My Onion Pi

If you can figure out the name, you'll know what it's about. Fortunately, I'm literate. I'm also funny on occasion. Just beware of the flying PMS.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

New York City Story

Disclaimer: The following story is entirely fictional. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

This is the story of the first time I ever went to New York City, and the last time I ever wore a tube top.

Prologue: My previous post had started me thinking about the time I lived on the West Side, a section of the city that had once been home to the areas wealthiest people. As time went by and suburbia happened the wealthy people moved out, and the immigrants moved in, and then out, in waves; first the German, Polish and Irish, then the Italians and finally the Hispanics and Asians. All that remained of the wealthy were the assortment of mansions they had left behind. Some stripped of their fabulous architecture more than others, some cut up into odd sized apartments and some just waiting to be put out of their misery with a wrecking ball. I happened to land in a particularly bohemian area known as "Harristown". A mixture of the newly urbanized (artsy students, young single professionals and trendy gay couples) who were enamored with the one-of-a-kind dwellings and hip little shops and restaurants; living side by side with the natives - a motley crew of prostitutes, old drug addicts and drunks, and the just plain poor folk. The answer to the urban renovators woes was to "block bust", or buy up every house that came on the market (and some that didn't, in the form of foreclosures) remodel them, and sell them to the next wave of sparkling urban professionals. So there it would be; a newly restored mansion smack next door to a crumbling structure with blown out windows, a door hanging off it's hinge and a Rottweiller affixed to the rotted porch railing - the lady or man of the house flopped on the couch on the porch; its stuffing escaping from the arms or cushions. All in all an interesting place to be in the disco era of the 1980's. I was living out my bohemian dreams in a house that held a mix of moderately talented artists, extremely talented con men, and me.

I had just finished my first year of college, and had basically garnered one or two useable grades, so I decided to take some time off to figure out just what the hell it was I really wanted to do with my life. In the meantime, I had run across someone I had known in a previous life. (Actually he had gone to Junior High school with me prior to taking off to Europe one year. We used to be in the same Spanish class, and since he already spoke fluent Spanish - and I didn't give a shit if I did; we sat in the back of the room and played poker.) I was surprised to see him back in the States and one thing led to another and we started dating. For the purposes of this story, let's call him...Eduardo. Well Eduardo was a moderately talented artist and sculptor, but he was a far more talented con man. He had a body guard (for reasons which I will decline to elaborate upon) a guy with way more loyalty and brawn than brains. Let’s call him....Joey Bag O'Donuts.
Anyway, one day Joey's girlfriend came into town to visit. She was a cross between Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and Julie Andrews. Why or how she ever hooked up with Joey is one of the great mysteries in life. We'll call her.....Penelope. So anyway, Miss Penelope was not from around these parts and she had "always wanted to see Niagara Falls", a locale which we were not all that far away from. So Joey asked Eduardo if he could borrow his prime piece of real estate - his El Camino. Needless to say Eduardo was less than thrilled to lend one of his favorite toys to Joey Bag O'Donuts - even if he did sleep right outside his bedroom door not entirely unlike a Doberman Pincer. So, unwilling to look less than generous, Eduardo gets the bright idea to take Joey and Penelope to Niagara Falls himself, and of course, the arm candy came with him. (I told you I once was hired as a Playboy Bunny.) Anyway, if you are not familiar with an El Camino, let me just say this - it's a two-seater car. Now I always wore dark sunglasses for two reasons...well, OK...three reasons: one, they looked damn good on me and two, I wore contact lenses and was a bit light sensitive. So anyway, (What? Oh, the third reason? Um...well....let's just say it was the eighties and leave it at that.) So, as I was sunglasses...Eduardo never remembered to bring his, and as we were driving he says to me, "Hey, baby, gimme yer sunglasses I forgot mine." to which I replied, "Dammit Eduardo! You always do this to me! Why don't you ever remember your sunglasses." to which he replied, "Dat's what you're for. Jus gimme da son glazzes." At one point we stopped at a gas station to fill up, and I wandered in the shop area and noticed a nice pair of black sunglasses behind the counter. I made Eduardo cough up the money and bought a pair to replace the ones he had...borrowed. Once inside the car, Joey says, "Geez, I oughta buy wonna dem for me too" and he goes inside the store. Five minutes later he comes out with a pair for his girl and a pair for himself. Now we all have matching dark black sunglasses, and we are four adults in a two-seater car. We start to go over the bridge to Niagara Falls, Canada (because that's where the better view is) and we stop at the customs checkpoint as required. "Citizens of?" "U.S., U.S., U.S., U.S." we all called out. "Headed to?" "Ni-a-gara Fallz." Eduardo says. The customs official handed Eduardo a card and tells him to go in the lane to the left. Eduardo hands me the card and I look at it. On one side is written "K and 9". So, I'm looking at it and saying "Kay....nine.....Kay...nine....Kay...Oh, Holy shit it says K-9! Canine! As in...dogs!!!" And Eduardo looks at me in that condescending way that he always had, and says, "Don' worry, deres nuttin' in da car, sweet-hart." So we get out, and the dogs get in. Well, they didn't need dogs in that car. They could have used gerbils or boa constrictors because everywhere that customs guy looked - there was something. He started by flipping open the ash tray, where he found a roach (no...not a cockroach) and a pack of rolling papers. The customs guy looked at me. I looked at Eduardo, and Eduardo just shrugged. Next, the customs guy flipped down the visor and a straw fell out. Needless to say, it went downhill from there. (Oh yeah, it got worse believe me, it got a lot worse.) We were summarily marched inside and split into two groups: males and females. We were then marched into an empty, windowless room with a bare light bulb in a cage and a serious looking female customs official named "Bruin Hilda". No sooner had the door closed when we were told to "strip". Penelope hadn't stopped crying since the dogs were let into the car, and I was standing there wearing a tube top (remember those?) an extremely short pair of shorts and high-heeled sandals. Not a lot of places to hide things. I was always a fast talker, so I started talking to Hilda, "Look, can we just skip this part and just say we did? I mean...look at me....I'm practically naked. Where am I going to hide anything? Besides, did ya see all that shit in the car? I mean, what else could we possibly have on us?? And this one - (pointing to Penelope who was still crying her eyes out) - she has nothing to do with any of this, she's practically off the farm. So wadda ya say? Can we just forget about this strip search thing and say we did it - we'll back ya up if they ask, honest!" To which Penelope was vigorously nodding as she bawled her eyes out. Bruin Hilda let us go. But Eduardo and Joey Bags got the full treatment. ( A memory that still makes me smile, even today.) Anyway, when the final count was done, the offending items included a machete under the front seat (Eduardo tried to claim it was an "antique" he had purchased just prior to coming over the border) two .38 caliber bullets and a few other assorted items which I would rather not specify at this time.

