (I didn’t have my ID because I left all my bags in my co-workers room). DAMMIT. I had to go back up and get it. PS. you’re a dick.
(Click ^ for a funny.)
I go back up get my ID and back down to the lobby. Eerily, that woman had disappeared into thin air and the lady I talked to before was there and asked me why I had gone up to get my ID. “Because the other lady who is not here now told me to…… just, never mind.” She reactivated my card for third time and scolded me saying to stop holding my phone next to it. “Lady, I don’t even have my phone, it’s up in the room. This is clearly some kind of fools errand and I’m in the middle of it.”
After the whole bru-ha-ha I FINALLY made it back to my room and the most amazing little mini green access light came on. Because I spent two and a half hours trying to get into the room – we had to immediately head to the venue. GREAT. GRAND. WONDERFUL.
This isn’t even meant to be about our ridiculous commute or hotel room non-entering but about three extremely strange characters (please ignore that seven paragraph tangent). Anyways, these three looney tunes were the attending media for the gala and the persons that we would be in charge of toting around to make sure no one behaved like a raging idiot. I thought this would be easy enough, we’re all adults here. Nope, each one was a fucking liability. I will go down the list:
ONE: The first was from an online nightlife outlet. She was seventy plus years old and came dressed in an ill fitting kimono-robe with bright red hair and lipstick all over her face. She was also wearing white tube socks and looked like she’d been awake for the last 72 hours which later she admitted to me that she had been.
TWO: A duo, photographer and reporter combo pack came from what they said was a fashion blog. First red flag. This was a fundraiser for cancer and had nothing even remotely to do with the fashion industry but whatever. The photographer showed up in a prom dress of sorts with her breasts popping out to borderline nipple territory and the reporter was a young male wearing thick black eye liner, a crushed velvet black onesie outfit, Crocs and a white fisherman’s hat (can anyone wear anything normal? anyone at all…).
THREE: A Russian woman from a completely unknown French TV channel came by herself wearing a black bluntly cut wig and a revealing sequin dress. She seemed the most normal but turned out to be by far the strangest.
Now that we all have a mental image of these weirdos we can speak a bit about what made them such (apart from the obvious dress choices). Old lady kimono was basically high on meth due to her lack of sleep. She insisted on calling me “Alice” thinking that I looked like Alice in Wonderland……I do not. She repeatedly invited me over for dinner to her home in Brooklyn because she and her husband George had no children. She wandered around like a maniac at one point accusing the Russian lady of stealing her “papers” and then ended up behind stage with all of the electrical equipment. After luring her out and eventually getting her to leave she plucked my co-worker on the nose and then delicately cupped his cheek while saying, “Look at you, you are so cute! DON’T TELL ANYONE WHO I AM!…..” And then swirled off into the darkness. Excuse me? WHAT THE FUCKS just happened? And did she even take any pictures?
Next up is the fashion blog duo. They chatted about nothing, had six servings of bread, and went outside for a cig. Other than that, they were the worst media attendants ever unless you would like info on how to dress for a black tie event as a fancy fisherman.
Lastly, and my favorite, was the Russian lady from French TV. She sat pleasantly for the whole three hour long program and did not say a word until completely unprovoked she interrupted the conversation by telling us that it was her that broke the news to the media about the “new drug” Viagra being a viable option for erectile dysfunction. After this claim, she continued by saying in a thick Russian accent, “See, I have link to this cause. I know all these people….” (If by link you mean no fucking link at all. WTF? Do you even know where you are? This is for cancer). I just nodded in agreement. There was no way I was going to squash her random ass claim to fame (I might start using that…). She looked totally zonked the whole time and I wouldn’t have been surprised if she had one of those little aliens controlling her facial expressions, MIB style.
On top of being weird as shit, she was one of those severe over stayers. The program had wrapped up and we had to meet the photographer to choose photos to pull for the next morning’s advisory. I lingered around her for what felt like two hours as we both said nothing and she sipped her wine, water, and coffee in a patterned rotation. After the hovering, little mentions of leaving, repeatedly gathering my bags and just general “hokey pokey” my co-worker came back and simply said, “We’re leaving. Can we walk you…….. out?” Before he was even finished, she left instantly by sprinting through a back entrance to the right of the stage. Okay…….well that was easy. WHAT. THE. HELL?
We wrapped up with the photographer who was a spitting image of Quasimodo and had a lisp. He was also someone who habitually said, “my pleasure…” instead of just agreeing to do things which was actually very fitting when it comes to Quasimodo and his behaviors. By the end of the night I was completely exhausted from travelling, feeling like a loud asshole, not having a snack, getting bitch smacked by soap, going up and down hotel elevators, talking to disappearing front desk women, toting around a circus act of media floozies, and getting lightly spit on in the face by a lisp ridden photog.
