The Law Won (Twice)

January 16, 2008

I had two run-ins with the law this past weekend, one direct and the other not so much. Before I go any further, I should say that both were extremely minor, and probably boring as well. But seeing as how this is The Internet, I will elaborate anyway. Someone, somewhere, might care about these run-ins, and for this reason both stories are important. I will keep telling myself this for as long as you support the delusion.

The second one first (so backwards!):

I was driving. A strong rain began to pelt my car, and all the cars around it as well. My windshield was dirty, my wiper blades were dull, my tires were bald, and I hadn’t driven much over the course of the past six years (a result of living in Poor Person’s Purgatory New York City). Six years ago I would have taken the situation for a challenge. But last weekend it made me nervous. My future wife was in the passenger seat, and I didn’t want to hydroplane and possibly get into an accident because then she might get hurt. This would have been no good. Her face is too pretty and I love her and besides that I need someone to pick my nose. So, anyway, a strong pelting rain. A rain that bit my eyes.

As we got closer to The City, the rain stayed strong and the amount of traffic increased by about a million percent. This obviously made things even more difficult, and I soon ended up in an EZ-Pass toll lane instead of a cash toll lane when it came time to pay the man (for the privilege of independent movement). My ass was fresh out of EZ-Passes, so I couldn’t pull one out of there, and so not knowing what else to do when we came to that toll barrier, I put the car in park and looked (sheepishly!) around. Very soon, a tall, angry police officer approached the car.

I won’t go into specifics about what he said to me, except to say that it was comprised mostly of abusive questions as to why “it’s so hard to get into the right lane,” and angry professions about how “it’s not his job to collect money from people.” Being somewhat empathetic to his situation (as well as towards angry people in general) I apologized more than once, and attempted to explain to him what should have been pretty clear – that it was fucking raining like hell and I hadn’t done it on purpose. But that really only made him madder.

Partially he got madder was because I was right, but I think his problem with me also had a lot to do with the general fact that some angry people are going to be angry and abusive no matter how you choose to deal with them. Hit them back with a smile and a calm voice, and they’ll get madder. Give them some of their own medicine, and they’ll get madder. There’s no winning with them – they are angry not at you but at what you represent, a reflection of their own dissatisfaction with their life and situation. These feelings are only somewhat offset by shiny badges. A much better choice, for the unfortunate soul that finds himself subjected to them on a regular basis, would probably be to subvert all of these feelings, ball them together, and then plug them into a bureaucracy. That way more people – and their families – can pay the price for their emotional issues.

Anyway! My conversation with the toll booth police officer ended in him saying “don’t speak,” in a tone of voice that made me want to get out of the car and punch him in the face while speaking incessantly. I didn’t get out of the car, though, and I didn’t speak – because my future wife advised me to just stay silent and listen to him, and because had I done anything to piss him off further I most probably would have been both beaten up and arrested. This would not have been fun.

In the end I paid five dollars for a four dollar and fifty cent toll, the entire amount of which probably went into his pocket. I was also made afraid to exercise one of my rights as an American citizen because “I didn’t want no trouble” after making an understandable mistake while driving in pouring rain.

So that was fun. Read the rest of this entry »

A Bright and Sunny Post

December 13, 2007

I was riding the good old New York City Subway a few days ago when I came face to face with a scary looking character. This character was a man of average height and build, his clothes and his face both appeared slightly worn, and his eyes were swollen and about as red as his jacket. The jacket was old and too big for him. He had a beard, too, which needed a trim, and his hair had needed cutting two weeks ago. He looked tired and he looked beat and at the same time I wouldn’t have been surprised to see him snap or explode then and there.

This scary looking character was me. My reflection in the train window.

Part of the damage was done by insomnia. There’s really no describing the effects that prolonged sleeplessness can have on a person. The best explanation that I can come up with: it gives you a taste of insanity. Real insanity. Not pleasant. Insomnia bites my eyes.

The rest of the damage is less easy to explain. I don’t think it’s separable from the insomnia. It shows up with relative frequency, and is the result of an ongoing beating that I’ve unfortunately gotten a little too used to taking. This is the beating of artistic circumstance. I am a writer, and there’s no changing that. There’s no arguing against it, there’s no fighting it. There’s no being anything else.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ever since I moved in with shepicksyournose (who is a hippie), I have been more vigilant about recycling. “Real” garbage goes in the garbage can, bottles and cans (of beer, oh my!) go in the blue garbage, and paper and cardboard…get tossed in the corner of the room and behind the real garbage until such time as I gather the pile up in my arms piece by piece and throw it all out in the BIG paper garbage can outside the building. This much I have learned.

And to be honest, I feel better about it (my recycled garbage). I even separate my trash at work…though I recently watched the custodial lady for the office building “empty” my recycling bin by reaching into it with her hands, pulling the recyclable trash out, and disappearing into the hallway…where I know for a fact (a fact! a pact! a little bit a tact!) that she’s got only one garbage bag in her little yellow cart. So let me be clear about something before I say what I am about to say: I think it is a good thing that New York City advocates its recycling program.

