Archive for May, 2012

NEXT STOP, PLEASE…

Thursday, May 31st, 2012
M23

 

 

I am almost always in a rush and therefore usually walk, take the subways or a cab to get around the city.  But a few weeks ago my feet were blistering from new shoes and I thought – why take a smelly subway and be forced to stare at those Lincoln Tech  ads,  or attempt to hail a cab which, in truth usually is more like hailing taken cabs, “off-duty” cabs, and  “no cabs.”?  Why not take a bus?

 

Here’s why:

 

The Clinique counter has officially moved from the main floor of Macy’s to the M21 bus.   How impervious are you to the rest of humanity that you’re able to pull from your Prada tote a make-up bag the size of a throw pillow and commence penciling your eyebrows, applying base, foundation and smoky eye shadow?  And if that doesn’t make me to want to pull your facial hairs out one by one, you insane twenty-something woman, you end this exhibition of self-absorption by curling your eyelashes with a chrome eye-lash curler????

 

how-to-curl-the-lashes.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s next – shaving your legs on the 14th St. cross-town?  Sally Hansen lip-waxing strips?  Do they need to add to the sign, “No Spitting, No Smoking, No Enemas?”  Sell the Prada, buy some dignity.

 

 

Apparently the gestational period of the average woman must exceed nine months before your average selfish hedge-fund managing, acquisitions-and-mergers creep will offer her his seat.  You can spread your legs really really wide and hold your Wall Street Journal open so that your arms resemble the top of a capital “T” but I see you and so does the woman standing over you, whose water is about to break.  Here’s hoping it breaks on your Gucci loafers – SPLAT!

Man reading newspaper on bus

 

 

You carry on your person a nail-clipper the size of a butter knife. – Okay – I guess you can carry it with you, but why do you think it’s okay to clip your nails on a bus?  I know – little pinky nail is a micro-hair longer than Mr. Ring Finger, but it’s not like your head’s on fire – it’s something you can wait until you get home to tend do instead of clipping when I’m sitting across from you and have to duck your little nail shards like a dirty bomb.

 

 

Clearly, buses and cafes have finally become interchangeable nouns.  What exactly is the story with the white Styrofoam platters of pork fried rice, spare ribs and hot chicken wings?

fat lady eats mayo This woman on the bus might have the saddest life in the history of the world
Why are you pulling a Tupperware container of homemade buckwheat noodles and edamame beans out of your environmentally friendly  unbleached cotton tote bag?  The Glad-bag full of baby raw carrots?   No one is thinking, “How healthy that woman is.”  We are all thinking, “You have flakes of Beta carotene settling in the corners of your mouthand “Even gerbils have manners enough to eat those in a cage.”  It’s not the 37th day of “Survivor: The Aleutian Islands.”  You’ll be home in three stops:  patience is a not only a virtue  – consider it a personal favor.

 

annoyingcellphone The Best Of The Danny Bonaduce Show 11.24.10

 

Your cell phone, your cell phone, your cell phone.  You probably don’t believe me, but you are not that important and the person to whom you are speaking can’t believe that you have to call him from the bus.  Again.  But, Mollie, you argue, New York traffic is awful and it can take 40 minutes to get from 14th Street to 42nd Street.  Yes, you are right.  But imagine how much worse it is for my ride to have to listen to you on your pathetic Carrie Bradshaw Swarovski-encased Smart Phone yabbering away at your friend or spouse or the contractor who’s putting in Silestone countertops for you.  I would rather hear labor pains than you on your stupid touch-phone, swirling your finger around the screen like it’s some New Age Oujii Board than, “Fresh Direct had the Campari tomatos, but they were all out of Acai juice.  Well, they had the frozen Acai juice, but not the bottled…”  In fact, I would rather be in labor than be forced to hear your banal banter.  The heck with waterboarding – I vote to send you down to Guantanamo Bay with your Droid.

 

 

PEDAL-PUSHERS

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

 

DEAR BIKERRISTS,

 

     I am not a fan of words made up by parts of other words.  But there’s never been a better compound creation than “bikerrist,”  – an ingenious blend of biker and terrorist, which is what most of you who ride your bikes in the borough of Manhattan are.   “I’m not a bike terrorist,” you’re thinking.  Yes you are. But it’s human nature to believe that people are always referring to someone else, unless of course, it’s a good deed, in which case, most of you will gladly take credit, federal funding  and/or a Nobel prize.  You don’t think you’re doing anything objectionable because you’re too busy thinking about how “green” you are and how you are going to save the environment. 

