Stephen King Approves of This Message.

I was out for dinner last night at a sub-par restaurant on the UWS when I noticed something unsettling on the wine menu. The only Pinot Noir that you could order by the glass was called the Pennywise. This concerned me greatly, because, HELLO, Pennywise is the name of the clown from It, and I certainly didn’t need HIM sitting next to me while I ate my Penne Rigate. I actually spent time thinking to myself, “Okay – so if I order the Pennywise, I have to say it once, and then the waitress might repeat me, which would make it twice, and then what if the bus boy says Pennywise a third time when he brings the glass over? For the love of GOD, what then?”

Then I remembered that you have to use a slingshot to fell the maniacal/otherworldly clown in question (retrospectively, that seems like a major plot hole, but whatever). A great thing about NYC is that you can buy anything you want here at any time, including slingshots – so I ordered the Pennywise.

A Very Craigslist “Househelp” Request

I received the following e-mail in my spam folder, which I check compulsively in case I miss a job offer from a prospective employer. Below is the original text of the solicitation, and beneath that is my response.

Hello There.
    I was checking on craigslist and i came accross your post. I’m Aaron Wilson and My wife’s name is Emily Wilson. We are relocating to your neighbourhood from England. I recently got a contract with a company on a private research job with minimum of two years contract and possibility of extending the contract. However, I need someone who will help me to take care of the house by doing some house work while am off to work. Someone that will also help in running some errands or babysitting.

I will be offering you $500 weekly payment, i will be needing your services for 6 hours at any suitable time of yours, Tuesday and Saturday. If you believe you are fit for this position in as much you will prove yourself to be a reliable, responsible and good person, I have a financier that is based in the States and he will be handling the payment and some other expenses. I will instruct him to pay for the first two weeks before my arrival so as to secure your service.

My financier will be making out a check to you before our arrival, you will be receiving an overpayment bank check which you will deduct your pay for the first two weeks and you will be using the remaining to buy foodstuffs, art galley, home appliance and other things needed in the house. You will be getting this foodstuff on the day of our arrival which will be the 30th of Next month. Actually our flights from England will arrive at nights so you will be getting the foodstuff in the morning and making all other preparations.

I just bought the house and as soon as all the paper work is finalize and i will instruct my estate agent to mail the keys of the house to you so that you can do all other necessary preparations before we arrive, I will also email you the shopping list after you received and cashed the check okay..

You have to get all this shopping before our arrival so that we wont have to start running around when we arrive, So my financier would be needing the following Information to make out the check.

Full Name:
Full address with zipcode & Apt Number:
Phone number:
Acceptance of offer:

All I need from you is total honesty and sincerity. I know you will be committed to the work, You will also have a nice period of time working with my wife. I will be waiting to hear from you.

Aaron Wilson

Now, my response:

Hello, Aaron,

Thanks for your e-mail. I’ve got to admit, it was a little TL;DR (that means Too Long; Didn’t Read). Let me just make sure that I got the point.

1. You’re looking for a stranger to organize all your shit before you and your (possibly invalid) wife, Emily, relocate to a new ‘neighbourhood’ (nice touch with the spelling).
2. You want me to cash a stranger’s check (or cheque, if you prefer) and buy ‘food stuffs,’ ‘home appliance’ and an ‘art galley.’ Please clarify this last errand for me, as the internet tells me that a galley is “A low, flat ship with one or more sails and up to three banks of oars.” Does that mean that you want me to buy you a ship? My local Ship Mart only sells ships with four banks of oars. Ugh, America, amiright?! Let me know if this works for you.

3. You want me to send you all of the information you’d need to come to my actual house, put a chloroform rag over my mouth, and stuff me in the trunk (boot) of your car.

4. In the next breath, you say that all you need from me is total honesty and sincerity. Somehow, even though you have no idea who the hell I am, you know I will be committed to the work (namely, the preparation of foodstuff).

5. Please tell me more about this wife that I’ll be working alongside. Is she spooky? Does she have transparent skin? What about her fingernails – would you classify them more as talons? And her accent: would you say it’s more Northern or Southern? How does she pronounce the word ‘scam?’

Finally, you should know that I will only agree to this job if I get to wear a full Victorian maid’s uniform with a bustle.

Fingers crossed I get the job, guys!

Daily Aggravation 44: DISGUSTING PARENTS ZOMG.

Today, I witnessed a truly revolting thing: a woman CHANGING her toddler’s DIAPER while he stood on the SIDEWALK next to his carriage. Clearly he had deuced himself, and for whatever reason, this nasty woman had thought, “Hey, why walk the one block to a public bathroom when I can just strip, wipe and change my 2 year old right here on 85th?” It wasn’t like it was a fast operation, either – the mother had to robustly scrub her child’s soiled rump for five minutes before he was finally clean enough to be re-diapered. The weirdest thing was that no one else on the street seemed to notice or care. WTF? Seriously, just WTF. That’ll teach me to leave the house while the sun is still out.

