Monday, April 23, 2007

Crowd Control

I just got back from a great weekend in New York with my college buddy Rob. We ate at diners, drank in dive bars, went out for Cuban food, and rocked out in the hotel's Cheesy Love Song Elevator. Mainly, though, we went to see Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds at Radio City. (The verdict? While I couldn't listen to Dave Matthews on CD, he puts on a great show. If Dave ever needs another job, he could always be a standup comedian. He's great at between-song banter, he's hilarious, and he puts down hecklers with style. It was a lot of fun.)

However, a weekend in New York means dealing with crowds. This is not my strong suit, as I am very short and deeply claustrophobic. A few hours smushed in among people's armpits is enough to give me a fit (as those who witnessed the 'evacuate the survivors!' rant of '05 can tell you). All this time squashed among humanity taught me that I really need my own country, so I can pick and choose my citizens. So, in honor of New York, the Empire State, I will tell you who is guaranteed access to my empire, and who will suffer immediate exile.

After the revolution, the following people from last weekend can be citizens of the Shannon Nation:

1. The girl who sat next to me on the bus ride to New York. She was a college student, and clearly had a lot to learn about the world. Mainly, that it's impossible to travel with decorum in a miniskirt. Every time she shifted in her seat, it was a free panty demonstration for the surrounding three rows. (Lace-trimmed cotton boyshorts, for you pervos out there. Geez.) But she was totally sweet, didn't intrude on my space, AND she offered to make sure the driver didn't leave without me at the rest stop.
2. The roller skate people at Central Park. They were having some sort of roller rink party, complete with dance moves and Lycra. It was bizarre and totally endearing. Y'all keep doing your thing, because your thing is awesome.
3. The guys who sat next to us at the Dave Matthews show. They idolized Rob's concert attendance record, said nice things about my hair, and invited us to join them at the "titty bar" after the show. Being a girl, I can see boobs anytime for free. But it was still nice of them to ask.
4. The guy three rows in front of us at the show. I truly thought I was going to hate that guy, because he was That Guy Who Wore the Concert T-shirt to the Concert (incidentally, about 10% of Dave Matthews guys are That Guy). But he was just so damn happy to be there that I got over it pretty quick. Endless big grins and statements like, "I'm sorry we have such awesome seats! My bad, y'all!" Awesome, indeed. I love you. Call me!
5. The girl sitting next to me at the concert. Her boyfriend kind of sucked, but she and I had a blast fixing her broken dress strap with a hairpin and some ingenuity.
6. The random guys we hung out with at McSorley's on Saturday. One had worked on Hollywood Squares, the other had been honorably discharged from the Israeli army after a banana-carrying incident. It's nice to meet people who make me feel like I've led a relatively dull life.
7. Everyone associated with the cheap-ass buses I took to and from New York. No, the Chinatown bus isn't glamorous. It's not even pleasant. But for $20 each way, you can roll me into a ball and stuff me into the cargo hold. I also appreciate that this form of travel is completely antisocial. I got my tickets online, the people who took my tickets didn't utter a word, and neither did the driver. This let me pretend that the tranport part of my trip simply wasn't happening.
8. Rob. Of course. Especially since the Shannon Nation will need him to lead up the Department of Mavenry, made up of people who are know-it-alls because they might actually know it all.

The following people will suffer immediate exile from the Empire:

1. The two college guys who sat behind me on the bus on the way up. Wow, entitlement complexes ahoy! The first guy spent 30 minutes describing how he told his advisor he felt "cut adrift" because he had to answer phones at his internship. What did he think he'd do, define long-term corporate strategy? Run the place? Geez. My college internship involved cool stuff, but it also involved babysitting the VP's kids' Virtual Pets and making CD case origami. That's the way of the world. The second guy was even worse. He spent over an hour describing his parent-financed jaunts to Europe. I especially liked when he explained how getting high in Amsterdam and drunk in Prague built character. (Attention: if it costs money, it doesn't build character. Integrity is not a commercial transaction.) While I know I was probably self-righteous at age 21, I fortunately did not have the financial backing that these two used to grow and develop full-on pompous ass tendencies.
2. The two guys behind us at Dave Matthews. Dave can hear you. The dudes up in the space station can hear you. The song you want isn't on the set list. It'll be OK. Also, your bitching about the poor decorum of others is far more distracting than the actual bad behavior.
3. Backpack Dude at McSorley's. Do you really need a backpack's worth of stuff on a Saturday night? What, are you planning on getting lucky, and you're totally mortified at the prospect of a Walk of Shame the next day? And that's why you're carrying a backpack into a packed bar? And why do you feel compelled to thwack me in the eye with the buckles? Can't you at least take it off and set it on the floor? Tool. Freakin' tool. Tooliest tool who ever tooled. I hate you, Backpack Dude.
4. Our diner waitress, and in fact, everyone associated with the diner we went to on Sunday. Coffee. Coffeeeee. Coooooofffff----eeeeee. Please. For the love of God. Coffee! And water! And not just those little thimbles you call water glasses. Real, honkin' tumblerfuls of water. It's a diner. It's Sunday. I imagine at least half of your clientele is as hung over as I am. Please prepare accordingly.
5. New York's pigeon population. Ever since my parakeet Sydney died in a freak accident 17 years ago, all birds everywhere have had it in for me. But New York's pigeons made it clear that they had my number and were merely biding their time. They flew at my head. They flew at my head in airshow formations. They followed me around. They slipped into my personal space, gave me the stinkeye, and scooted off. It was totally creepy.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I must go to my post-trip laundry and vegging time.

PS - Can someone tell me why New York is the Empire State? Do they have some colonies that I wasn't aware of?

1 comment:

a guy in pajamas said...

"PS - Can someone tell me why New York is the Empire State? Do they have some colonies that I wasn't aware of?"

Maybe that would be what I call the other 49 states?