House of Chop – Slash and Burn

Things that ruined my day by kimothy
October 4, 2009, 3:05 AM
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I am going to rant about three things in the course of the following story. The first is thieves. The second is that walkie talkie function on some cell phones. The third is jackhammers. All three of these things successfully ruined my day today.

Today, it was rainy in New York City. It does that. It’s October. Instead of being depressed and sitting at home doing nothing, I decided to go out for a walk in the rain. I hadn’t done that in a long time, and it wasn’t that cold out according to the internet. So I put on a sweatshirt, left my umbrella at home intentionally, packed up my camera, and left for an afternoon of wandering around downtown in the rain. Sounds nice, right? I did enjoy myself and took some nice pictures of wet things. And who doesn’t like walking in the rain every so often?

After about an hour of walking around, taking pictures while taking shelter under various scaffolds and sculptures and awnings and trying not to get my camera wet, I was pretty much soaked, and there was a little too much splashback on my camera for my comfort. I turned the corner and saw a Starbucks. I though, hey, why don’t I go inside and get a hot drink and let myself and my camera dry out for a little while. I had brought a book for just such a whim. So I go inside. It was quite crowded; Starbucks is a popular place on a rainy Saturday afternoon. I order a chai and go wait by the pick up counter with a few other people. I like people watching, so as I was waiting, I casually looked around at everyone. I noted a middle-aged couple sitting at a table near the pick up counter, who had clearly been there for a while (this is important); there was a half-eaten scone in front of the woman, a drink in front of each, and some napkins and such scattered around. The two were just sitting and conversing. I passed over them in my perusal of the store; they weren’t very interesting. Yet.

The drink of the person who had ordered just before me came up. I could see the barista preparing my chai… he called it out and put it on the counter and I started to move forward to pick it up. Before I could even uncross my arms, someone swooped in from the side and picked up my drink. I was only mildly annoyed, thinking that it was someone who had just ordered the same drink (several people after me) and was being presumptive and ignorant and not realizing there was a queue of people waiting for drinks. I let it go and decided to wait for what was supposed to be her drink; it could only be another few minutes or so, right? I had time, I wasn’t in any hurry. After this thought process went through my head, I saw where she went after making off with my drink. Right back to her seat next to her husband and her half-eaten scone. The lady had apparently gotten up after I stopped glancing at them, moved to the other side of the pick up counter, and layed there in wait. When my drink came up, she stole it, right out from under my nose. Flat out STOLE my chai. She went back to her seat, started drinking MY chai, and looked at me with these big innocent eyes that would have fit perfectly in a five-year-old’s face. I waited a little for the second chai that I knew wasn’t coming, and then asked the barista for another. The lady sat there and stared at me the whole time. While I was waiting for my second drink to be made, I just seethed. Chai thieves. What evil lies in this city.

Well, I got my chai, finally, and dried out a little in the shop while reading. When I had finished and got up to resume my wandering, the couple had left. I went back out in the rain and kept wending my way through downtown. I eventually found the western waterfront on the Hudson that I had sort of set out for, and by that point it had stopped raining, so I stopped to take pictures in the emerging sunlight. As I was there, more and more people started coming out onto the nicely-landscaped waterfront path. I was enjoying the post-rainstorm quiet and clean feeling.

Then, I hear one of the sounds that I hate most. That beeping sound that comes from phones that have that walkie-talkie feature. You know, the harsh beep you hear before the other person starts talking, on speakerphone. There was a couple walking by (not the same couple that contained the chai thief), and the woman had a phone that she was using as a walkie talkie. I have never understood why people have normal conversations, walking down the street, on speakerphone. They’re practically yelling into the phone when they talk, and when the other person is speaking, it’s harshly distorted thanks to the crappy speakers on most phones. One, how can you possibly have a meaningful conversation on speakerphone in public? Two, it’s much easier to hear the other person when the phone is at your ear like normal; that’s what the phone’s speakers are made for. Plus, when on speakerphone, there’s this awful beeping sound between each person’s talking time. Is it a status thing? Do people think they look cool because they’re using speakerphone, thinking they seem official because their phone is making ridiculous ostentatious beeping sounds? This couple was a forty-something couple, dressed absolutely horribly; their clothing was about 10 years too young for them in style, they both had bad hair, the woman had obnoxious makeup and a loud handbag… My theory is they want to seem young by using the phone in such a manner… “ooh, look, I’m using a phone, look how young and hip I am. Oh, look at how much makeup I’m wearing, I must be at least 10 years younger than I actually am, maybe even 20 years. Look at my ridiculous boots and bag and my husband with a ponytail… and I’m gonna walk down the sidewalk and have a conversation on speakerphone with someone other than my husband and seem uber important to everyone who sees me. Damn, I am the epitome of cool.” Uh, no. You are annoying. Go dress your age and use a phone the normal way.

This couple seemed to be going exactly where I was walking down the waterfront, and always seemed to be there after I stopped to take pictures for a few minutes, being loud, both aurally and visually. Eventually they left, but my GOD were they bugging me.

I eventually made my way back to the financial district where I live. All the streets are one-way and narrow down there, and all the buildings are super-close; of course, any loud sound reverberates off buildings and carries to several blocks away in every direction, with no reduction in volume. At no fewer than six separate intersections, there was construction. At each site, there were many many construction machines. And at at least three of these sites, there were jackhammers.

Do you have any idea how loud jackhammers are? I’m sure you do. Now, imagine the sound of three different jackhammers, coming from three different directions, all reverberating throughout the entire downtown network of concrete canyons. It is DEAFENING. I live in the financial district. It’s weekend. I wanted it quiet so I could relax. Not happening. These same jackhammers have been happening all week, starting from about 9 AM… I work from home. Starting about 9 AM. Also, I was sick earlier this week, so I just wanted to sleep. But no. Jackhammers. For eight hours. Every day. They’re one of the reasons I left this afternoon, so I could get some peace and quiet. I sure hope they’re not back tomorrow (Sunday). That would be inhumane. If I’m awoken early Sunday morning to jackhammers, heads will roll.

And that is how my day was ruined. Three times.


That was vastly therapeutic.



4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

you seem to be very patient. once some hump stole my chai tea at starbucks my day would have been ruined. you drove on to have 2 more shit things happen to you before it ruined the day. well done.

Comment by krs

Perhaps this is the reason why I’m always “Wrath” in the Seven Deadly Sins things, but I would have walked up to the chai thief and forced her to spill it on herself. Then I would have taken her wallet to purchase a new chai. And tip the baristas.

Speakerphone/walkie talkie functions were probably the worst thing to ever be made popular by rappers. Even worse than most of the crap they drink.

Comment by Aaron

high five for awesome narrative. i felt like my day was ruined too. but not in a blame-y way. hm. i’m sort of incoherent at 5:22 in the morning, BUT just wanted to say: hot chai on a rainy day is heaven.

Comment by amanda

I would have been like “WTF” that was mine ha ha just crazy like that as for the walkie talkie guess people use that to save money on call cause there is no aditional fee but really with so many packages why would be so cheap that you don not what to pay for a call on you cell, really…. they need to get a life.
ps. talking on a walkie talkie phone is defenetly does not make you look cool.

Comment by Jacqui

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