Friday, August 12, 2011
CSB is generally considered a good-natured and equable soul, with one exception: all equanimity flees when he finds himself a passenger in a car stopped at a red light that one might have driven through, had one sped up in proper time. Hence, when I am driving, his mantra at the approach of every light, regardless of its color, is “try to make that light.” Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. I cannot manage to get worked up about it.
So in the interest of family harmony and CSB’s blood pressure, when we go into NYC and especially if time is a factor, he drives. And I take Bonine. That way he goes as fast as he wants and if he misses a light I say nothing. I do however harp on one thing: 2 hands on the wheel. You might say that I feel as strongly about two-hands-on-the-wheel as he does about making-the-light. I am convinced that the car swerves less and therefore I get carsick less if CSB drives with 2 hands. I know this. It is a fact.
This morning we headed down to the bottom tip of Manhattan for our 10 a.m. hearing with the Board of Sanitation, Bureau of Vector Control, regarding a ticket citing us for not having proper water buckets for the beehives on two of our rooftop apiaries. We left early because our friend Doug had told us the appointment times were meaningless and it was first come, first served.(FIFO) Doug has experience with the B of San in NYC because he owns a house on 104th street, and he is required to clear the litter from the sidewalk in front of his house and two feet into the street, which he does with alacrity, but it is entirely possible that immediately after he removes litter, someone else comes along and deposits more litter. In fact it is more than likely, it is guaranteed. Hence his experience with the B of San.
Our first stop was Duncan Donuts. CSB is a devotee of DD coffee. Without fail, every time he returns from a foray into DD he asks me, “Do we have stock in Duncan Donuts? If not, I think we should.” I invariably ignore this comment. (Do we have stocks? Do stocks even exist anymore?)
Then we drove into Manhattan, that is to say, CSB drove with one hand and with his other hand he drank his coffee and ate his bagel with a fried egg. (The less I say about the deplorable fact that CSB is willing to eat an egg not laid by our own hens, the better it is for family harmony. But I say it nonetheless, because what is harmony when held against the merits of fresh eggs?) I programmed the GPS to direct us to John Street; then I turned off the GPS voice (Female, American) because she was saying the obvious.
First there was the gorgeous biker-lady clad in leather armor.
CSB: Is that a woman?
Me (checking out the motorcyclist whipping past us): Must be. Wasp waist. Long braid.
CSB: The braid does not clinch it. As you know. (He is referring to my aversion to men over 30 with ponytails.)
Me: But that outfit. Nothing androgynous about it. Does Jean Paul Gaultier do biker gear?
CSB (pulling up alongside bike lady to better admire the curves): Who?
Me: Watch the road! I'm in charge of fashion here.
CSB: That must be a European bike.
By the time we approached the Upper West Side, CSB had finished his bagel and non-fresh fried egg, and that was a good thing because had he been eating, driving with one hand, and rubber necking at the flotilla of standing paddlers on the Hudson, I might have had to say some strong words. Maybe I did.
CSB: Those kayakers are standing up.
Me: What kayakers? Oh those guys. Those aren’t kayaks.
CSB: Can you read what it says on those banners?
Me: No! Please! Watch the road. Or pull over and let me drive and you can watch the standing paddlers.
CSB: Those boards must have heavy keels.
Me: I’ll watch the boards. You drive!!
CSB: I find it outrageous that you want me to watch the road when you always sightsee while you are driving.
Me: That is totally untrue. I only sightsee straight ahead.
We never figured out what was written on the banners flying from the escort boats.
We had no idea why the surfers or kayakers were standing up while paddling up the Hudson.
We arrived at 9 a.m. for our 10 a.m. hearing. At 9:05 we were informed that both citations had been withdrawn.We were free to go. Then we delivered honey to Murray’s on Bleeker Street and I bought a very expensive baguette and a slab of comté cheese.
On our way home, there were no more standing paddlers to be seen from the West Side Highway. Every last one of them must have made it under the George Washington Bridge by then.
The sport - which looks as silly as it sounds - is also called River Walking or Stand Up Paddle Surfing.