All in a day’s work.
A few things happened this week that I believe do not happen to others but strictly and violently only to me:
1. I was walking out of the metro and didn’t realize that one of the street vents blows a 50 mph wind out of it thus creating a tornado effect. While wearing an easy breezy chiffon dress feeling confident, I marched directly across said vent in front of what seemed like every single person who lives in a quarter mile radius sitting at Columbia Heights metro (20-30 people with nothing to do but stare). My dress instantly flew up – so violently that it got stuck to my face so I couldn’t pull it down for a solid 10 seconds and ended up just pulling at my hair and marching in place. For some idiotic reason, I didn’t think to move myself off the effing’ vent. I was alone and standing with a group of strangers staring at my bare pale ass. I had no one to laugh it off with so I did that weird giggle to yourself while randomly deciding to go for a jog to exit the scene quicker. Just as I was making my jog exit the walk sign turned red so I had to stand on the corner for an extra 3 minutes, shameful and buttless.
2. In retrieving ice from the ice maker, I opened the freezer door in such a way that it slammed into my right eye, bruising it quite badly. Lamest. black eye story. ever.
3. I managed to elbow my dental hygienist in the face, hard. Enough so that her plastic wood carving goggles flew off and sprung under the curtain into where the patient next door was sitting. She still said I’m a phenomenal flosser but also an asshole with much too pointy elbows. And too tall.
4. I was close-lined by a parking- gate-beam. I’m not sure how this actually happens to a person……
5. Hit in the face by one of those banner people that swirl around the cardboard cutouts while jamming to music. The pointy edge none the less.
6. Bought a vibrator and broke it immediately – having to return it the next day. It was faulty, but still……really>?
7. Lastly, I was waiting for a meeting with a vendor and when he arrived from the elevator doors I followed him into the men’s restroom thinking it was his office.
I have returned to the motherland. Coming home to Washington, D.C. in July is what my mom calls a “hardship post” (which I looked up and is an overseas post where living conditions are difficult due to climate, crime, health care, pollution or other factors, soooo that’s that..) Its humid as shit like someone is constantly lightly spitting on your face and its typically 104 degrees. With this extreme heat comes the endless search for a pool membership. Half of my street is part of one town and the half I live on is apart of something else, I don’t even know what.. but I think we have our own mayor which is the lamest thing to be a mayor of, ever. “Top of the day to ye, Mayor Grimsby, what will you being doing this year on your half a street? There was talk of a speed bump”(I don’t know why but I always think mayors are English). Its weird. Anywhos we, on this end of the street are not belonging to any pool. Even when the top half of the street has block parties I am not sure we can attend which is awkward because I live on a dead-end street. So, not only are we not allowed to join in the block party festivities of hot dogs, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and a moon bounce but we cannot leave. It’s like a strange suburbia modern-day punishment of sorts, “Hey look, its our block party, you can’t come and you can’t go anywhere else so just observe from a far bitches” (wha?). Anyways, this is where I live and we have also not be assigned to a pool which sucks, hard. In such case we go to the public pool which is basically like saying, “Yea, you know what? I’m just going to head off for a swim in a large basin of piss for an hour and probably be thrown up on while my clothes get stolen from the changing room.” Eff’ it, its hot and my mom has a 10 visits pass.
It’s blistering hot we head over to the pool on our bikes. My mom takes in her bike basket for fear it will be vandalized or stolen by hooligans. In we go, me, my mom and the basket. We swivel through this kind of rotating metal round about gate that looks like it’s from the dark ages. The changing room is set up in a prison like fashion with just a cement room, shower heads sticking out of the walls and a few lost bars of soap. That’s it. We decided we would go over to the lap pool because there is a decreased risk of contracting Hepatitis A. As we walk over this lady sneaks up behind me and yells in my ear “WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR POOL WRAP!!!” (Oh, hello there, you are right here, and very close to me) “Oh! hi, ummm Loehman’s in 2007 I think” “WOW, its amazing. Like, I just want a plain one because my bathing suits are really colorful and most of the time you get the really busy looking one and I just don’t think they look good. I either want one in white or black but also a little trendy and stylish you know?” (yes, I do know. But why are you telling me, can I leave now? are we walking together? where’s my mom? are you on cocaine?) “Sure, I can understand that..thank you.” She continued to discuss her pool-wrap/cover-up dilemma as I listened and suggested an array of retail stores where she may be able to find what she was looking for (what? why). I have never talked to someone I didn’t know for so long and so much, about nothing.
