A New York Story

Hope is born of Naiveté.

I’m not going to say who the father is.


That is a completely random (yet hopefully, deep) way of starting my little story about New York.

It actually begins with my being born there a long time ago.  I just went there to be born.  New York rents were probably prohibitive way back then too, but my peeps already had a crib waiting for me in Somerville, New Jersey.

I’ve been in the city a lot lately, as the result of attending a six-week comedy class, culminating in a show yesterday.  I think I made a fair showing.  Not great, not horrible.  The video will be mailed to me in about a week and I’ll make every effort to get that on-line.

Anyway, leaving the city last night from Grand Central Terminal, I stopped at a kiosk in the food concourse to get some water.  A large, blond, bespectacled woman (who for some reason calls to mind the image of a lumbering polar bear) was in front of me in line, got her stuff, and walked off.  I moved up to the counter and saw someone had just left behind a large, half-drunk bottle of Snapple (which probably cost like $17.50…..remember, this was New York).  The worker at the register had a friendly Jamaican countenance; her scrappy little testosterone-saturated boss was a few steps to her side, engaging in a strange combination of pacing in place and preening.  When Itty-bitty-bossy noticed a customer had left the Snapple bottle behind, and that I had noticed he noticed, he made a pathetically transparent attempt to look like he was going to chase down the customer and return the bottle.  But he ended his charade after literally one second; that’s how half-hearted his attempt was.  As I paid for my own water, I said to Jamaica-lady, looking at her boss, “He did a pretty shitty job trying to get that Snapple bottle back to its owner.”  She smiled, guardedly.  But I could see that she liked me calling her boss on his own shit, loudly, right there in front of her.  He gave me a dagger look that said something I should not put words to.  But it was at that moment that I had a hare-brained idea to be the chivalrous out-of-towner who could prove to jaded New Yorkers why it’s still important, and gratifying, to perform random acts of kindness.  I swiftly grabbed the Snapple, and ran it over to the Polar Bear, who was already ascending the steps to the main concourse of the train terminal.  As I tried to hand her the bottle, she turned to me, looked at me like I was offering her insecticide, and she said, “Um, that’s not mine.

As I slunk back to the kiosk to return the bottle, Little boss-man looked up and away, his forehead grazing the counter-top in doing so.  But Jamaica-lady seemed amused when I put down the bottle, thought for a second, pointed down at Thumbelina-boss, and said, “Well, he still did a shitty job.”

And that, Dear Readers, is a classic New York story.

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2 Responses to A New York Story

  1. Helga says:

    Yeah, being a long time new Yorker, that’s the way it is here. You try to do something nice, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out! But as they say “it’s the thought that counts. That guy working at Grand Central has probably seen it all and just doesn’t want to bother anymore.

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