However, if the city really wants to get people to recycle, it should probably spend more time and money impressing their target demographic…you know…people who live in the general realm of this decade.

I just saw a recycling commercial for New York’s program. On first viewing, I thought it had been retrofitted, culturally, to the 1980s. Later, I saw the commercial again. And then I thought, “Wait a minute. This commercial is actually from The 80s!”

Internet! Teach me!

  1. Found the web page for the recycling program:
  2. Browsed, looking for a page that might have video.
  3. After a few seconds. I found what I was looking for. I got lucky. I could have browsed forever, considering where that page was tucked away. Forever. On the Internet, that means four and a half minutes!
  4. Scrolled (like a man so bold!) down the page, in search of a poster image that matched up with the commercial I had just seen. Found that poster image.
  5. Discovered (like a man uncovered!) that the commercial was not as old as I had thought. It last appeared, before 2007, in 2004. Although, according to the page, the commercial was originally developed in 2001.
  6. Except I scrolled down some more, and saw the same poster image, for a set of commercials developed in 1997 and 1998 (practically the 1980s!).
  7. A recycled recycling commercial! What’s next? A bird watcher from Texas who stalks and snipes cats under a bridge?
  8. But then I saw with my own eyes…that I was wrong.

Upon closer inspection…the truth…as reported by Internet:

They are all different commercials. The characters were conceived in 1997. Ten years ago. New York City is just trying to keep up a storyline. You know, stay with a consistent brand image. And, anyway, the commercials are pretty entertaining.

So what’s the problem? Why do all of you have to be so critical all the time?

Please recycle.

I! Am! Ibiteyoureyes!

Ibiteyoureyes spends a lot of time wasting time on craigslist. Occasionally, he applies to freelance jobs on craigslist. Occasionally he hears back from the poster of the gig. And then does a jig. And puts on a wig. My (rooster) is big.

The point is: I don’t ever get any jobs on craigslist because I am not a pretty girl with pretty feet.

These mama-jamas must clean up. Not a day goes by without my seeing an advertisement on craigslist for pretty girls with pretty feet. Not a day, Michael Bay.

Which gets me wondering. And when I wonder, I imagine, and when I imagine, things like this happen…

Why Pretty Girls With Pretty Feet Are Such A Hot Commodity in New York City

  1. High percentage of Californian transplants in the population. When I came to New York for college six years ago, I met about seven Californians for every…say…Rhode Islander. And Californians like pretty people, and they like to wear sandals. Probably, the majority of those craigslist advertisers are homesick Californians.
  2. All that walking, atop all those dirty streets and subway platforms, make for some beat-up, dirty feetsies. The few pretty girls who are either rich enough to take taxis, or lucky enough to have resilient feet, are so rare that they have taken on a value akin to gold, or similar treasures. And so, the craigslisters must be pawn shop suppliers, or mining aficionados.
  3. The craigslisters have a surplus of socks, sneakers, mirrors, and make-up. Just respectable businessmen trying to make a living. They lure young, pretty woman (with feet) to their apartments, and pay them for the privilege of their business. A unique customer service model.
  4. The first rule of Foot Club is that you do not talk about Foot Club. I’ve already said too much about this reason.
  5. Recruiting wives for the lonely gentlemen members of the NSRA.
  6. People are really getting sick of the demands of ugly girls with ugly feet. With good reason. Now they’re writing books.

To read the next installment of Craigslist All-Stars, click here.

When I was a kid, my mother sometimes dragged me to clothing and department stores at the mall. She dragged my brother by a rope.

I remember being less than excited about this, but I remember also eventually abandoning whatever tantrum I had on the roll-out and settling for ice cream promises and the comfort of a nearby chair – situated in some corner of whatever store we were at when said tantrum started. I had always assumed the chairs were for kids like me, kids who needed a place to sit and pout, or sit and whine, while we waited for The Ice Cream Dream to come true.

Later in life (today) I realized that those chairs weren’t really put there for kids. Sure, they worked for kids. A little butt is still a butt. Although a clothing rack is not a place for taking off your harness and pants (oh brother!)

The point is that I never really realized until today (maybe because I had been a bachelor ((biter-of-the lady-eyes)) for so long, until recently) what those chairs in clothing or department stores really represented: a conciliatory gesture, made on the part of the store, towards your everyday, tag-along boyfriend.

I should point out, before she reads it and bites my ears, that girlfriend of ibiteyoureyes is very kind and fair when it comes to shopping. I know she fights the urge to “do those extra three laps” when I am with her. And I appreciate it. The half an hour or so of browsing that I end up having to wait through if and when we shop is absolutely nothing compared to what other women (like cousin of ibiteyoureyes!) can do to a man and his patience in a mall, store, or shopping center.


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