Here’s the skinny – you,like 99.99% of the population, will marry or not, mate or not, be employed, be unemployed, love or hate Disney World, be gluten-free or gluten-full and, ultimately, you will die.  You will not save one whale, let alone the entire environment so the self-absorption is not only inexplicable but dangerous.   There is, however, an excellent chance you will kill me.  With your bicycle.

      “Not me,” you protest. “It’s those other bike riders,” I’m a responsible cyclist.”  No you’re not.   Sorry.  How you have somehow managed to confuse “right to ride my bike in designated bike lanes while obeying same traffic laws other moving vehicles must, including stopping at red lights” with “do-the-fuck-whatever-I-want-to-fuck-you-you-fucking-pedestrian-and-besides- you’re-fat-and-wearing-Sofia-Veragas-for-K-Mart-Capris” continues to allude me.  But I am nothing if not a realist. 

 

     The recent announcement of New York City’s Bike-Share program, threatening to put another 10,000 bikes on the streets of this city has me more frightened than the steerage passengers on the Titanic. And so I give up. That’s right.  I surrender like the French in WWII, only with more dignity and, having at least put up a fight.

Your “collaborators” in this case are our Napoleonic-complexed Mayor Mike Bloomberg, and his aide de camp, New York City’s Department of Transportation boss, Janette Sadik-Khan.  

Janette Sadik-Khan,

First, we all know it was probably “Janet,” but she needed it to sound fancier, just like she needed a hyphenated last name. I’m guessing she could have been the ugly dorky kid in middle school who grows up to have some power and yet does not retaliate against those who terrorized her, but instead terrorizes me.  Perhaps this theory is faulty.  Maybe it’s just that, like most human beings with any power, the first question that pops into their heads is, “What do I like and I don’t care who else likes it – too fucking bad.”  It could be, and probably is, just that simple.    So Mayor “I-know best-not-really-but-I’m-a-short-man-so-it-feels-so-good-to-give-irrational-orders” Bloomberg gave this scarecrow-like, Anna Wintour-bangs woman carte blanche to turn New York City into the Tour de France.  If I were a cup half-full kind of gal, I’d be happy she doesn’t like to ride a Panzer tank.

But, as a cup half-empty lifer I can’t come up with a reasonable answer as to why I can’t walk down a sidewalk in New York City without feeling like sooner or later, I will end up like Wile E Coyote after opening a package from the Acme Corporation.  Even if I am walking on an empty street, it’s just a matter of time before, from behind me, some Schwinn fixed-gear or sleek Bianchi 12-speed making no noise (because pavement + Maxxis Ikon bicycle tires = silence), I will get hit in the shin, the back, the arm by some fascistic, self-righteous bike rider.  I fear that Bloomberg will find some elf-protected class loophole and take a fourth term and they’ll be painting bike lanes throughout my apartment.  But then I realize that doesn’t matter because… Bike riders don’t ride in bike lanes.

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So, though this plea will probably be as successful as Cop Rock, I appeal to you cyclists. I know you grew up watching “Sesame Street.”  There must have been an episode explaining that “red” means stop and “green” means go.  Or maybe you played “Red Light, Green Light.”  Or taken the road test for your driver’s license.  You can’t fool me.  You know you’re supposed to stop at red lights.  You know you’re not supposed to weave in and out of moving traffic.  That one I don’t mind because in a battle between you, a NY sanitation truck and any yellow cab, you lose.

And yet you still do as you like.  And not with that, “Gosh – I know I’m doing something wrong but maybe no one will notice look on your face.  You do it with pride and with the misconception that the First Amendment extends to your right to slalom between pedestrians on the sidewalk. And when you’re called on it, you attempt to intimidate, either verbally, by flipping me the bird in your very stylish Artful Dodger fingerless gloves, or by menacingly circling around me until you figure out there’s only so much circling you can do before I laugh at you. And here’s the other problem – it’s awfully hard, unless there’s an AK-47 tucked into them, to intimidate anyone when you’re wearing Spandex bike pants. While you’re cursing me out for having the audacity to tell you to ride in the freaking bike lanes that have overtaken the city like mold, I’m thinking, “Your cycling shoes, even without the curled-up toe, look like court jester slippers.”

Sadly, summer’s upon us, which means you’ll be out like mosquitoes over a stagnant pond for a few months. If this letter does nothing more than drive the point home that you are hated by more people than you can fit into a Park Slope food co-op, then I will have done my job. And if it doesn’t – well, you’re still the schmuck in the bike unitard and red, white and blue Giro helmet which will, contrary to popular belief, not save your life, but serve as a nifty brain-container until they get you to the morgue. Ride safely!