First off – I had nothing to do with this incident.
I had already left NYC. But, I am strong and sweet.

rim-shot, please…

The plane trip up was mostly uneventful. There had been talk that the remnants of Wilma would combine with a system coming in from Canada to create a Nor’Easter and cause massive delays. We arrived at the airport to find out, instead, that we were on time. I sat next to a nice little retired couple. They brought bran muffins wrapped in cellophane and books with crocheted page markers. Their communications consisted of looks and gestures…maybe they were psychic. Like I said, they were cute.

The one woman wearing black leather pants was not cute, however. Some people shouldn’t wear leather. I chose not to try to sneak a picture of her. You should thank me.

My stupid computer battery crapped out on me and decided to play dead 15 minutes into the first movie. Don’t ever buy Dell products. They suck. Thankfully the MP3 music device manufactured by Apple that I possess worked fine.

I read a book called, “Up The Agency“, instead of watching the movies. It is a good book. If you have ever wondered about the inside workings of an advertising agency, you should read this book. It is 100% accurate. And, given that I was on the way to the head office, it was eerily appropo. Gotta keep the job, so I won’t go any further on this topic here.

After the interminable wait for our luggage, we took a car in to the city. If you are ever in need of a hotel in NY, try the Alex Hotel in Midtown Manhattan. It is very nice. Then we met some co-workers in Grand Central Station for drinks. Then we dined at a low-key and classy Chinese restaurant. The Green Tea was perfect. In fact, I inspired the rest of the table to partake of some tea. Then, it was back to the hotel. By the way, while in Grand Central station and walking about in Midtown, members of our party ran into people they knew. It was freaky. Here we were, jamokes from out of town, walking around like tourists, in a city of like a billion people, running into former friends or associates. Just weird.

The next day was spent cloistered in conference rooms listening to the monotonous droning of people talking to their powerpoint presentations. “Ahh…er…I’m not sure what this slide is saying here…” Thankfully there was a Starbucks in the building. Every break I’d go and get another latte. The chairs were uncomfortable too. I spent most of the meeting sending text messages with my fone.

At the end of the day, they sent us out on a scavenger hunt. We were armed with a list and a digital camera. The mission was to take pictures of our group next to specific Times Square locations inside of an hour. Here is a sampling…

Hava nagila, hava nagila
Hava nagila venis’mecha
Hava neranena,
hava neranena
Hava neranena venis’mecha
Uru, uru achimUru achim belev same’ach

(Get it? Fiddler On The Roof?)

We had a “Royale with Cheese”…

Times Square is just silly. There are sooooo many people and cars and buildings and buses packed into such a small area, I’m surprised we don’t hear reports of gradual sinking of the earth underneath. It is a crazy crazy fast moving place. Bikes and cabs go whizzing by. Cars and people fight for the same spot of blacktop. Everywhere you look you see advertisements for something. (I’ll refrain from discussing the pigeons.) It is fascinating to think about the physics and chemistry and geology and biology of the place. I stood there, letting it all wash over me…and thought that it is certainly worth the effort to make the pilgrimage to Times Square…to the heart of the city…just to see the sights and hear the noise and feel the rumble of a city that is so very alive. And, then I remembered that I’m a Midwestern kid livin’ in Texas and started to worry my soul was being subverted. So, I got some souvenirs for the kids and jumped in a cab to get back to the hotel.

BTW – Would any of you wear clothes that said “Juicy” on the rump?

Just wondering. Never mind.

So, after making it back to the hotel after a cab ride in NYC Rush Hour (could have walked the distance faster), we had a group company function to attend. Four hours locked in a pool hall in Gramercy Park is not my idea of how to experience NYC. I did have a few pints of Bass Ale, though. And, I did meet some new coworkers. Finally, it was over and we headed back to the hotel. Then, it happened again. While riding in the elevator, this time we ran into someone I knew. I repeat, it is just plain weird to run into people you know when you are so very far away from your usual surroundings.

The events of the final day were fairly noneventful too. The meetings went all day. The business situation was discussed and debated. This time I chose a better seat. I was groggy and tired, though, from the stress, meetings, travel, and beer…so, I again made use of the services of the nearby coffee shop. It is surely no coincidence that there are so many places to get caffeine in that city. One must keep a constant “edge” in order to avoid getting run over (literally and figuratively).

The plane ride back started strangely. Every person on the plane, but me it seemed, was Executive Platinum. So, when they called for boarding, everyone got in line. It is extremely counter productive to try to board every person at the same time, let me say. And, they all had seats in the front 20 rows of the plane. Never mind the sense of boarding from back to front. We had to wait for every person of status to put their multiple carry-ons in the overhead compartments and then get situated. If anyone ever complains to me about the rubes that never fly that create problems, I’m going to reply that the Executive Platinum types are just as bad. Why can’t people just get on a plane quickly and without incident? It’s not like the stoopid plane can leave on time or anything with all that jackin’ around.

The battery on my new Dell POS (piece of shit) crapped out 15 minutes into my second attempt to watch a movie. I would have tossed it out the window I was so mad, if not for obvious reasons. So, my grand plan to entertain myself failed again. It was even more frustrating because everyone around me could and did use their computers for the entire flight. Watching the guy across the aisle play solitaire for three hours is not fun. But, again, my little white consumer electronic device performed perfectly…despite not having been charged the entire time I was in NY. That means I got 6 hours of use out of it. I guess the reports of bad batteries in those devices were false. And, while listening to soothing “take me home” music, I worked on my “William Faulkner Assignment”. WriterMother has suggested I read, “The Reivers”. I’m happy to say that I made good headway in the book while on the plane and will be finishing it soon.

Upon getting home…after having to search the entire freaking airport for my luggage…jamokes reside in every airport I’m convinced…and, after having to hoof it for what felt like a mile to find my vehicle…I unpacked and slept like a log for ten hours. Despite everything, I am glad I got the opportunity to visit the Big Apple.

Oh…and the souvenir gifts for the kiddies???

They were VERY well received.

It’s good to be home.

Copyright (c) 2005 Jamoker. All rights reserved.