Wednesday, December 01, 2004

 

Bread donuts

How do I know I'm not in New York and that I'm ready to go back for a visit?

I walk into my favorite coffee place wanting, not coffee or a sweet thing to go with coffee, but something savory, but all they have is....
ME: Can I please have one of those, ... (pointing) those bread donuts?
THEM: You mean a bagel.
ME: I know what a bagel is. That, madam, is no bagel.
Don't take me the wrong way, I'm actually quite content to be living not in New York. In fact, I take it as one of my better accomplishments in life that I found somewhere else to live. John Updike once put it, beautifully, something like this, describing "that attittude that all New Yorkers have that anyone who says they live anywhere else must be, in some sense, kidding."

That's from my memory. But with the miracle of Google, I check my quote using the following search: "john updike new york kidding." Sure enough, the first hit is a website called "gawker" that has what purports to be the actual quote:
"The true New Yorker secretly believes that anyone living anywhere else must somehow, in a sense, be kidding."
Okay, I was close enough. One of my favorite authors, Nicholson Baker, in a book called U and I actually does a splendid riff on trying to approximate Updike quotes from memory. If I wasn't so lazy, I'd go downstairs and look it up.

A friend of mine tells a story about dining in New York and somehow revealing to the waiter that he would be staying outside the city, in Westchester or somewhere, and the waiter said, "stay anyplace outside Manhattan and you're just camping out."

I'm actually flying to New York tomorrow. My back is a bit sore, and I will be adhering strictly to my overhead luggage policy. It is a variant of "never eat anything bigger than your head."

My rule is "never carry on luggage that you can't lift over your head."

I always follow this rule, but what makes it more noteworthy is that I apply this policy to others -- specifically, when they ask me, as happens on occasion, to help them manhandle their carry-on baggage into the overhead compartment.

Invariably, the request comes from a fellow passenger with less upper body strength than I have. A pretty young woman who appeals to my flirtatious masculinity, or a person of advancing years who appeals to my humanity. Invariably, the bag is what flight attendants like to call a "rolling luggage cart also known as a 'wheelie.' " It is stuffed to bursting with books, shoes, particularly high-density cosmetics, lead ingots and other items of unusual mass for their size -- in other words, that wheelie is a heavy sucker.

But my view is this. I'm getting to the age where the next time I tweak my back could be the one where I am permanently transformed into the middle-aged guy with the chronic bad back. The airlines provide free baggage handling service, from the time you get to the ticketing window to the time you get to the luggage carrousel, near the exit. Quite convenient, really, and well designed to meet the needs of elderly or frail people with heavy baggage. You can also pay a red cap, who is just trying to earn an honest living, if you need additional help to and from the curb. The only reason these travelers have stuffed a wheelie so heavy with stuff that they can't lift it is to avoid what they believes to be the inconvenience of waiting at the baggage claim area on arrival.

Why I should I risk a life-changing back injury just so this person can bolt out of the airport faster?

No, I won't help you with your damn bag. Welcome to New York.



Comments:
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After a good read on blogs like this I like to leave little tips on goal setting. You know, the things you used to dream of when you were young, or even now.

A lot of research has shown that only those who set goals are likely to achieve their dreams.

When is the last time you really sat down and wrote a few short term and long term goals down?

What? It's been that long!

A new year is coming. You could do the same things you did this year and achieve the same results you did with your life dreams last year, or you could visit reaching goals and read all the FREE information on setting goals and getting what you want out of life

OR

you could just piddle on through life hoping for the best, like most people do.

Which will it be?

You really can have a lot more of everything than you do now. All you gotta do is know what you want and have a plan.

Have a GREAT New Year!
 
I was going to leave a little tip on New Years Resolutions and how to make the best of them.

Unfortunately, I would not be able to keep it brief.

Goal setting takes effort and you really have to know how to do it to do it well. Especially the follow-up.

That's why I've included a lot of FREE goal setting information on my website, to help folks like you be more successful.

In fact, you can start now, and get a head start on the new year - and the rest of your life.

Think goal setting isn't important? Spend a little time at long term goals and you'll change your mind.

Have a GREAT day!
 
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This is now the first hit on google for '"john updike" quotes "new york" kidding'. I was looking for the same thing. :)

-j
 
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