I’d Rather Not Drive To Work [Friday Thoughts W/ TeeCoZee]

Good Moleman. Fritz, you idiot! I didn’t order a bologna sandwich. I told you, I don’t like ethnic food! It’s Friday, February Fourteenth, Twenty-Twenty. The weather in Brooklyn is 30° & Pantone B137 and somewhere, somebody is about to go into a hole. What’s inside the hole, they have no idea. They hesitate for what feels like hours as cars honk while passing by and their coworkers get more annoyed by the second. It’s not that big of a deal. Many people have been inside this hole before. In fact, it might be pretty cool. But something inside just won’t let them make that descent. They step on one rung of the ladder. Good, that’s a start. They’ve done this a million times before, except going in the other direction. But they hesitate again. Why can’t somebody else go in the hole? They could be the spotter. They’re really good at it. And as a distracted driver nearly runs into them, swerved and gives them the finger, they realize that they never should’ve gotten a job transfer in the city. And me? I would never work for Con Ed, but if I did, I’d rather go in a hole than 35 feet in the air. I also have some things on my mind…

– Ween is in town this weekend and I’m seeing them not once, not thrice, but twice! On paper, I should be radiating excitement and jumping off the walls. After all, I’m going to see my favorite band utilize their entire catalog to play 60+ songs for me. That’s just amazing. I’m a very lucky dude. But what was once a dream has now turned into a nightmare. For the last 10 days, I’ve been forlornly gazing at the weather forecast. It’s going to dip below 20 degrees and the venue is a mile away from the train. All logic dictates, duh, wear a coat. But I don’t want to be the fat guy trying to get up to the stage while wearing a thick coat. And then I stand there for 3 hours, sweating my balls off. No. I can’t do that. I could use the coat check. But of course, everybody else that’s coming will also use the same coat check. So I could be waiting for hours, even days, to keep my coat secure for a fee. That’s just not for me. So, I guess the only option is to wear thermals, walk fast and pray I don’t have to stand in line too long. This is the way. But I’m gonna want to drink. I would definitely lose my spot if I leave to get one. So I guess I’ll just make a stiff cocktail for the train. Yes. This is the way. But then I’ll probably have to pee. Oh man, I would definitely have to pee. That’s gonna ruin the whole show. I really hope I won’t have to pee. Great. In the span of one paragraph, I have turned a good time into a bad one. This is not the way. At this point, I don’t know if I’m just too old or too neurotic to go to concerts. The answer is both.

– I have a lot of fun making cards. But I never make them for anybody except Rachel, who is now officially the Luckiest Girl On The Planet for having exclusive ownership to my creations. But as time went on, I started to run out of ideas, especially for Valentines Day. So last year, I decided to have it coincide with the start of Spring Training. This was the result:

Matt Kemp is a Red
Puig is one too
It was a terrible offseason
But you’ve got me and baby, I’ve got you

This year, I tried to replicate the same sentiment, but it just felt contrived. Here’s the top 5 attempts:

5) The Yankees are a terror
The Astros are fuckers
The Mets are in turmoil
Jazz is for suckers

4) Puig’s still a free agent
Duda is one too
But we’re not free agents
Because we got married, foo

3) Yoenis ran from a Boar
Wilpon’s price is too steep
Cano could do more
But at least tickets will be cheap

2) Mookie is a Dodger
David Price is one too
But the years best acquisition
Is the one I signed with you

1) The dirt has been raked
The grass has been cut
Spring training is coming
I really like your butt

Instead, I went a different route and ended up with this:

Putting my head on the body of Val Venus was one of the most uncomfortable things I’ve ever done on Photoshop.

– Since working in New York, the two bosses I’ve had share one thing in common. Both of them refuse to take the train. Every day, they commute from Queens to Manhattan in their car. It’s always seemed like a weird flex, but over the years, I’ve wondered about its benefits. So yesterday, I finally got the balls to do it. I tried so hard to talk myself out of it, but I knew it was necessary to help overcome my fear of losing my parking space. Even as I started driving, I saw so many parking spots that I could just slide into and not worry about for over a week. But I fought the urges and kept driving. And as soon as I merged onto the BQE, it dawned on me:

Wow. My bosses are idiots.