During the guys strip search Joey Bags lost a set of brass knuckles and a custom switch blade he had named "Monica".

The customs guys had looked us over (some more thoroughly than others) and decided we weren't worth the paperwork of prosecuting. So they came out of the back room and said, "How much money do you have?" We all pulled our cash out of our pockets and coincidentally, the "fine" was exactly what we had on us to the penny. After we put the car back together, we were sent packing - back to the US. Penelope was still wailing her head off, only now she reminded Joey Bags that she couldn't purchase her train ticket back home because she was broke. Eduardo magnanimously decided he would drive her back home right there and then. The only problem was she lived just outside NYC and we were a good 10 hours away from there. I suggested to Eduardo that we just swing by the house, get the money to buy her ticket, and be thankful we all weren't in the hands of the Mounted Police. But, you couldn't tell Eduardo what to do, so off we went to NYC.

Needless to say, it was pretty damn late when we dropped Penelope off at her house. Joey Bags decided to stay with her, figuring Eduardo was far enough away from anyone who normally might wish to do him some bodily harm. Besides, he had some making up to do. Eduardo decided the two of us would continue on into Manhattan and stay with a friend of his, and swing by later in the week to pick up Joey. The only problem was that Eduardo wasn't much of a mechanic, and by the time we got onto the George Washington Bridge, the car had overheated. We stalled out right there in the lane, and decided to just crash right in the car because we were exhausted. We were woken up in the morning by a cop banging his baton against the window and yelling at us to, "Move it outta here buddy, ya can't stay on da bridge!" We were surrounded by 100,000 cars and it was a hell of a way to wake up. The car had the time to cool down, and we were able to get off the bridge and into a gas station in Manhattan. Now we just had to get to his friends apartment. Let’s call him...Louie. It turned out that Louie was out of town, but gave the OK to crash there. Eduardo's many talents included lock picking and in no time at all we were in like flint. We managed to stay in Manhattan for an entire week with no money - but somehow Eduardo and I managed to eat out everyday and night. (No, I didn't ask.) When we went to pick the car up, the mechanic said it needed a new radiator. He said we could go pick one up at the "shop" of a friend of his in the Bronx, and save ourselves some money. We took the subway to the Bronx - a frightening place if there ever was one. I managed to borrow a white dinner shirt from Louie’s closet to use as a jacket of sorts because I was still dressed like Malibu Barbie. In any case, as grateful as I was to not be in the hands of the Mounted Police, I was just as glad to get out of the Bronx alive with that outfit on, considering I was feeling like a Ham sandwitch on a plate in front of a pack of starving wolves. We dropped off the radiator and in a few hours we were on the road again, headed toward home.