We continue to walk over and the talk-inside-cho-face lady jumps in one of the swim lanes with some other lady and proceeds to talk at her face for the next 25 laps about her friend that is overweight. That lady didn’t know her either, she just said they could share lanes. Anywhos, chatty Roberta is now occupied and Mom and I have spotted a nice little grassy knoll to lay our towels on. Oh, at public pools you just lay about, no chairs. Once I was sprawled out it was really quite enjoyable and the lap pool is pretty clean, accept there is always one pervy man who just kind of lingers at the end of your lane, I’m not sure why. But when you reach that end your either steer clear or just cut your laps short, that’s just what it is.
We are seated next to one of those guys who talks excessively loud and seems to always be “closing deals” or yelling at his secretary, Margaret. After the longest phone call known to man he proceeded to listen to his disc-man (yes, disc-man). And starts to sing along (scream violently/yell) with the music he is listening to which to me sounded like it belonged in the Ethiopian folk song genre (you heard me). Lots of chanting, beats, a few whistles and hmmmm sounds on a loud continuous repeat. Amidst this, a lifeguard gets on the loudspeaker….”Attention all pool patrons, you must evacuate the pool immediately. I repeat, evacuate the pool immediately” This, at a public pool means one thing and one thing only. Someone has shat in the pool. Of course someone shit in the pool (wtf? why, can you just not?). Everyone clears out like a plague cloud is storming through (do plague clouds exist?) Men in what look like quarantine outfits come out in search of the fecal sample, with equipment- nets, shovels, trapping devices, assorted face masks etc..(the net is stupid, that definitely wont work). After 2o minutes of deep sea turd-hunting, one of the lifeguards pours what has to be an unhealthy amount of chemicals in the pool to remedy the destruction said turd had caused. Meanwhile, all 1,534 children that were in the pooped-in larger pool, have to swim in this tiny-ass side pool. They literally are all just standing in there, packed in and attempting to play but there simply is no room. No Marco Polo today kids, Marc and Polo are literally standing right next to you. We decided to leave at this point. After being yelled at in my face, a stage 4 poop in the pool, and 1,500 kids stiffly just standing in the water, there was no room or time for pool day leisure. Regardless, I will be going back tomorrow. I have no choice.
Follow up to blog post “Temp Work at its Finest”
…Oh and yesterday was the day I got stuck in the elevator at my shitty ass job. I wasn’t able to “shimmy” out due to the fact the doors were shut. The building was being evacuated because the fire alarm went off. I take burning buildings seriously. I ran down 13 flights of stairs in screaming hysterics with arms flailing…. turns out it was a drill. But no one told me cause I’m just a temp. Anywhos, we were all outside in one giant mass of people and everyone was discussing how we were going to get back in because the lifts come by every leap year and then during that year, breakdown every 5 minutes. The elevator was fooooked, I spent 35 minutes in the there with 15 other people having a claustrophobic panic attack. People were pushing and jumping about like we were fighting for Titanic lifeboats. “Move it young man from the IT department, women and children first.” Why is this ok? Should everyone just be fine with the fact that they will most likely be stuck in the elevator. When people leave and walk by the front desk they typically say to me “Wish me luck, I have my phone”. “Ummm good luck?”… you wanna bring a snack too and maybe a sodoku book? There is no reason why occupants of this building should have to literally prepare themselves for an elevator breakdown. That’s like constantly buying canned goods and water jugs to maintain a fully stocked bomb bunker or walking around with a helmet on. There is just no need, nor should there be. This building is gh-etto..
I was never a chap, but it sounds better when using “wee.” Anywhos, like any story of life, humiliation, reckless times and experience there is a beginning. I find it to be only natural to expose a bit of my youth to somehow explain my current state and to perhaps bring a little more understanding to how and why shit is weird as hell. And so it begins….
When I was younger as you do, you think you are just a normal little mini-person cruising around like “Hey, look at me, I’m doing shit.” Like walking and coloring, things everyone else can do relatively easily. Looking back I think I was under a false impression that I was that mini-person just cruising around doing shit. I think I was very different, borderline weirdo. I grew up with the most wonderful family you could ask for, in a beautiful home and the world at my fingertips. I used those fingertips to build an array of useless shit to ornament the backyard with. I remembering building a water well out of a trashcan and some log things taped together with a bucket pulley (that I would just fill up from inside with tap water or it would rain..). I would only drink water out of this as I was convinced we lived in the medieval ages. I was pretty impressed with myself that I was able to bring water to my fellow countrymen (Mom & Dad). I also spent 2 weeks digging a large hole in our backyard because I thought we could do with a pool. I lined the pool with a tarp that I then anchored down with rocks, and wallah! pool. done. whateves. (money$$). Lastly, there was my tree house. Which was not in a tree but rather placed behind a large bush, it was my pride and joy. Everyday I would paint it…everyday. Due to its unnecessary amount of paint, a thick layering covered it and the house became very small and when inside you would kind of just stick to the walls a bit, so it wasn’t that fun.
