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And So the Death March Ended…


September was National Go Out of Town on Consecutive Trips Until Your Children Forget What You Look Like Month, and I AM ashamed for abandoning my kids, my husband, my dog, the cat I like (but not the other cat), my reasonable eating plan, my sobriety, my hope in mankind and, yes, YOU, oh my best beloveds, (especially kitty) for so long…Maybe not LIZARD ashamed. But CONE ashamed, at least. I am now back from the final trip—to New York City—and DONE with travel for several weeks. I hope I am done with back to back death marchy evil travel for several years. In definitely related news….I am NOT done writing the book. HEH.

I saw the weirdest thing I have ever in my life seen in NYC, I just can’t decide which weird thing it was that is winning weirdest.

Contender 1: A very tall man in a uniform got on the subway. The uniform was solid black, with piping on the pants and HUGE shoulder-y gold epaulets. It had horizontal zippers on the chest, three on each side. The middle zippers appeared to be directly over his nipples. He was not soliciting or performing or asking for money. As he entered out car he yelled, “THE KING IS ENTERING THE SUBWAY CAR! ATTENTION PLEASE! THE KING IS ENTERING.”

Then he planted his feet wide apart and lifted his arms up, lofting a small cassette recorder over his head. He pressed play, and the theme from Star Wars poured out (Do do do DOOO! DOOO! Dadada DAAAAA da!) as he held this foot-planty-arms-up position. Then he shut the music off and stood at military attention. Three stops later, he repeated this in reverse: The lofting, the music, the announcement (THE KING IS LEAVING THE SUBWAY CAR! ATTENTION…). I have no idea if HE was the King or if he was just the King Announcer and one of the unprepossessing non-uniformed drones who got on with him was the King. Or perhaps the King was invisible. Or perhaps the king was the mouse in his pocket…

Contender 2: In Penn Station a woman was dragging around a chubby Chihuahua on a leash. The dog was wearing butt-less denim chaps and a service dog vest. It looked like a REAL service dog vest, but Chihuahua sized. The “service” dog began pooping out the back of its butt-less denim chaps, and the owner dragged it as it pooped, its little back legs bowed and skidding across the tile floor of the TRAIN STATION, which was in no way anything like being outside. It was a tile floor. In a building. Full of commuters.

Halfway through the process, the frowsty haired owner noticed, paused, and bent over the dog as the dog CONTINUED to do its business, saying in VERY LOUD CHEERY BABY TALK, “Is you poopin’? Is you? Is you POOPIN??? But you has JUST poop! Is you poopin’ AGAIN?”
I go back and forth on this…What is weirder?

ANYWAY, I have two things. One is, MUCHOS Flip Phone footage to edit, and the other is, winners. I did the drawing while Sara was in town.
If you are any of the people below, send your snail addy to Joshilyn at symbol Joshilyn Jackson dot com…I have your beautiful copies of beautiful APE HOUSE signed and personalized and ready to go!

Rikki, September 23rd, 2010 at 11:42 am: I would love for her to sign it :
For Rikki, who will hopefully shave her legs so she no longer resembles Lola. All the best, Sara Gruen.

Leigh, September 21st, 2010 at 7:58 pm: to Leigh, who takes a book wherever she goes, and read Water for Elephants WAY before everyone else knew it was great, Sara Gruen

Renee Ryan, September 21st, 2010 at 10:14 am: I really enjoyed Water for Elephants and hope to win this copy. She’s an excellent writer.

22 comments to And So the Death March Ended…

  • Beth R

    I would say THE KING FOR THE WIN!! The lady was just nasty. He was fun, if crazy.

    Welcome home… now finish that durn book 🙂

  • The King gets my vote for weirdness, but I like his style. The lady with the poor dog is just nasty…and abusive to animals (not to mention commuters with poop on their shoes). Ick.

  • jeanette

    The King is definitely the best. Weirdo lady baby talking to her icky pooping dog is just gross. A King (or a King’s assistant) with his own music and one of a kind suit with nipple zippers is a winner every time. I have never wanted to go to NYC until now!

  • I also vote for the King. Unfortunately, clueless, oblivious, inconsiderate, gross people are not, in my opinion at least, weird. Though she’s a winner in her category, isn’t she?

