Thursday, May 1, 2008

Plabnox’s Guide to New York’s Lower East Side


By Hesta

This past weekend I decided to relinquish the creature comforts of my Philadelphia apartment and visit in New York City. had generously extended an invitation to assist him in moving from his trendy apartment to a studio with an oblique floor blocks away—at no cost to me. Little did I know what luxuriant accommodations awaited. No sooner had I arrived chez than he invited me to squat with him on his unadorned mattress and view several Futurama episodes which were showing on his ad hoc projection system comprising a Dell computer and a mouse (sans mousepad) set on the floor. I was delighted to find the bathroom bereft of soap and ornamented with a fine layer of his ex-roommate’s hair sheddings. At crepuscule, showed me to my room, which, economically, was where I had sat for the Futurama screenings just minutes earlier. I was given a pillow from the sofa and a fitted sheet in lieu of a blanket, to ward off the night drafts. himself took the dust ruffle and the other sofa pillow.

Dawn heralded moving day, and we accepted the doorman’s challenge when he informed us the elevator would be out of order for the duration of the move. Cleaning duties were assigned: wrestled with the bathroom; I employed a gerbil-sized “Dirt Devil” and used its one-inch square nozzle to vacuum his roommate’s abjections in her spacious boudoir. Whilst I sprouted a hunchback, packed most of his belongings in Hefty’s stylish luggage line of black garbage bags. We headed due north to U-Haul’s headquarters, where they outfitted with a boxy moving van. The necessary paperwork was signed, and we buckled into the mastodon, tuning into the local AM gospel radio station to transport us spiritually and physically to our destination.

Below: U-Haul's powerful marketing campaign

Below: U-Haul's President, Joe, poses in various emotional states

Our return to the apartment was thwarted by a police blockade positioned strategically at the entrance to one-way street. After we circled the block like a falcon, our gypsy informant told us that we should simply back down the street. In order to alert other drivers of our plan, I lowered my window and began shouting, “We’re going to park our car! We’re backing down the street!! OOGA OOGA OOGA!” This allowed others to plan for an alternative route of travel while we monopolized the roadway. As we exited the monstrosity, which we plopped in front of a fire hydrant, the gypsy accosted us and offered his services. We foolishly turned him down, and went up for the first load. When we came back down, the cops were waiting for us at the van, all two of them. attempted to exculpate himself while I placed a surly expression upon my visage and hovered nearby. Since the police denied him counsel, presented his defense pro se. The charge was use of a U-Haul for advertising purposes while obstructing access to a fire hydrant. Before the defendant could deliver his closing statement, however, the inaptly named law enforcement officers reached a verdict and sentenced him to a parking ticket. fully intends to appeal the tribunal’s ruling on a procedural basis, weaving a passionate tale of the erosion of constitutional rights in the American legal system.

After the injustice, we labored for minutes loading up the van. discovered that, like using a dolly, invoking the Continental Shelf reduced some of the load when carrying the garbage bags (see illustration below).

Below: Diagram of the Continental Shelf

Later, fortune smiled on us with an auspicious cat sighting in the window of the clairvoyant who conducts business beneath new manor. The new neighbors must have hearkened to our moans—or caught our scent on the air— as we heaved his belongings up three flights, for the tenant from across the hall came by and introduced herself to a ripe and glistening .

Later, guided by principles of feng shui, we unleashed our decorating powers on the apartment: we placed bare pallet in the center of the room and surrounded it by the black Hefty bags. The arrangement resembles idolatrous worshippers dancing around the altar of a pagan god, or the attraction to the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey, or the Weird Sisters circling a cauldron and conjuring Hecate. In order to show off our home decorating efforts, we invited S, a chanteuse from Brooklyn, to spend the night.

Below: furnished apartment after we bestowed our interior decorating gifts upon it

We lured S to the place with promises of a sumptuous mac and cheese repast. However, our ruse was exposed when the gas stove did not turn on. Our undoing led us straight to a wine bar, where we befriended the waitress and then left her a 1% tip. Our charitable act whetted our appetites, so we entered the nearest greasy spoon. After we were seated, we found, to our dismay, that the menu did not offer cheese fries. Not wanting to compromise the integrity of our food craving, we swept out and on to the next dining establishment, which had more cheese-friendly offerings. After we ordered a trio of grilled cheeses, and I excused ourselves to the single-toilet lavatory, where, once inside, we shouted at the first person who knocked, “We’re never leaving!” Back at the table, S and I engaged in a fencing match with French fries, while played the role of spectator and ingested the remaining fries. At that point, it was time for me to launch a pickle across the restaurant, which the manager witnessed impassively. Sated, we returned to pad and transformed the mattress into a dance floor, bouncing and crooning to Stevie, Celine, and MJ. At 3 AM we screened when the BOUGH BReaKS, starring Ted Danson. Always a gentleman, let S and I share the fitted sheet while he took the dust ruffle. The only low point in the night was when, after we had all dozed off, the DVD returned to its “menu” setting and cycled various quotes from the movie, including “I’m Dr. Delaware, a psychologist” and “You’re going to blow this case, and me, right out of the water!!” This induced S to cry out, “HELLO!” to the rest of us on the mattress, followed by, “Can someone turn that off!” Paralyzed by when the BOUGH BReaKS’ menu montage, S was unable to reach six inches across the floor to turn off the DVD. “Yes,” I screeched, “It’s a nightmare!” saved himself from a potential contretemps by suavely turning off the sound.

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