12.15.2008

Notes from SNL’s Stand-by Tickets Line, Part III: No, Janice, the McDonalds on 50th Street Does Not Serve Tequila.

This post starts here at Part I.

One of the skateboarders sleeps on his skateboard.
Sometimes in the City That Never Sleeps, that's all you want to do.

The initial excitement of The Kids (as L. and I had started referring to them) joining the line was now waning enough for all of us to realize the ugly realities of the situation: 4 hours to go, 25°, no place to sit, and few distractions.

The Kids did have a blanket and a towel that they had had in the car, so “Debra” wrapped herself up and sat on the towel, leaning against the police barrier. L. meanwhile took this opportunity to call her husband in France. My French is rather sketchy, at best, even though it was my major in college, and his English is nonexistent, so when she handed over the phone to me, I just said “Alo” like an idiot and quickly returned it to L.

There were two guys with skateboards a few people ahead of A. and R., who offered to go on a coffee run, bless their hearts. L. and I were trying not to drink too much, figuring places to relieve oneself would be hard to find, but now it was after 3am and by then coffee was the best idea we had ever heard of. At the suggestion of McDonalds, “Janice” piped up:

“Does McDonald’s have tequila?”

She was kidding. We think.

Someone produced a deck of cards — I think it came from the gaggle of girls, but somehow there seemed to be a few young men with them now who had appeared out of no where, so it could have been one of them. The Gaggle and the Kids started a card game, while The Adults (that would be L. and I, plus A. and R.) amused ourselves with conversations about jobs and travel. I had a lively customs story to impart — not mine, but about a friend of mine, which is what most of my stories are about. L. and I can’t remember what she was talking about now, but she told a story that happened with her ex husband. We think it was about Italy.

“But that was with the first husband,” L. said.

A. and R. nodded. Everyone understands about the First Husband.

Out of nowhere, and to no one in particular, Janice called out: “Who thinks Hugh Laurie is hot?”

Everyone in earshot, young and old(er), male and female, straight or gay, turned around to face her and raised their hands. Janice was satisfied with that answer.

Now that the skateboarders had done the coffee run, a sense of adventure came over the line. Where could we go in this city that never sleeps?

After a bit of discussion, this is what was decided: Two all-night McDonald’s, one at 50th and one at Broadway and 46th Street, and a 24-hour Duane Reade on 48th Street. And maybe a store or two in Times Square.

R. wandered off towards Times Square, and L. went to smoke a cigarette behind a van that was parked across the street. Chris and Debra went to go sleep in their car.

Ruvin said he hoped that Kanye would be singing Heartless, and when I was having trouble remembering which song that was, he played it for me on his phone. It didn’t sound like much coming from that little speaker, and I wondered to myself why I hadn’t thought to bring any one of my 3 iPods. Maybe next time….

Next time? Oh, no, no, no, no, no. No.

R. came back, carrying a newspaper and a People magazine.

“Wow,” I said. “How smart is that?”

“Well… I don’t want to be the First Husband.”

Then it was A.’s turn to take a walk. Not to the McDonald’s. They had rest rooms that were open to the public, but they also had homeless people sleeping at the tables. She headed over to the Duane Reade.

“They don’t have public restrooms there,” I said to R.

“She’ll talk her way in,” R. said, “She’s good at that.”

When she returned, she reported that she had indeed talked her way in. And she bought Ruvin a pair of socks.

Next: Part IV: Duh.

2 comments:

Ruvin,  Tue Dec 16, 11:01:00 PM EST  

Those socks may have saved my life that night. I will never forget my favorite english teacher of all time. I actually wore those socks today and the gloves were never taken off since i got back. I will keep these blogs near and dear to my heart.

PS the song is called heartless and he did perform it among love lockdown, pinocchio story, and testify.

SMPnyc Wed Dec 17, 12:22:00 AM EST  

Heartless! You did notice that the next installment of this saga is going to be called "Duh"?
Good thing I only have about 5 people reading this blog. I will go fix that. Sheesh.

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