Month: March 2015

iWant the iWatch. 

Thank you, Christopher Walken, for arming me with the only mental image guaranteed to save me from an epic impulse buy. 

I spent the day yesterday trying desperately to avoid experiencing with any of my senses the official grand unveiling of the Apple Watch. I would pull up Twitter and glance through slatted fingers at my feed. Forcing my eyes to dart away from any Tweets using the words “Apple,” “Watch,” or “Tim Cook,” and any words that rhyme with those words or could operate well in a sentence with any of those words. 

I refused to allow that image of the Dick Tracy-esque watch face containing what look like mini-Skittles to penetrate my consciousness. I am above being manipulated by smart people who have conjured up smart design paired with theatrical introductions. 

Except that I’m not. 

I wasn’t even at the Apple Watch unveiling. And yet I had the same rubbernecking feeling the circus sideshow barker instilled in me at The New York State Fair 35 years ago: 

“Step right up folks! Watch the ‘Human Blockhead’ pound a ten-penny nail straight into his nostril! See the ‘Two-Headed Cow!’ Alive! Alive! Alive! Thrill to the sight of “Gabora,” the scantily-clad girl who’ll change into a man-eating gorilla right before your very eyes!” 

Open-mouthed, I mindlessly held out a fistful of ride tickets to said barker, not counting them or even caring that I had just forked over my entire allotment for the day. 

I had to check out that Gabora!

Fast forward nearly forty years, and I found myself yesterday muttering, “I have to check out that Apple Watch!” Even as I self-righteously spun my Twitter feed in search of a single iPhone screen devoid of ten-penny nails and unhappy bovines. Practically drooling. 

That’s when I called up “Captain Koons” from the recesses of my memory banks. More specifically, Christopher Walken’s “Gold Watch Monologue” from the movie Pulp Fiction.  I’ll spare you the details of the narrative, though you’re welcome to check out the Youtube link yourself. 

The net result, for me, is a total cessation of an otherwise uncontrollable impulse to queue up outside my local Apple Store, poised to bust through the glass doors amidst a moshpit of early adopters. My ride tickets live happily and wholly unperforated in my front pocket. 

At least for today. 

Thanks for reading. 

The Train Is Coming. 

Yesterday morning I found myself unwillingly cast as the damsel-in-distress in a Charlie Chaplin-era black and white. 

Six a.m. found me hunched over in the pre-dawn darkness, stuck in the middle of Fillmore Street — a busy thoroughfare in my neighborhood. Desperately attempting to complete a mission-critical task, alternating with panicked glances up and into the oncoming traffic. 

Finish the job. Get hit by a Prius. Finish the job. Get hit by a MUNI bus. I knew exactly how the silent film actress in the image above must have felt. 

True, I did not suffer under the duress of a sledgehammer-wielding, bushy-eyebrowed villain. Nor from the constraints of heavy chains. Nor from the menace of 3 bad guys with really really good hatmakers. 

My situation was far more dire. 

My black labbish “puppy” had selected this precarious spot to execute her morning constitution. Nevermind the overabundance of safe venues in the immediate vicinity: empty driveways, sparse sidewalks, even a briefcase-sized patch of grass here and there. An embarrassment of riches as far as morning constitution-ready locales go. 

Instead, she strikes the unmistakable pose mid-street, mid-stride. Full exploiting the element of awful surprise on her “master.” Once she has achieved the squat, there is no moving her. That would only exacerbate the situation, as I dragged a 70-pound statue shedding smaller pieces of statue across a wider field array. 

Nope. Not an option. I’m just going to have to commit to this and make the best of it. 

Fumbling with the lightweight plastic poop bag dispenser velcro’d to the people end of her leash. Careful to avoid the continuous blue bag spool spooling out onto the street. Desperately thumbing with numb fingers in darkness over the flat sheet of bags, searching for the perforation. And then once perforated, anxiously probing both ends of the still-flat, seemingly vacuum-packed bag. Distinguishing between the open end where one’s hand gets inserted, and the sealed end that must remain sealed is absolutely critical. Botch that and you’re in for an uncomfortable walk home with contaminated fingers outstretched. 

And all the while, the train is barreling down the tracks. I feel it coming, ready to roll over me, and my animal. any moment now. 

Wailea has finished her part by this point, and now it is my turn in the process. Assembly-line perfection. But with an electric bus bearing down on us imminently. Skittish, I have to dart back to the spot on the street more than once, looking like I’m delicately handling molten lava.  Hot! Hot! Or maybe my manic efforts to finish the job bear resemblance to the “Ickey Shuffle” (without the “cold cuts today!” celebratory yells). No celebration, this. 

The deed is done, at last. I sprint away and yank the dog’s collar, just a split second before….

Nothing. No MUNI bus. No silver little Prius. No black smoke-spewing locomotive. No wild-eyed bandits poised to pound my noggin with a ball-peen hammer. No rusty chains around my ankles. Just a blue plastic bag full of poop and an overactive imagination. In other words, another Monday morning start to the week. 

Thanks for reading.