  • The second part just sounds more like animal cruelty 🙁

  • Wow really? Animal cruelty? Because he was in clothes? Is dressing a dog cruel? I can’t blame her for dragging him–as soon as she noticed he was pooping she STOPPED. I have done the same thing with Bagel, been busy talking or looking and not notiuced he was POOPING NOW THANX, just I noticed faster because he weighs 60 pounds and when he STOPS there is no dragging, there is only me stoppingm, too.

    TO be clear, she was not CRUELLY dragging him, just….he started pooping and she didn’t notice for a few seconds. The dog only weighs, what? about as much as a can of coke? … The weird part, to me, was that she then acted like that was SO NORMAL to poop in a train station, and be all, encouraging and cheery about it. OR EVEN TO TALK TO YOUR DOG WHO IS SPOOPING. When MY dog poops (outdoors, natch) I look away and accord him privacy, then clean up. He and I do not DISCUSS it.

    And to have her Chihuahua dressed up as a service dog—-was that to get him ON THE TRAIN? WHo would BELIEVE that? AND WHY WAS HE IN PANTS?

  • Oh, honey. You are from somewhere rural, aren’t you? These things are *commonplace* here in Philly.

  • For the record, that doesn’t make them any less weird, but you know, you just stop noticing after a while.

  • Aimee

    Boy, it really is a toss-up, isn’t it? On the one hand, I love the king’s (or herald?) style, but something about the poop dialogue just made me laugh out loud.

  • Kitty

    See, this is why I miss you when you’re gone. Entertaining stories about self-proclaimed royalty (the clear winner, by the way) and poopy dogs in places where poopy dogs should not be. Welcome back!

  • Tequila Cookie Chris

    Just a FYI for those in the Atlanta area, Ms. Sara will be interviewed tonight on Between the Lines on WABE.

  • Jennifer in NC

    See, this is why those of us who live in less urban areas must visit places like NYC. I’m still looking for an explanation of the “silver man” I saw in San Francisco a few years ago. Head-to-toe silver; shiny silver clothes and shiny silver body paint. He was also blasting his own personal stereo system … Coincidence, or cohort of the King???

    My vote is cast for the KING!

  • Jujube

    As I started to read the comments, I began to feel very uncomfortable. Until I got to Joshilyn’s. And then I realized my first gut reaction to the lady being the weirder contender wasn’t some horrible misinterpretation of the facts. Whew. Actually, I probably shouldn’t think that it’s that weird since my sister IS JUST LIKE THAT, but whatever.

  • Jennifer NC – I’ve been looking for that silver guy explanation since 1997. The were walking up the Rice a Roni trail beside the streetcar.

  • I vote for the KING…without guys like that, it would be a pretty dull world. The chick with the chihuahua – not so much. I can live without knowing the bowel habits of all people and most dogs. (except my own – who strangely enough, tells ME when it’s time to visit the ivy beside the house.)

  • Jess’s comment made me laugh. . .”You’re from somewhere rural aren’t you?” Not quite RURAL (as you have told us that Applebees invaded the goat pasture or something). . .but at least (by the GRACE OF GOD ALMIGHTY) it IS somewhere Southern. 🙂 Glad you are back and blogging and writing books and averting your eyes while Bagel “has a moment.” I missed ya.

  • I like the guy in the uniform. I vote for the dog as weird. A dog in butt-less jeans. It worries me. LOL

  • Michelle-who-is-Shelley

    The bigger question is : How did the cab ride go?

  • jeanette

    You ask why was the dog in pants? Well, I’ll tell you. Dogs wear sweaters and pants and occassionally a tuxedo or a fancy gown bacause CATS are too smart to let humans do these things to them. Now before you begin to argue and present your case by reminding me of the picture above…………I feel 100% sure that the above photographed cat WILL poop in someone’s shoe before the week is up!

  • Bernice G

    Well, now I REALLY have something to look forward to – as I am going to NYC for the 1st time this wknd. I fervently hope to see the above 2 weirdnesses. And maybe witness a couple of my own to report back on.

  • Les in AZ

    The King – remember that song, “people are strange” yep – they sure are. I am bummed that I did not win the book *sigh* alas – I had the best dedication 🙂