Friday, February 18, 2011

How We Got Cable -or- The Cat Came Back & Other Old School Nickelodeon Greats

I was so excited when we finally got cable.  I had begged and begged my mother to get cable because, as a child of the 80s, cable signified something special.  Your house was suddenly the house other kids wanted to hang out at after school because you had channels they only dreamed of.  I really wanted Nickelodeon and Disney Channel (née The Disney Channel... before they dropped the "the").  Those channels enticed me more than MTV because they had things I could envision myself doing, be that Double Dare or The Mickey Mouse Club, whereas MTV was all about big hair, acid washed denim and loud music... none of which I was into... ok, maybe the acid washed denim.

But even after all my persistent pestering my mother still refused, "We don't need cable."  But Mom!!!!!!

That is until one day when I came home from school and she was on the phone, "Yes, no, tomorrow is fine.  Thank you."  Click.

"Who was that?" I asked... nosy.

"Did you know," she started, and then choked up a little.  She was suddenly very excited.  "Did you know that The Monkees are on cable?"

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Subway Moments: The Mumbly Guy and the Zombie Apocalypse

My commute this morning was longer than the usual 25 minute ride due to some malfunction between 72nd and 59th Streets. So for 20 minutes we sat there waiting in the darkened tunnel for something, anything, to happen. Most of this time I spent reading Kathy Griffin's book but part of my mind was paying attention to the mumbly man sitting next to me.

Since 168th Street he had been sitting next to me quietly talking to himself and seemingly very engaged in some sort of argument with one of, what could have been, many voices in his head. He'd fidget back and forth, his dirty North Face coat bumping me slightly as his disagreement continued on unintelligibly.

The only five words that I was able to ascertain from his garbled diatribe were:
  1. subway
  2. vibrations
  3. happy
  4. zombie
  5. apocalypse
The first three seemed to go together, which is disconcerting enough and might explain his squirming back and forth. The last two were said together and seemed to instill him with abject fear... which got me to thinking:
If a zombie apocalypse were to happen I would definitely not want to be stuck underground in a subway car!
Let's imagine for a moment that you are trapped in a subway car, deep inside a tunnel, the power has probably gone out because, for whatever reason, zombies seem to be able to cut the power whenever they appear in movies. So it is dark, your surrounded by other people who are going to panic, and the doors are probably locked shut since there's no power to crank them open again.

Now, let's say a zombie gets on the train and, in the ensuing chaos, bites someone. This is going to happen... it's just too likely that someone is going to be idiotic enough to get caught by one of these slowly moving monstrosities (I'm assuming of course that the zombies will be like those in a Roger Corman film and not the super-sonic runners in modern takes like 28 Days Later).

As Hollywood has taught us, being bitten by a zombie is a sure way to become a zombie yourself. So now there are two zombies. And those two zombies will bite people as they crawl through the car and eventually make their way through this horrifying smörgåsbord to you.

Rationally, if a zombie got in the car you could get out. They aren't smart enough (in theory) to unlock a door, open it and lock it behind them, so in theory you could leave the same way they got in. But that's assuming you could get past them. But even if you got out of the car you'd then be in a dark tunnel and have no sense of who might be right next to you. There's very little light down there when a train isn't barreling through the passage so it is quite possible that millions of zombies have fallen down into the tracks and are ready to devour you. Unless you have some super-human skills or are as clever scripted as the Hollywood action hero... you're probably going to be either a zombie or zombie food if you're stuck in the tunnel.

All of this ridiculous worry rushed through my head in a matter of seconds and all because of the mumbly man next to me who spoke, albeit briefly and incoherently, about a zombie apocalypse while I was riding the subway with him. This might be a form of hypochondria so that I took on some of his "crazy" as another person might assume they had a cold because the person next to them sneezed.

So here's hoping we avoid a zombie apocalypse completely... and if we do someday I pray I'm not on the train. Just seems like a bad idea all over.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Baring it all in NYC

Yesterday, while walking back from a quick trip to the 34th Street Duane Reade, my friend Ginger and I were witness to something I didn't think occurred in New York City any longer.  Sure, back in the 70s and even up into the early 90s, you might see sights like this on any street in Manhattan.  But the city has tamed itself as time has gone by and while there are still homeless people, questionable (if not downright criminal) street vendors (anyone want a Parada Purse or a Birking Bag?) running into this moment was completely unexpected.

On a day that was otherwise sallow and void of entertainment the Universe smiled down on us in the visage of a middle-aged woman in fur.  Her blonde hair was fried from years of over-treatment and the Farrah cut was clearly from a time gone by.  Her fur coat ran in brown and grey streaks to her ankles and her conservative black pumps clicked awkwardly across the icy sidewalk.  She walked briskly as though she was expected somewhere and seemed oblivious to the crowd around her... very New York of her.

But as she approached us, crossing the street toward us as we crossed toward her, a miracle of hilarity took place as a gust of wind whipped up and blew her fur coat open revealing the complete lack of armor underneath.  Two globulous orbs of middle-aged flesh exposed themselves, pointed and pert in the frigid air.  Stunned, Ginger and I stared.  Hours seemed to pass by in what was merely seconds and I found myself shaking my head "no, no, no" while Ginger flashed red and put her head to her chest to hide the laughter that was erupting from within. The bossomy miss gathered her coat together, not quickly as though from embarrassment but with consideration and care from the fact that she was cold and wanted to ensure that her chest be kept free from the icy chill.

"Did that...?" Ginger began.

"Yes, yes it did."  I replied.

"But..." Ginger tried again.

"I know."

"Let's just enjoy the moment." We agreed.

What had begun as a bleak and dreary Thursday had turned into a scrumptious feast of hilarity thanks to the button-less wonder.  So, here's to you Universe!  You know just how to turn a frown upside down... and it is all in the shared amusement of accidental exposure by two friends.