Hey! Alec Baldwin!

9 Dec

Happy Holidays!

First off, let me apologize to those people who should have received the holiday cards I mailed today.  I’m pretty sure that, in the holiday-ravaged confusion that is my local Upper East Side post office, I incorrectly dropped those cards into the “deposit only X, Y, or Z here” drop box (whose sign can only be read if the drop box lid is in the fully closed position,which it cannot maintain without constant human intervention).

Said drop box is just inside the post office entrance (still technically the vestibule) and would be the most convenient place to put a drop box so that post office patrons don’t have to actually “enter” the building and battle the wait-addled customers crowding the customer service line, not to mention other technology-challenged patrons queuing up in front of the interior self-service postage machine, all in order to finally drop one’s letters into the small slot hollowed out in one corner wall. Mind you, there is another drop box below this slot for larger mailings and small packages, which, at the time of today’s visit, was wedged part-way shut by who knows what crinkly, crumbly mass that refused to budge when I tried to open the slot.

Knowing the stickler mentality of many post office employees (and my already terrible luck with the USPS), I’m sure those cards are halfway to the dumpster by now. All I can offer is my sincere apology to those poor luckless cards (and their intended recipients) and hope that some benevolent postman or postwoman takes pity on my non-pre-metered, non-self-service-postage-machine-stamped letters and sends them along anyway.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

In typical New York fashion, this frustrating event was counter-balanced by a stranger’s unsolicited good deed this afternoon. I was trying to get the downtown-bound “E” train near Penn Station (the train I normally take uptown towards home) and had just swiped my unlimited ride subway card to go through the revolving door entrance.  Of course, I don’t normally use this kind of entrance (my 68th Street Station has turnstiles) and I zoned out and pushed the revolving door around without actually going through the entrance during that “sweep” (I think I thought I was going through the revolving doors at work, which I normally push to create a new “opening” rather than go through the door as someone else is leaving the building–now I’m thinking I’m not describing this right and you’re more confused than I am about what the hell happened–oh well.).

In any event, I had used my card but had not actually gone through the entrance. I realized my mistake and immediately swiped again to try to get through the entrance. No go. Instead I got a “Just Used” message.  Fark.  I noticed entrances at the other side of the entryway and tried there.  “Just Used.” Double fark. I keep a backup subway card with money on it, just in case I lose the other one, so I fished that one out and swiped it. “Insufficient fare.” Fark, fark, fark. Just as I was about to start hurling my packages at the machine (and probably get arrested), this older Asian woman came up to me. She had just come through the subway exit. She didn’t say anything but motioned for me to wait and began to rummage through her purse. She found her subway card and swiped me in (evidently she also had an unlimited ride card). I thanked her profusely, this time immediately going through the available opening, and she smiled at me before turning to climb the exit stairs. Nice, huh?

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Lastly, over the weekend, CityBoy and I had the following exchange (while walking through Times Square after enjoying a performance of “Avenue Q” for CityBoy’s birthday):

Me:  Hey! Alec Baldwin! It’s Alec Baldwin! (stop and stare as Alec Baldwin walks past)

CB:  Yeah, I know. (keeps walking)

Me:  No, I mean, it’s Alec Baldwin. (tries to turn CityBoy around to face departing said celebrity)

CB:  Yeah.  (getting annoyed)  I see him.  (points to 30 Rock billboard with Alec Baldwin)

Me:  No.  (pointing)  Actually Alec Baldwin.  Right there.  Walking with another dude.  (pointing into a crowd of people walking away from us)

CB:  Oh. (scanning the crowd) Sorry, I thought you were talking about the billboard.

Me:  Nope.  The actual, real life Alec Baldwin.

CB: That sucks. I missed him.

Me: (heavy eye rolling) Good lord.

Sometimes we should just look where people are pointing.

I’m just saying, people.  I’m just saying.

– Jho


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