Sunday, January 28, 2007

Community Chest


Saturday.

I was walking along side a companion of mine in the East Village. It was chilly. I was starving and about to start work. It was just four.

On Second Avenue, at the corner of 4th street, we were just about to walk up on a Bum. He was Spare Changing. People used to call this money making ploy "Spangin'" in Boston, especially when it was punk kids who should have had jobs who were doing it. I really never liked the expression, it made it all sound too cute. Diminutive.

But anyway, there was this Bum and he had a Red Coffee Cup. It was a little tattered. The kind with the words in different languages written all over it. All the names for coffee? Words for hello? I forget.

Just as the Bum was being denied by someone, again, another guy walks up to him. This guy, maybe in his forties, maybe having hit the sauce a little early on a gray Saturday afternoon, had a wine glass in his hand. He responds to the Bum's plea for change by pointing the long stemmed glass back at him. Bum with some pennies in a cup, funny guy with a schmaltzy wine glass. How droll. It all happened very smoothly. What I would call Calculated Spontaneity on Doing Well In His Forties' part.

So clever, his little moment, so Trading Places, so ironic.

Thank you, Man Doing Well In His Forties for taking the opportunity to put this bum, with his cup that says hello who probably just wanted a drink as well, in his place. I rested easy that evening knowing that we are all capable of understanding each other so well. Worst part, Guy In His Forties was with a woman who he was undoubtedly trying to impress. And since, I have recently learned, that it is unimportant for a woman to be clever in order to attract a man, I am glad he was so invested in what society would deem his necessary mating call.

I forgot, until it was recently reintroduced to me, that we still live in a time where all a woman ultimately needs is looks to be desirable, and that men, however, are expected to have the sense of humor and success.(This is what 2007 looks like.) I don't remember if the woman was pretty or not. She must have been though. That's clearly what made her worth it.

My friend said the whole thing looked like a New Yorker Cartoon.

I said, yeah, from the 19fucking20's. Or that it was something the Monopoly guy, Mr. Pennybags would do.

My friend said that Mr. Pennybags wouldn't do that. He knew what it was like to be down on his luck.


Hey, oh yeah, Where's Mr. Pennybag's woman? Who's he fucking? How come he can't hang on to someone? Not funny enough, I guess.

2 comments:

Peter said...

Mr. Pennybags probably has gone through several women, divorcing them as he observed the effects of gravity.

Or hey may have decided he was living a lie, had a coming out party at Caesar's in Vegas, dropped 105 lbs. and moved in with his boyfriend into a 2500 square foot condo in Providence, RI, paying the bills by designing epaullettes for Donna Versace. True story, happened to someone I knew back in the day when Korean spokeswomen used to make fun of me.

Joyce Hanson said...

Hey, have you found a title yet for your HBO show? How about "Mr. Pennybags' Woman"? But more importantly, how exactly did you recently learn that it is unimportant for a woman to be clever in order to attract a man? I disagree, so I want details. Tell me your story. Name names (even if they're made-up names).