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August 23, 2005

B.A.B.F. 4

Malbug_13Spanning the neighbloghood to skim you the cream from recent New York City postings, it is the Big Apple Blog Festival 4.  [Hosted by A Guy in New York]

The Malcontent's contribution this week was my sorrowful tale of loss -- or, more to the point, of being a loser.

August 16, 2005

The L Word


Despite the rain on Sunday, we headed out between showers to kill some time in Union Square.  I was on umbrella duty most of the time, and holding that big lightning rod made me jump just a little higher with every thunderclap.  But I didn't realize then just how lucky I was not to be struck dead.

We started out at the magnificent and huge ABC Carpet & Home store, which is six floors of moderate to expensive furnishings.  We wended our way among the Buddhas and silks, past the chandeliers and bedding, until we came upon their line of vintage furniture made from salvaged wood, drawing upon sources including abandoned barns, demolished building and fallen trees.

Shelves I got out the camera-phone to click a photo of a tall shelving unit that would go wonderfully under a soffit in our entryway, stepping backward to get just the proper angle.  Just as a felt a gentle brushing against my elbow, the Hubbie yelled, "Look out!"

I wheeled around.  Frozen in front of me for what seemed like a minute was an enormous wooden pot, carved from the trunk of a tree, beginning to tip over on its base.  My mind was paralyzed with horror as I did some quick math on whether dropping a $400 camera-phone would be more foolish than reaching out to save a pot of indeterminate value.

As the Hubbie went running to save his flip-flopped toes, the pot crashed to the floor and tottered around face-down like a coin dropped on a table, until it finally came to rest.  I darted over to pick it up and saw a saleswoman making a beeline for us.

Fortunately, the Hub's dash to safety was just the diversionary tactic I needed.  The saleswoman was busy joking with him about how he was more concerned about getting the hell out of the way than he was about helping me, so I quickly scooped up the pot and heaved it back onto its base.  As he and she continued their banter, I positioned the pot so that the gaping vertical split that had opened up on one side was strategically facing away.

The saleswoman seemed convinced that no harm had been done, so we skittered to the elevator and onto another floor.  We were too scared to stop and check the price on that monstrosity, surmising from the cost of the surrounding merchandise that it must have been at least $1,000.  A big, ugly, wooden bullet had been dodged.

We eventually headed to an early dinner and shelter from the rain at the Coffee Shop.  It was a Brazilian-themed place, and while I opted for a rather pedestrian Caesar salad, I accompanied it with a frozen caipirinha for a splash of authenticity.  It came served in one of those tall, 16-ounce milkshake glasses, and I downed it with dispatch.

After dinner, I decided that another frozen caipirinha would do nicely for dessert.  For some reason, it took forever for the waitress to materialize with the second drink.  I decided to split it with the husband, picking up the drink to shovel half of the frosty yumminess into the empty glass.  In a flash, the full glass slipped out of my hand from the moisture that had condensed on the outside, crashing into and shattering the glass that I had been filling.

I sat ruefully shaking my head, a stream of caipirinha dripping onto my pantleg, as a hostess rushed over with napkins.  She sopped up the mess and gingerly placed the shards of glass into a pile, and I noticed a broad smirk cross her face when she saw the T-shirt I was wearing:

It was raining outside, but indoors at Union Square, lightning had struck twice.