Thursday, March 29, 2007


Oh I had another one of those rare moments on the subway. So I got onto a packed N train... pushed my way all the way in, and saw a brown hat fall to the ground. I did what came natural... I asked the people sitting where the hat had fallen if it was any of theirs. All three told me no. So I tapped on the shoulder of the lady in front of me. A blond woman, talking to another blond woman, in her fifties, decked out in the NYC uniform of all black and wearing enough makeup that I could have written bill was here in her cheek, turns around looking very annoyed.

"Excuse me... did you drop this?" I ask.

"Does it look like it would be mine." the woman said in a nasty condescending manner, " Never where brown with black..."

I felt a jump in my blood pressure. I had the thought flash through my head that this woman had never been punched in the face. Not that I wanted to punch her in the face... no really I didn't. It was more about what realizing someone could punch you in the face does to you. When I was an 9 year old kid I was playing basketball with some family friends. My brother was there and two other kids. One of whom I thoroughly enjoyed teasing, cause he was a big meathead. After teasing the shit out of him he looked down at me (yeah the kid was a year older, a foot taller, and outweighed me by 40 pounds), and said "Say one more thing... just one more thing."

What does an 9 year old Bill do?... well I got right in his face (as close as I could, I was on my tippy toes) and said "Thing!" He pulled back and cold cocked me squarely in my face, which erupted like a fountain with blood... outta both nostrils if I remember correctly. Upon hearing the story I got little sympathy. One can learn a lot from getting punched in the face. You could learn a sense of humility. Maybe have a realization that sometimes people will side with the puncher, and not the punchee. Or you can just learn that if someone makes a threat, no matter how unlikely... you better be ready to duck.

Well anyway the lady's friend, who looked much like a twin sister with slightly less makeup, piped up brightly with "I guess he knows what field we're in now."

My sarcastic mind desperately wanted me to pipe up with "Doctors...? no.... Diplomats...? no.... Social Workers...? no.... I could never tell you work in fashion." But instead of speaking up my eyes flittered downward and noticed the first woman's bag. It was a brown louis vuitton bag, the usual leather design, with a bottom made of leopard print, gaudy gold handles, and a big gaudy gold zipper. It looked kind of like the bag to the right... but even more busy. Now those of you who have discussed the issue with me know I find louis viutton bags one of the more ridiculous things people take great pride in. The bags look just plain silly and you paid a ridiculous amount for a bag with some dude's, not your but some stranger's, initials on it. So I couldn't resist some teasing. "Excuse me," I said in as polite a voice as I could muster, "I wouldn't want you to make any fasion faux pas, so I figured I should point out your bag is brown."

She looked down at her bag flustered, while her friend started to giggle. "This Bag. This bag is a work of art!" She said with the fake dignity of Samantha from Sex in the city.

"What make's you think that's art? Is it cause you paid a grand for it? As far as art goes I've never really been able to tell the difference between vuitton and Duchamp." (look to the left to see Duchamp's most famous work) Her friend giggled a little more and then we were mercifully @ the Lexington station where the twins got out. I moved into the crowded car a little further and stood in front of one of the women whom I'd offered the hat to earlier. She was pulling a wrapped bag out of a Macy's shopping bag. I noticed the big red tag that said YOUR FREE GIFT on the bag. I asked, "Is your bag a work of art?" She looked up at me and with a pout that looked, oh so real, shook her head slowly, then burst out laughing.


At 9:51 PM, Anonymous Jaime said...

Hi Bill.

I absolutely loved this post. Your line about the brown bag was classic. I can never think on my feet that quickly and always end up with a clever line about 10 minutes too late. I hope you ruined her day.

And if you care, I found your blog via your myspace via j. lee's myspace. Apparently we went to high school together. I kinda recall you being at some of Tony H's bonfires, but we never really knew each other. Stupid cattle farm that passed for a high school...


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