10 Mar

After my gripping monologue about 9/11 at the World Financial Center, a senior citizen from rural Illinois pulled me aside with all the gravitas of a mortician and told me, “You know I lost my husband the April before the attack here, and on 9/11 a butterfly landed on my kitchen window and I knew it was my husband telling me I was going to be OK.” I wanted to say, “And then did the butterfly tell you you are NUTS?”

I decided to ask Ryan why he wasn’t eating his burger at Planet Hollywood. “I HATE the food in NYC,” he grumbled, crankily. I asked him what he normally ate at home in West Virginia. “We shoot squirrels and make stew.” At which point I dropped my own burger, for different reasons.

One afternoon, I was chillin’ with the 5th Grade guys from Alabama at lunch and whispered to them, “Dudes, you are SO lucky. This waitress is HOT!” I came back from the bathroom and Barrett handed me a piece of paper. He had gotten her phone number for me.

I hit Kentucky GOLD tonight at dinner: “When my Uncle Rick died (well, he was wearing a leather jacket that was too long for him and it got caught in the rear spokes of his motorcycle and strangled him) he left me his trailer, his two pythons, and his collection of 65,000 CDs.” –Shelby, 17.

I finally scored some points with the high school group from Oregon at the TODAY Show. I asked the Rock Center Security Guard if my students could exit the “pen” on 49th Street. The guard said yes. Then some blowhard came running up and screamed “Hey! I’m the head of Security and I say you can’t come out here.” So I loudly directed my group, “OK everyone, THIS way, and stay away from the DickHead of Security.” Applause.

My tour bus driver, talking over my narrated tour on his cell phone: “Listen you conivin’ bitch, I paid for your lithium, your Xanax, your hydrocodone and your probation officer. You ain’t gettin’ another penny from me.” Click. To me: “Damn ex-wife.” The Charms of Mississippi.

“Heyyyyyy, where we having lunch at?” “The Old Castle Restaurant.” “Where’s that?” “West 54th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.” “Where’s that?” “How much more specific do you want me to be? You’re from Santa Ana, California. It’s closer than that. Now leave me alone.”

I was asked by a mother from Tennessee if “The New York Housewives” are typical. I told her, “No, they always look for the most outlandish people for those shows.” Mom replied, “Oh, I know, whenever they show someone from Tennessee, they have no teeth.” My lips to God’s ear, this woman was missing two teeth. That I could see.

“I have a weird uncle like you.” –Daniel, 8th Grade, Everett, WA

I‎, who have a 104-degree fever and twisted my ankle so badly yesterday I couldn’t get my shoe on this morning, confronted by a whiny 7th-Grader complaining about her fatigue in a pitch only I and small dogs in Chelsea could detect, turned on my good heel and shouted at her, “I don’t want to hear a single word from you ever again until you are thirty.” She slinked away.

I am an ass. I spent three days with a girl who is on my tour, and walking to the A-train, observed she was limping. “Why are you walking like that? Did you hurt yourself?” “No, I was born with one leg shorter than the other.” I hadn’t noticed this once in 72 hours.

I asked a 4’2″-tall Eighth Grader from Fresno where she got all that money to shop on Fifth Avenue: “I give massages at the Bowling Alley.”


3 Responses to “Chewables.”

  1. Mary Rives Brown March 10, 2012 at 4:46 am #

    More, please Sir! This is hilarious and I am going on a tour with you next time I am up there.

  2. Keith Merritt March 10, 2012 at 5:18 am #

    Smiling out loud. I won’t lie, I have to see someone falling down, or a cat playing the piano to LOL, as we say, nowadays. But I can always see the people you are talking about, and hear your voice as you talk about them. Bravo!

  3. Siobhan March 11, 2012 at 12:12 am #

    Great stuff. More, please.

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