Saturday, June 09, 2007

Goody Two-Shoes

I am terrible at being a criminal. Sure, I sneaked liquor from my parents' cabinet a couple times. I went to a lot of clubs when I was underage and drank and did other illegal substances. But all of those were pretty much given to me for being pretty (shut up - I was back then!) and didn't require a whole lot of effort on my part. Actually, I'm pretty sure it was that lack of effort that left half the Haitian drug dealers in late 1980s Manhattan with blue balls. Poor Haitian drug dealers. Hi-yo!

Anyway, my point is, my life of crime has been negligible. There was the time when I was working three student jobs to get through college that I'd sometimes under report the earnings at the student lounge/pool hall by a couple dollars, so I could get a juice and some crackers from the vending machine for lunch. Horrors! The thing was, I felt terribly guilty and I like I was going to get caught every time. I knew that I was fortunate in that I appeared to be the last person anyone would suspect of stealing: a small, shy, lower-middle-class white girl with good manners and a semi-midwestern accent (my parents hailed from out there, even if I was raised in New Jersey). Of course, many teenage girls will tell you that's why they know they'll never get caught. But I genuinely hated doing it and thought I was a terrible person the whole time. Plus, above and beyond that, I was always waiting for The Man to catch me and stomp me down with the iron-heeled boot of justice. "I have terrible luck and am a terrible liar, and therefore, if anyone gets caught, it will be me," was my reasoning. It still echoes today.

Thus, standing by the line for the Rufus Wainwright show trying to sell my tickets was an alarming affair. It didn't matter that there was a geeky-looking kid of maybe 15 or 16 beside me who'd bought his tickets at the original rate of $40, and was trying to sell them for over $200, while I wasn't even hoping to break even on the $220 Mrs. Nator had spent on seats in the same section via eBay. The whole time I was sweating, and waiting to be accosted by the ginourmous bouncer at the front of the line.

Even getting to the place was surreal. It being one of those sudden summer weekends in New York where five million events were going on at once, the subways were full of a mix of rainbow-bedecked Brooklyn Pride goers, Puerto Rican flag draped Boriquas making their way home from the PR parade, and blonde tourist families in matching sneakers and golf shirts whispering to each other "Daddy, is that man speaking Hispanic? And why is that fat lesbian sweating like she's been caught in Singapore customs with a condom full of crank up her ass?"

Outside of the subway was more weirdness. Hordes of people surrounded food tents in Madison Square Park, supervised by far too many irritated-looking police than I wanted to see at that juncture. Then, just as I was drawing up to the venue, a mob of bedraggled bicyclists came barreling down 23rd Street, taking up the lanes with everything from tiny foldable bikes to weird, double-cranksetted contraptions about eight or nine feet high. This did nothing, I assure you, to make me feel more comfortable.

I suppose I could have imagined that, what with all this going on, little old me trying to sell a couple of tickets would hardly be on major law enforcement's radar. I also must confess that, in actuality, I'm not even sure this whole deal was illegal at all. Still, the first pair of gays that talked me down to $110 for the pair got the tickets, because I just wanted to get the hell out of there. (I just know the kid beside me was grateful to see me go. There was no way he was going to make a profit with the weenie with the air of desperation throwing better tickets than he had at people at a loss.) Besides, I had to get back to Brooklyn to get a quart of Italian ice and Mrs. Nator's anti-inflammatory prescription before the stores closed.

As I made my way home, circumnavigating stocky women plastered with Puerto Rico stickers and Gay Pride buttons and sniffing the rare sea-tang in the air from a front blowing in, I took stock. I got $110 for the tickets, half of what we paid for them, and $60 of which were blown on frozen desserts and medications within 20 minutes. Not so great a deal. If I had hung in there, no doubt I could have made a lot more. Ah, but the relief from fearing that I was going to get hauled in and ass-raped in the hoosegow? Priceless.


First Nations said...

jesus; doesn't anything ever happen in New York? it sounds so boring.
still, you recouped some $$, and thats better than a sharp stick in the eye. plus you got frozen dessert products.

me, i hucked slugs.

BigAssBelle said...

eh eh. sweating like a condom full of crack, or however you said that. too funny. every time i try to highlight some particularly fine turn of phrase, i get the entire post and your blogroll as well. this forces me to rely on a far less than reliable memory.

nevertheless, this was hysterical. i am sorry that mrs. nator is ill. i am happy that you recouped some funds. i am grateful that you made me happy once again to live in tulsa as opposed to nyc because just reading this gives me such serious heebie jeebies that i fall to my knees and weep. damn, how do y'all tolerate all the people?? i'm hyperventilating just reading this.

and your criminal lightweightedness cracks me up. i am a moderate heavyweight in the criminal arena, but i have made amends.

tater said...

Hee hee! I was a bad guy for awhile, and hated every second of it. Addiction has its price, and I had my ways of getting by, but like Belle, I have made amends. Don't like to even think about crossing the line now a days. Still, though, I woulda at least tried to break even on the tickets. Love your style woman, and hope the missus is looking up!

Chaucer's Bitch said...

oof. i can relate. i once bought a pair of seriously expensive tix to a simon and garfunkle concert before i got confirmation from my friend that he could go. he couldn't, and i had to scalp the second ticket. i was terrified. ihad never done anything illegal in my life. like you, i took a loss just to get rid of the thing. so it wound up costing me a small fortune, but it WAS a fabulous concert!

oneofhismoms said...

I'm still so sad I couldn't take those puppies off your hands. I'm glad you didn't have a total loss.

claire said...

oh, i haven't been around lately and missed a lot.
i would have loved to see Rufus, but even if i had seen your plea for help, i probably wouldn't have been able to afford them. god, that sucks.

and i know how you feel. Luckily, i had the boy there with me so i didn't feel quite so slimy and SCARED OUT OF MY MIND. for some reason, i can't remember what we had to scalp, either... though i know it's because i bought two sets of tickets for two different shows on the same night. so stupid. we took a loss, too.

Spidey said...

New York is all about people. I lived there for eleven years and nobody ever messed with me. It was a lot of fun, a great city, and everything that you wrote about brought back the memories. Thanks.