A New York City Upbringing

I was walking down Park Avenue the other day when I spied a junkie nodded out in a wheelchair on the corner. He was sound asleep, wearing fingerless gloves and everything, and a thread of saliva three inches long was hanging from his open mouth. As I neared him, a tall, robotic man in a business suit who looked like a member of a security detail backed into view. Apparently, this cyborg had been dispatched to direct fifty second graders from the local Jewish elementary school across Park Avenue. I watched the children trot past the bum, the sun glinting off of his drool, the little boys’ tzitzit swaying in the breeze, and I thought to myself, “Now THAT is a New York City upbringing.”

On How Physical Therapy Builds Character

I’m just going to say it: I’m basically sedentary. Although I do walk a fair amount (what up, Manhattan!), I don’t go to the gym or do yoga, I don’t like “the outdoors,” and on my life resume, one of my most developed skills is reclining.

My knee doctor was the first person to expose me for the atrophied lump that I am. I’d been having excruciating knee pain for quite a while when I had my first appointment with him. As it turns out, I have a knee disease that normally affects men in their forties – a D’OH seems appropriate here – and I’m going to need an operation on my leg in the next few months.

To prepare for the surgery, I’ve been in physical therapy three times a week for the past two months. Some aspects of PT have been fabulous – my trainer, for example, is the man. Other aspects, though, have been kiiind of degrading. For example:

1. The center that I go to for Physical Therapy is located IN New York Sports Club. Not next to – IN. You have to walk past hoards of meathead finance bros and sporty former sorority chicks to get to the office. I HATE this walk, mostly because my luminous white sneakers and pendulous gut clearly demonstrate that I’m an ‘other’ amongst them.

2. The office itself is set up like this: you walk into a little waiting room with three chairs. Just beyond the waiting room is a larger room in which there are 5 or 6 cots that everyone can see all the time. There are private side rooms with curtains flanking this main room, but those cots, man, those cots – they’re right out in the open. The first time I ever went to PT, I was asked to sit in a chair that looked out on that room while I waited for my therapist to become available. There was a decrepit old woman on one of the cots; her cane was propped against the wall jauntily, her shoes were off, and she was laying perfectly still with her eyes closed and what appeared to be a blue airbag tightly wrapped around her upper body. When the receptionist asked me to sit there, I’m sure I said something like, “Oh, sure, no problem, my pleasure,” when on the inside I was thinking, “OMFG. What the hell am I looking at? Is this woman dead? How do we know that she didn’t just drop dead on the table? What if she’s dead? Jesus Christ. I want to go home.”

(Don’t worry, guys – she wasn’t dead.)

3. The actual physical therapy has been really beneficial as far as making me feel better, but some of the stretches and muscle exercises that I have to do during each session are totally mortifying. A few times, I’ve found myself laying on my back and having my thigh vigorously massaged by my male therapist to ‘move the fluid around.’ I asked him once if he ever thought he’d grow up to massage strangers’ thighs for a living, but he didn’t really laugh.

4. I wore the same pair of bike shorts to around 10 of my sessions because I hate wearing shorts more than anything and these were relatively long and stretchy and therefore more acceptable. Then, one day when I got home, I discovered that there was an ENORMOUS HOLE in the CROTCH of the SHORTS – like, so big that it had definitely been developing/growing for quite a while. Oh, the INDIGNITY! And the worst part is that I’ve had to go back to my trainer multiple times since I made this discovery.

5. Once, I was doing an exercise in which I wear a resistance band around my knees and walk sideways across the room. For the whole set, this mutant crone with a bad facelift who was sitting on a stationary bike wouldn’t stop STARING at me. I wanted to shuffle over to her and rip her little Versace baseball cap right off. There are few things more degrading than having someone watch you wheeze and schvitz your way through a very basic/easy exercise routine, especially when that someone looks like a bad guy from Scooby Doo and is wearing sunglasses inside a gym.

I’m sure more hilarity will ensue when I go under the knife – stay tuned for updates, and make sure to check the crotch of your gym shorts if you’re going to be doing the splits on a table in front of a room full of people.

They WANT your BOD.

I just learned of an upcoming Blood Drive that’s being sponsored by the Bodies Exhibit. What’s next, voluntary organ harvesting? A Skin Drive for your silky, silky flesh? It reminds me of that old children’s tale from the sea: “First comes blood, then comes tissue, then comes the time you wake up with no kidney in a bathtub full of ice.”

On Push Cart Etiquette:

Excuse me, ma’am, but do you really need that crazy person push cart when the only thing in it is one sad little sandwich? Oh, wait – you’re talking animatedly to a woman at the bus stop who is staring at you in bewilderment because she doesn’t speak English and you’re not picking up on her mounting panic. Now your push cart seems appropriate. Carry on!