Bad Things Come in Threes
Sex in the Sub-City
Cheap Shot of the Month
Maybe it's the heat. Maybe it's the humidity. Maybe it's
the fact that Michael Jackson's "Invincible" album
only sold two million copies and it's all because the recording
industry is a bunch of racists. Whatever the reason, little
things, things that normally wouldn't affect me so much,
are starting to take a toll.
First it was the cigarettes going up to seven dollars.
Seven dollars! This is madness. Do you realize that each
cigarette now costs thirty-five cents? The other day some
guy came up to me and asked for a cigarette, and I had to
tell him no, that I couldn't spare even one because they
were too expensive, so he offered money. A quarter. I told
him to get lost. He the upped it to thirty cents, and, not
yet having figured out how much each cig was worth, I gave
him one. Now I realize that I lost five cents on the deal
and I'm fucking furious.
A while back I spent a summer in Alaska, and cigarettes
there were seven dollars as well. I don't know why, exactly
- probably because it was so remote and there was no tobacco
for miles, or maybe because of the high taxes - but of course
I wasn't about to pay that much for cigarettes. I was nineteen
for God's sake. My last job didn't even pay that much an
hour. The difference between Alaska and here though, is
that everyone over there is basically a hick. They're beyond
hicks even - they're Last Frontier hicks. That place is
so far removed from anything cultural or relevant that if
David fucking Hasselhoff showed up and started singing they'd
buy up his albums like hotcakes (wait, that's Germany, never
mind). At least we know who bought Michael Jackson's last
So the people in Alaska, though incredibly, overwhelmingly
nice and polite, are not really with it. So if you want
to go into a store and walk out without paying for some
smokes, it's not that hard to do. In fact, these people
are so out of it that they have entire cartons of cigarettes
sitting there right in the aisle. I perfected the practice
of taking one of these cartons and shoving it down my pants,
practically with the clerk staring right at me. All you
had to do was act like the cigarettes belonged to you in
the first place, and that you were reclaiming what was rightfully
yours. Meanwhile, my friends would be in the back of the
store, shoving candy bars and bags of potato chips into
every available orifice. Once we were all loaded up, someone
would purchase a twenty-five cent pack of gum and we'd get
the hell out there.
Every once in a while we'd get caught, and we'd hightail
it out of there, jump in the car and peel away. Sometimes
they ran after us, but usually they didn't. Lovely people
But in no way can this activity be repeated here. Even
the tiniest, shittiest bodegas have security cameras everywhere.
You try that and you'll get shot or arrested or both. So
what's a poor smoker to do? I have no idea, but something
needs to be done about this, or else. What this "or
else" is I haven't figured out yet, but trust me, it's
going to be ugly.
So that's the first thing. The second thing is that - bear
with me here - they've suspended all the glass and plastic
recycling. Now they're only going to take paper, cardboard
and metal. This is all well and good, that all those copies
of the Village Voice and The New York Times and whatnot
will be recycled into more crap, but what about the glass
and plastic? I don't know about you, but nearly ALL of my
recycling is glass and plastic, especially plastic. People
nowadays are so afraid of breaking shit, so paranoid that
they're going to get a cut, or so into the wonderful convenience
of a fucking squeezable bottle that nearly every single
product on the market is made of that famous "Graduate-era"
So what now? All this crap is going to sit in a landfill
somewhere and take up space, and then more landfills will
have to be dug up, which will subsequently be filled, until
all the land will be gone. Add to this all the dead people,
all the people who think for some reason that there's something
special about their discarded, lifeless bodies and want
to be put in cemeteries, and pretty soon all there will
be is landfills, some for plastic, some for people. We'll
have to cultivate Mars because the earth will be nothing
but plastic and corpses.
But this last thing, this last thing is the clinker. Having
to give up seven hard-earned American dollars for cigarettes
is tough; having to throw my plastic in with the rest of
the trash is difficult; but this last thing takes the cake.
If you didn't know, the last emblem of old New York, the
sole remaining visage of a time long before Giuliani and
Bloomberg, a symbol if you will, of a bygone era, is gone.
Yes, the Peep-O-Rama, the last "adult-themed"
business in Times Square, has closed its doors for good.
The building will now be turned into office space, no doubt
for some Disney-ish company whose products have high family
values. Times Square, long in decay, saddled with heavy
midwestern tourists clutching Playbills in one fat hand
and stuffed mice in the other, is now officially dead.
It's an end of an era my friends. And while this should
be a lesson to us all, I doubt anyone will heed the message.
Luckily we have our beloved Williamsburg, which, despite
everything, has remained a bastion for individuality and
freedom. Thank God the rents here haven't skyrocketed, thank
heavens no one knows about this place, thank the lord the
town hasn't become a playground for trustfunders and stupid
hipsters and yuppies. Because if that happened, I don't
know what I'd do.
Wait...you mean to tell me this already happened? Now I'm
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