|Bogey the Labrador loves taking a break from the concrete jungle|
The New York life is not always the same as what’s pictured on stage and screen. After living in Manhattan for nearly five years, I can vouch. While it can appear to be all glam, it really isn’t. In fact, certain aspects can be downright annoying. The logistics of leaving town are one example, at least for us. We’ve done it many times, and should have it down to a science by now. Still, the procedure can be stressful. Often traffic, parking, weather, and time of day can have an impact on our city escape.
It goes something like this.
After the bags are packed, Mike or I usually load all of our belongings into the elevator, take them downstairs, and the doorman keeps them. In additional to our clothes, toiletries, etc, we have dog and cat food in the mix, as well as a laptop computer. Usually, this amounts to about six different bags.
Mike picks up the car. If he is coming from work, he takes the L train from Brooklyn to the 1-2-3 at 14th street, but he gets off at 66th street or Lincoln Center where we park, instead of 86th Street. He calls or texts me when he is at the garage, and we have it timed, or so we think.
I grab an anxious Mimi-Kitty, and get her into the cat bag. She is now screaming at the top of her lungs. Bogey begins to dance around and shake his head like he is having a seizure, but it’s from pure excitement because he knows he is going somewhere – anywhere, and it doesn’t matter. I move as quickly as possible to get downstairs and hopefully Mike is in the near vicinity with the car. He pulls up, and the doorman helps him load the bags. By this point, Bogey is uncontrollable, and Mike grabs him and sticks him in the back. Mimi reluctantly goes to her place in the back seat with luggage, and we both jump in the car, taking a deep breath. Whew! And we haven’t even left our neighborhood yet. We are still double-parked on West End Avenue.
We drive north and get on the Henry Hudson Parkway traveling south toward the Lincoln Tunnel. Bogey goes to sleep immediately, so he is good and rested by the time we arrive wherever it is that we are going!
Mimi continues to scream, and eventually dozes off. Depending on traffic, this process can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes. Once we are through the tunnel, we are in New Jersey, and at least we have left New York. This is progress, and it gets easier from here.
Last week, I attempted to exit the big city solo for the first time ever. What an adventure. It went something like this.
I picked up the car the day before, and parked it on 88th Street near our apartment. Unbelievably, I found a space within ten minutes. The morning of our departure, I carried my packed bags downstairs and left them with Rene, the doorman on duty. I returned to the apartment where I put Mimi in her blue kitty bag. She was unhappier than usual. Bogey, of course was doing his hip-hop dance again, swatting his tail and hitting every object in the apartment.
I went to grab Bogey and leash him up, but I realized that my foot was wet. My jeans were also a little soggy. Yuck! Mimi had an accident (which she’d never done before) and made a tee tee on me. Great. I had no time to change, so I soaped up quickly in the kitchen to eliminate the reek of cat urine. Meanwhile, Bogey was still dancing around like a fiend and wondering why the delay? We all left the apartment.
Bogey, Mimi and I walked to the car and a dog-walker was approaching with several dogs. I stepped over to the side to let them pass since the sidewalks were narrow. I smiled, and he warned me, “Be careful, your dog is about to poop on you!” In the nick of time, I moved my foot away from under Bogey’s toosh, and liquid diarrhea began shooting out of his butt without warning. Mimi was almost in the line of fire also. A group of five or six contractors was standing around too. I was mortified. I didn’t even know how to begin to clean it up! I had to leave the watery doggy doo, which at this point was running off the sidewalk down the curb and into the street. I apologized to the walker, who didn’t seem to mind at all since he didn’t live there. Sorry 88th Street residents.
We were about 25 feet from the car. I decided to put Bogey in the back first, so I placed Mimi on the sidewalk. Had I done the reverse, the outcome would’ve been completely different. In seconds, a stream of liquid began to fall from an unknown source in the sky above. It trickled down and landed on the rear passenger door of the car. It was bird diarrhea! Who was the bird targeting? For some strange reason, I had to believe it was me. If I had put Mimi in the backseat first, the trickle would have landed on my head. Bad karma was in the air that morning. I hoped that I wouldn’t carry it with me 110 miles to Pennsie.
|Culprit #3?–Photo by Fuzzcat courtesy of Flickr|
After Mimi urinated on my right foot, Bogey nearly crapped all over my left foot, and an unknown creature with wings aimed at my head and missed, I flat-out jumped inside the car and prepared for take-off. Imagine, all of this before lunch, and I hadn’t even put the key in the ignition yet. Could this happen to anyone except me? We drove around the block and pulled up in front of the building, My doorman helped me load the luggage, and at last we were finally driving.
Although we got off to a “crappy” start, it was the easiest trip to Pennsylvania that I can recall in recent history. Thankfully, no more drama or pee/poo.
In the words of my friend Blake, “You should be a writer. The craziest things happen to you.” Thanks, Blake. I think you may be right.