Film and Television Rights: End-of-Summer-Funtime List 2003

During Summer especially, for relaxation and exercise I walk. Of course, I smoke while I walk, because the street is the only place I'm allowed to smoke, but honestly if I could smoke elsewhere I'd still smoke while walking, what I call smalking. I imagine I look cool and interesting, smalking along, projecting "I'm going places," which is sad and not true. Weirdly, I have a habit of holding my breath when I pass the tail-end of an idling bus, because I've heard the exhaust fumes can cause a spontaneous heart attack. So there I am, slogging down Broadway, trying to look like a cool unhealthy smalker, getting a little exercise and holding my breath behind buses. Such are the complexities and hypocrisies we live within.

Sometimes I walk from bar to bar. I always walk to the therapist, and I often walk home from my office which pays me to sit atop a giant photocopier. By the time I arrive home I've forgotten what I actually do to earn a living, another reason to walk.

I traveled little this summer, as per usual, with the exception of a brief family visit on my native soil. Nor do I have a weekend retreat, a time-share, or retiree relatives in Miami. But as I've intimated I live on the island of Manhattan, which is like everywhere else, only more of it. I see and hear things on my walks and write them down. In an effort to document my summer, Mr. Film & Television Rights has made a list.

Number of:
people with a baby carriage filled with cucumbers: 1
people passed out in a wheelchair with their head resting on a fire hydrant: 1
topless transgendered people: 1
spitting: 12 per day
bare midriffs: everyone
people with a baby carriage filled with mini-Scottish Terriers: 1
elderly women spitting: 4 per day
times approached for a cigarette while smalking: 4 per day
times I palmed my cigarette when I thought I might be approached: 6 per day
times I fell down: 0
times I dropped my wallet before I realized I had a hole in my pocket: 3
miles from office to home: 3.5
inadvertent butt-cleavage viewing: 4 per day
time it takes to walk home: 1 hour
time by train, door to door: 30-45 minutes
celebrity sightings: 24
celebrities I remembered their name: 1 (Kirsten Dunst)
sheer tops for the joy of it: 6 per day
segway human transporters: 5
I don't want to see your thong sightings: 731
cops on segway human transporters: 2
times I was mistaken for a celebrity: 2
times I was insulted after being mistaken for a celebrity: 1 (evidently celebrities can't hear what you say in front of them, but not being one, I can)
people alone talking loudly to angels or demons: 3 per day
people alone talking loudly to their dumbass friends: 12 per day
overheard conversations concerning apartments, neighborhoods, or restaurants: 40,000
sheer white pants: 40,000
female cops I smiled at on segway human transporters: 1
overheard conversations concerning politics: 3 per day
overheard conversations with angels or demons concerning politics: 3 per day
times I've stepped over urine: 3 a day
people looking at maps: 15 per day
mapless people who have stopped me for directions: 12
striped shirts: 100,000
striped shirts I've worn: 3
times I've stepped over urine while the person was urinating: 1
times I've accidentally given bad directions: 6
times my directions used the words "that way": 12
times I've urinated on myself: 99 (shooting for 100 by Labor Day)
arguments witnessed: 6
dead bodies seen: 1 (at the back entrance of a funeral home)
fights witnessed: 0
times heard someone yell to their phone "I had to tell someone I got an apartment": 3
times I heard someone say they saw Bjork and Matthew Barney at their favorite restaurant: 3
times I heard the word "jitney": 16
times I heard someone yell "I just won at trip to Iceland": 1

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