Wednesday, October 25, 2006
New York Darwinism
New York Darwinism
Survival of the Fittest
For Keri’s 33rd Birthday, we decided to head downtown to the Killer’s concert at Madison Square Garden after dinner uptown at Mr. Chow’s. Juxtaposing two very different worlds.
“I think we may be the only people in here without a curfew,” I whispered to Debra as we stood in a line to buy drinks at the concession stand. There were more fake IDs there than a liquor store on prom night.
“What kind of white wine do you have,” Debra asked when we reached the front of the line.
“Right, ok, but is it Chardonnay? Pinot Grigio? Sauvignon Blanc?”
“White. Just plain white,” the man, obviously not an oenophile, exclaimed from his limited lexicon of wine knowledge. He pumped her a glass from the box and we took our seats. “Do you think this is the same French wine we had at Mr. Chow’s?” she quipped.
After a fun evening of bouncing in our seats to the Killer’s new CD Sam’s Town, Debra and I left Keri and Alicia behind to try and beat the mass exodus from the Garden. “Kisses,” I said, pecking Debra on the check at 6th Avenue. “You walking home?”
“Yea. I’m wearing comfortable shoes. It’s only ten blocks downtown.”
Having chosen footwear from my “pogo stick” collection, a 20 plus block walk was out of the question. “I’m going to grab a cab. It’s too late to take the subway.”
“Do you want me to wait while you catch one,” Debra offered. But I knew she was exhausted having started a new job with market hours that week so I told her I would be fine. “No worries, I am sure a cab will be along any minute,” I said as she went south and I walked north.
Cabs whizzed by, all filled with people as my arm grew tired in its upright and extended position. I was cold; my feet were killing me when I finally saw a cab in the distance with its light pop on. I dashed towards the cab as his fare inside handed over the money. As I reached the cab, a girl pounced from my blind spot, trying to pirate my yellow cab booty.
“I’ve got it,” I said. “I was here first.”
As the words had just escaped my lips, she lunged forward like a linebacker slamming me into the side of the cab. Holy shit was all I could think. Did this bitch really just body check me into cab? The woman inside the cab looked on in horror. The cab driver’s eyes bulged out of his head cartoon-line almost hitting the pine tree air-freshener which hung from the rearview mirror.
“Mine!” she screamed in a crazed frenetic “I-Sleep-On-Park-Benches” kind of way as she grabbed my head in a half-Nelson.
Inherently, I became possessed. My fight or flight mechanism took hold as I grabbed her by the waist and slammed her into the ground, whacking her with my 11lb Chloe Paddington bag which M hates for its immense amount of exterior hardware including a giant padlock. “That friggin bag is so impractical. It weighs more than our checked luggage,” he recently said to me. But this was proof that not only was my bag fashionable; it was also a much needed practical weapon in self defense on the vicious city streets.
As I chucked her chunky butt to the ground her bag went flying into the street as she reached for my ankles. “Back off,” I screamed as I kicked her with my IFW (improvised footwear weaponry) into a submissive position and she rolled away. “I WILL go Shannon Doherty on your ass.”
I jumped into the cab and locked the door. “58th Street, please,” I said to the driver who was now looking at me through the glass partition. “Wow, you are very strong. You showed her, huh?” he said quietly in awe of my brawn.
My heart was pounding in my chest, a thump thump which echoed in my breathing. I was just in a fist fight on a Manhattan street – over a cab. Never in my life had I ever thrown a punch, aside from an inflatable Incredible Hulk green punching bag I had growing up…or perhaps my younger brother when he looked out my window in the car. But this?
I called the birthday girl from the cab and told Keri the story. “I am so telling my trainer that upping the weights on my weekly training sessions has come in handy.”
“You know,” she said. “High heels and a giant purse are part of New York Darwinism. Survival of the fittest and most fashionable.”
Posted by Carrie Gross Pestronk at 6:59 PM