Friday, February 23, 2007

Q & A session regarding my recent trip to NYC

Q: So I understand you went to New York 2 weeks ago?

A: Yeah. Originally I was going to go to escort a 73-year old woman [seriously] through JFK airport. But then she cancelled and I ended up going to just visit Scott.

Q: So…what’d you do there?

A: Well I’ve done all the touristy stuff on previous visits. Scott’s a great host and I mostly wanted to follow him around and see what he’s dedicating himself to. He’s in the entertainment industry and is living a completely alternative lifestyle to working in an office. Instead of waking up at 6AM, he was going to sleep at 6AM after a night of doing shows and networking. And there’s this whole bizarre hierarchy of fame. Some people have headshots, some have show credits, some get paid, and some don’t. Everyone seems to know everyone else and what they do. It’s how I imagine LA is.

Q: What did you learn? We’re there important life learnings?

A: That professional stand-ups definitely have a tough job—but Scott manages to make a living at it. That nothing is easy. And that life is suffering. But that last one might just be because it was like –10 degrees. Also Scott recommended some good books, which I’m about to read.

Q: Did you see any famous celebrities like Robert DeNiro or the Angelina Jolie?

A: Sit down, but I saw Judah Friedlander in a restaurant! I didn’t go up to him or anything, but he was eating food…just like a normal person would.

Q: Wow, eating food, huh? That’s a really great story, but who’s that?

A: An actor, he was one of the co-stars of American Splendor

Q: (stare)

A: You know, the movie biopic about Harvey Pekar, the curmudgeonly comic-book writer. It also starred Paul Giametti and Hope Davis and several non-actors including Pekar himself. It got nominated for some awards.

Q: (stare)

A: Judah Friedlander also had bit roles in some lamentable Ben Stiller comedies.

Q: Oh, OK I’ve heard of him. So was New York just like a New Yorker cartoon, was there plenty of cocktail party chatter on the Upper Eastside? Or was it more like “Escape from New York” with mutant gangs and burning cars?

A: As far as I can tell, NYC is nothing but black-clad mutant gang socialites making cocktail banter, going to gallery openings and blowing up Broadway.

Q: Can you compare and contrast NYC with your own chosen city, Seattle?

A: In someways they’re similar. They’re both are hip-ish and liberal; both are surrounded by water. Both got lots of educated young people driving up rents. And now that New York got rid of it’s nasty murder rate from the 80’s, it’s become this kind of social playground for beautiful people. Seattle is sort of like that too, but with more salmon. We’re both heavy users of Craigslist, iPods, public transit and new technologies. We’re plugged into the same pop-culture trends.

Q: OK, now what about the contrasts?

A: Well obviously NYC is freaking huge. So in a sense, there are many, many New York Cities. I’ve only seen a slice of it, but it’s an ambitious city. Seattle is a very unambitious city. Life here is easier in Seattle with milder weather and cheaper amenities all around. People are more polite and you don’t typically wait in line for things. And the people are extremely laid-back, which is nice, but overall there’s a lack of Northwestern drive.

Oh and we we’re in a regular Manhattan bar and they wanted $6 for a beer—for a Bud Lite! Can you imagine? How can people live like that? In my mind they’re no better than animals.

Q: Did you inadvertently insult any strangers?

A: Yes of course, but I’d rather talk about something else. Like the city tabloids! We don’t have them here (or in any other city besides London) but NYC has 2 tabloid papers the NY Post and the NY Daily News and they are pure absurdity. I think unintentionally. In the headlines, they use the $-sign for the letter “S”. They make up absurd puns about the trashiest news stories…like they dedicated a whole reporting section to the lede “Diaper-Donning Lady Astro-Nut is a Space Case!” (referring of course to Lisa Nowak)

The tabloids also provided many unsubstantiated “sightings” with tantalizing headlines such as “Which Mets Player Was Seen in SoHo cheating on his wife!?” But then they refuse to identify the man, probably because they just made up the story.

And they had a “Detailed Debunking of Global Warming” that went along the lines of:

It’s so cold out now…so Al Gore is a friggin’ liar…so why don’t that jagoff pump some greenhouse gases back to my apartment in Queens?

Clearly you can’t even argue with logic like that.

Q: So you did insult strangers?

A: At a bar, a girl from festive party approached us gave us cupcakes. One of us said thank you and to told her that it looks like a fun baby shower. Turns out, it was a birthday party, not a baby shower and she went back and whispered something to the one pregnant-looking friend. Who immediately shrieked, “WHAT!?”


HogWild said...


As far as that fat chick being offended... if you're wearing a formless dress, carrying 40 extra pounds and devouring cupcakes -- people will make some honest mistakes.

MAYBE you shouldn't have speculated that "she might have twins", but still.

Paul said...

It’s not just the girth, but she unfortunately had the pregnant pear shape as well.

And in our defense, we didn’t actually say the words “baby shower” to the pear shaped woman, or even say which woman of the group we thought was expecting. It was the “friend” who decided to share our faux pas with the most pregnant-looking of her friends.

They all seemed like super-nice ladies. Making it that much more unfortunate.