Sunday, July 15, 2007


"High/low," Michelle Pfeiffer said at the dinner table with her fictional family, playing a character in the contrived movie The Story of Us. Each night, the members of her nuclear clan -- Bruce Willis and two children -- would go around the table and say what the best and wost parts of their day were. I loved that. I remember watching the movie on VHS, alone, in my bedroom, in college, and I secretly promised myself then that if I ever had a family, we'd do the same thing.

Having a family someday seems laughable now -- especially here in the city -- but I still like the idea of high/low. I had my high and low right close together yesterday:

The cheapest place to buy beer in New York is Duane Reade. (If someone knows of a cheaper place, please do comment and tell.) So I headed out there on Saturday to buy my usual 18-pack of Bud Light, because I am white trash from the Midwest. The cashier was sweet: "Would you like a bag? Or would you like to carry it like that?" "A bag, please, if you don't mind," I said. I like that I answered her question with quasi-Victorian phrasing. What I should have said was, "A bag, please. I'd rather not the whole island of Manhattan know exactly how trailer I am."

So I waltzed out of the DR, my beer in my bag. Five steps out of the store, the bag broke. Handles ripped clear away. So I stopped, picked up the bag like it was a baby, and began the 10-block journey to my apartment. And then I think I saw Tim Robbins (ha-cha-cha!), but he was unfortunately not around for the bag-breaking incident, because if he had been, he surely would have offered to carry the thing home for me.

I continued walking, Bud Light papoose in my arms, then I realized I smelled beer. That couldn't be good. Then I heard a hissing sound. Again, not good. Then, 10 steps later, I felt it: Beer was leaking into my woefully broken Duane Reade bag, soaking my Wall Street Journal and the box of condoms I had bought in a fit of hope.

I had nine blocks to go. Fuck.

I began a somewhat dainty run/walk through Madison Square Park, streams of Bud Light trickling out of my bag intermittently. I caught a glimpse of myself in a store window once I was clear of the park -- hunched over, carrying this white plastic whale of a bag that was quickly filling with light beer. I wondered what people thought. I know, after this many years in the city, that I shouldn't care about the opinions of passersby, but it's still funny to think about. This girl -- blonde and in black gym clothes -- run-walking a leaking bag of discount beer, a Wall Street Journal, and condoms.

I made it to my apartment, dribbling beer up three flights of stairs, and assessed the damage in the kitchen sink, faucet on: Only two Bud Lights had ruptured. Two were dented. The rest appeared to be fine. Thank God.

High: Seeing Tim Robbins.
Low: Being a white-trash hooker who frets over two lost beers.

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Blogger Bond said...

but, did you pour the beer that was at the bottom of the bag into a glass and drink it????????

1:40 PM  
Blogger Dr. Blogstein said...

if only the bag held out a little longer you could have had use for the beer, the condoms and Tim Robbins

3:39 PM  
Blogger NewbietoNYC said...

Bond: Ha! I haven't fallen that far. Yet.

Blogstein: Thank you for that scenario -- now I know what I'm going to fantasize about later tonight.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Dr. Blogstein said...

and now I know what I am going to fantasize about later tonight.

8:48 PM  
Blogger NewbietoNYC said...

You're a Tim Robbins fan, too, Blogstein? ;)

9:46 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Hi Jane,

Had I known that, that would have happened, I would have come to your rescue little darlin.

9:56 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

I'm Not A Tim Robbins Fan though, of the newer actors I would have to say that I am more a Val Kilmer Fan.

7:51 AM  

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