Epilogue: Joey Bag O'Donuts had decided the life of being Eduardo's body guard was not as pleasant as guarding the body of the fair Penelope and he declined to return with us. The radiator purchased at "Midnight Auto Parts" had blown by the time we got to Watertown, and Eduardo had to hustle us a ride home from a friend of his named Tommy "Two Guns" (You don't want to know.) who sent a humongous non-verbal black guy named "Hatchet Head" in a Cadillac El Dorado pimp mobile, to pick us up. Louie came home to find his stash of money and everything else well dipped into by Eduardo, and the last I heard of him was a loud wheezy voice coming through the phone yelling, "You owe me eight hunnert dollerz - an I aim ta collect!" The towed-home El Camino apparently lost it's luster, and Eduardo sold it off shortly thereafter. He claimed the seats never worked right after being ripped out by customs. Me? Well, I decided that fending off any future Bruin Hildas and garnering a potential rap sheet wasn't really the life for me and ended up moving out not long after. I also decided I had better be more careful what I wore when leaving the house, as you never can tell just where you'll end up at the end of the day. And Eduardo? Well, he had a body guard for a reason. Last I heard Eduardo had gone back to Europe to....let's say....avoid certain parties who were intent upon sending him on a permanent vacation with a nice view of the river.

And that, as they say, was that....

Ham-N-Cheese Omelette (wink, wink)


At Wed Mar 15, 09:42:00 AM, Blogger nukie310 said...

That was an excellent bit of "fiction".....I'm telling dad.

At Wed Mar 15, 05:49:00 PM, Blogger Hamrose said...

It's a work of fiction.

That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

At Thu Mar 16, 02:36:00 AM, Blogger kimmyk said...

What a vivid story Hammy!

I was like Oh what! k-9 ! I woulda freaked out!

VERY funny!

At Fri Mar 17, 11:27:00 AM, Blogger Jeff Vachon said...

Thta was one helluva story Hammy! I've also had my adventures but I'll get into them later. Tommy "Two Guns"? I knew a guy by that exact name. He was native American. Nah! Couldn't be! And you were a Playboy Bunny? Damn girl! If you can cook then let's get married.

At Fri Mar 17, 12:09:00 PM, Blogger WDKY said...

That story was bloody long. I mean bloody good. Long and good (what day is it?).

You're so my kind of woman.

At Fri Mar 17, 01:40:00 PM, Blogger Hamrose said...

Well Jeff, if you like Beans and Rice...
But - I was only hired as a bunny, I chickened out before I started the job. My father's "Goom-ba's" kids used to be the entertainment act at the club, and too many people he knew used to hang around there. I was afraid he would hear about it and kill me..LOL
Basically, you were hired based on 3 criteria -
1. Your Looks
2. Your Body (believe it or not they didn't make the costumes to fit, you had to fit in the costumes they tiny as they were...)
3. Your ability to walk well in high heels

The tail was cute though...

WDKY - I know it's long...but it's a good story, no?

At Fri Mar 17, 01:44:00 PM, Blogger Hamrose said...

P.S. I'm not saying the story is true...I'm just saying it's a story.

You'll have to decide if it's true or not...I'm pleading the Fifth.

At Fri Mar 17, 04:18:00 PM, Blogger Jeff Vachon said...

Why would it not be true? n my life this would be "same old, same old".

At Sat Mar 18, 12:17:00 PM, Blogger Boston-Real-Estate-Watch said...

I like your blog, keep up the good postings.

Boston real estate

At Sun Mar 19, 08:18:00 PM, Blogger Jeff Vachon said...

Yer not trying to sell us real estate are you real estate guy?

At Mon Mar 20, 01:48:00 AM, Blogger WDKY said...

Yes, it was a good story. You certainly impressed boston-real-estate-watch, who must be one of your lurkers. Nice that he finally showed his face though.

At Mon Mar 20, 01:19:00 PM, Blogger Wakanuki said...

Does this come on DVD?

I guess the names are fictional...

At Tue Mar 21, 08:36:00 AM, Blogger Jeff Vachon said...

boston-real-estate-watch is hoping to sell Hammy a nice condo in the south end. Don't buy it Hammy! They are way overpriced and you can hear the subway going by at night!


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