Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thanksgiving, quite the mouthful

Two day holiday means two holiday stories (both on Thanksgiving).
My holiday was a string of failed plans. First up was traveling to the actual Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts with my friend/clone Dana. Well one thing led to another, and the trip was scrapped (even though we were both really excited to wear pilgrim costumes). The second was volunteering at a soup kitchen. Unfortunately, almost all of the soup kitchens I called were closed on the holiday. The only open ones were “super” soup kitchens located in choice places like the Bronx, Queens, and Harlem. As much as I want to do something good, I don’t feel like walking into the lions den.

Finally I decided to do something ambitious and ride my bike around the entire island. Yeah that sounds impressive but it is only about 20-30 miles of easy riding. All was going well (because the day was gorgeous) until I hit the northern part of the island….Harlem. The streets were all scattered with debris, trash, and broken glass. Therefore, it was not surprising that I popped BOTH of my tires! I carry a spare tube and changing kit with me, but I never expected to need a second tube. Okay to paint the image, you have a white girl, with flat tires, wearing spandex, wheeling her bike down the street. Now picture the surroundings, empty boarded up buildings with graffiti, trash all over the place, bums and addicts watching you, and the roar of the hwy overpass overhead. I’m beginning to freak out at the thought of walking my bike 8 miles home….thru a bad stretch of Harlem, when a car pulls along side me. First thought….kill whitety. He surprised me by asking “are you okay?” I joked/asked him if he had another bicycle tube to which he said “nope, but the subway is not too far from here, would you like me to show you”. Tear! It is amazing where/when you will find absolute kindness.

Okay, now for the funny story. My friend Dana accepted a last minute invite to a thanksgiving meal being hosted by a distant friend of a friend. She practically had to travel to Connecticut to get there. Seriously, she took the 4 train to the last stop and then hopped on a bus. Well it was either the food or the eggnog or something, but it did not sit well with her stomach. On the hour plus long ride back on the subway, her feeling of nausea tortured her every minute. She finally emerged from the underground and slowly started shuffling down the few blocks to her apartment. On her way, a bum/crazy guy started yelling at her. She ignored him and kept moving, but the guy was closing in on the gap while saying “hey pretty lady, what you do’in, why you walking away, blah blah blah”. She started to panic because this guy would not stop harassing her (and would either assault her or mug her etc) and she couldn’t run away because of her woozy stomach. Finally, when he was along side her, she turned to him and VOMITED ALL OVER HIM! Ah ha ha ha! The bum was like “oh shit…oh…shiiiit” and ran away. Well I guess that worked and I’ll keep it in mind the next time I am bothered by a crazy man….or a really bad date.


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