Under typical conditions, it should take me 28 minutes to drive to work. Under typical conditions, it should take 33 minutes to take the train. In those 5 minutes that you might save, there lies a risk that it’s going to take much, much longer. At first, Waze told me that I’d be in traffic for 9 minutes. After 5 minutes, Waze told me that I’d be in traffic for 9 minutes. After the countdown reached zero, I was in the clear for a quarter of a mile and then Waze told me that I’d be in traffic for 8 minutes. When I finally crawled to the Manhattan Bridge, there was no traffic, and I sped gracefully while cackling like a lunatic. And then I hit more traffic on Broome St. And sat still through 8 stop lights, stuck in the middle lane, one block away from work. When it was all said and done, it took me approximately 105 minutes to get to work.

But the worst was yet to come.

After breezing to my neighborhood in 20 minutes flat, I was feeling good. Parking in my neighborhood is not easy, but it’s not impossible. There’s plenty of blocks that have actual houses with driveways and even in the dead of night, you can find a spot somewhere. On the first block, there was a spot that was just a little too close to a hydrant. On the second block, I saw a spot that I might’ve been able to fit in, but I couldn’t tell if there was a hydrant and some asshole was riding my tail. I panicked and tried block 3. Then block 4. Then block 5. And so on. As my speed and timing dictates, at the end of every block, I have to wait over a minute for the light to turn green. After 45 minutes, I had crept down every block in a mile radius. There were so many spots that would’ve existed if people knew how to park properly. Or if there wasn’t dumpsters parked dead center between driveways, preventing anybody from parking on either side. I even had the typical scenario where I saw someone unlock a van behind me and I sped like an asshole around the block only to find out that they were just getting something out of it. I was straight up defeated. I drove back to Ocean Avenue to start my route all over again. First, I turned down 19th street. Wait, I hadn’t done 19th street before. And there it was. Of course. A legal parking space that even a Hummer could fit into. After almost an hour of looking, I ended up finding three spots half a block away from home.

What did I learn? Absolutely nothing. Flexing is overrated. My bosses are idiots.

– Yesterday, Zach wrote a little ditty suggesting the correlation of our irrational fear of Steve Martin holding a fish and our affinity towards drinking Wild Turkey. This suggestion was made out of context, so I guess I’ll elaborate. When we were kids, Zach and I spent a lot of time in my basement. That’s where all the toys were, it was cool in the Summer and we could be as loud as we wanted. However, in the front corner of the basement, the lights didn’t work. It was dark, dusty and had a bunch of stuff from my Dad’s bachelor years. There were random objects like old license plates, a Schlitz globe [which now lives in my apartment], a can of tobacco that had a sailor on it [the likes of which gave me nightmares for years] and a signed photo of Steve Martin. These seemingly innocuous objects looked a lot more sinister in the shadows, covered in cobwebs. Zach and I would constantly dare each other to just stand in that part of the room. I hardly ever had the guts to do it. My Dad had a lot of weird things that I didn’t understand. He had a Playboy under his bed, a bottle of Peppermint Schnapps on the top shelf of a closet [even though my parents never drink] and a bunch of intricately made Ceramic Wild Turkey sculptures. He had so many Wild Turkeys. A lot of them were in the dark corner but my Mom even let him have 10 of them on display in the living room. As I grew up, those weird objects became more intriguing. I was tempted for so many years to look at the Playboy under the bed, but I always talked myself out of it. When it became fashionable to steal liquor from your parents, I would incessantly gaze at the forbidden bottle of Peppermint Schnapps. But I always chickened out. So many boring teenage nights Zach and I spent at the house, wishing we had some booze to steal. But we never touched the Schnapps. We promise. But then a few years ago, my universe was turned upside-down. My Mom informed me that all of those ceramic turkey sculptures were actually filled with Wild Turkey. Every single one of them. My mind was blown. I never even considered it as a possibility. All of those years, while watching porno on Cinemax, we could’ve carefully screwed a turkey’s head off and enjoyed some smooth bourbon, aged 20+ years. But alas, we had no clue. And now the bottles are gone [I think], but the memories remain. And whenever I want to enjoy something strong and smooth, or when I just need a nightcap for the dusty trail, I always order a Wild Turkey. Accept no substitutes.

Try this trick over the weekend: Go visit your parents and carefully inspect their knicknacks. They might be filled with booze.

Have a wild weekend, everyone!

– TeeCoZee