After I royally ‘effed up the back yard I switched over to a more promising career of “indoor mayhem.” Mary and I (Mary was my favorite doll who also was life-sized and 3 ft tall, aka the largest thing on earth) would have action packed days of putting on plays, playing cash register lady, playing teacher and giving out grades to invisible students (Zach always got F’s, wonder where Zach is now..) and playing homeless (yes, homeless). I was infatuated with the idea that people lived outside, just will nills wherever they wanted to. Thus catapulting my “homeless phase.” I would dress up in rags head to toe, coating myself in about 15 layers of brown clothing and face paint my face with brown paint to recreate dirt smudges.
Mary would also be dressed in hobo-like attire and then we would hit the streets to panhandle (by streets I mean the living room or the trunk of my mom’s Volvo station wagon). Mary and I would sit in the trunk of the car when my mom took her groceries in and panhandle like shit. “Listen, we know you have money, you just went grocery shopping, pay up.” I think my parents just hoped I wouldn’t do the homeless thing when they had dinner guests over, panhandling should be reserved for family members only I was not to harass guests. Other than that I don’t think they minded that much but probably hoped I would play princess or something like everyone else.
Leading with my homeless infatuation I would step it up to the next level and I had now been promoted to a live-in maid with my best friend Lida. We decided we would work in the basement quarters of her house and continuously wash everything, by hand (like that Cinderella chick). Even the clothes her real nanny had already washed (fwarks, she must have hated us). With this endless laundry charade we would sing “We work all day, but we get no pay” that was it, that was the whole game. (wtf?). After what seemed like months of living the hard life (for no other reason then inflicting a life of peasantry upon ourselves) we wanted to develop a more lucrative career so we pursued the theatrical arts. Nearly every weekday we would put on a performance ranging from “Random Shit We Made Up” to “Peter Pan.” Peter Pan was by far my favorite merely due to the fact that I created this hanging harness made out of sheets that draped from the ceiling that Lida was strapped into and would kind of swing around in a circle for a few minutes thus recreating Peter Pan’s flying sequence. I must say, epic rendition of Peter Pan. “Random Shit We Made Up” would consist of a few lines we read off a piece of paper, one brilliant stage entrance and then 5-10 minutes of cracking up laughing hysterically about nothing. I would also charge a fee for family members to attend these plays that they probably didn’t want to go in the first place. But on the other hand being an adult now (craps, I’m an adult), I’m sure they were actually funny as shit. Really? this is what you spent all afternoon doing? Kudos.
Among many things, there is one thing I remember being absolutely hilarious when I was young. And that was Rissa, my cat. She was old as shit like 21 or something and had dementia. She spent most of my youth sleeping in a drawer in the kitchen or getting lost in the basement. People would come over and they would be looking for something. “Oh, I’ll just grab a fork from over here” dumdy-doo-lala-loo “Oh! ..there’s a cat….” “Umm..sorry, I’ll just close this up for you..” (whhaha wtf?). That wasn’t her only trick of the trade. My brother and I had this closet that was connected in the back kind of like a secret passage way. One year a family friend came to visit and I slept in the guest room and her in mine. She had closed the front door to the room and suddenly the cat was in the room (Rissa had learned how to secret passage). She would put her out the front door and poof again there she was just chilling in the room. I can imagine how weirded out she must have been until finally she mentioned to us and was like, “Hey bro, your cat just keeps on appearing in my room, its whack.” (that’s not how she talked at all she’s Danish and was like 14). Just to freak her out we told her we didn’t have a cat.
Fast forwarding a couple of years to when I had to wear head-gear. Does this still exist? Seems pretty barbaric to me now. I was lucky enough to have to wear it for a year out of my life prior to being brace-face. Come on, really? I’m a teenager, shits hard enough, do I really need to wear something fully strapped around my head, pulling the sides of my cheeks back to mold my face into this kind of frozen smile that was creepy as hell? How am I supposed to have sleepovers? Just thought I would mention I had to wear head-gear….ya know just your casual head-gear wearing, whateves. no bigs.