To escape the chill, we ducked into The Locomotion, a hot new ironic club that took its name ironically from the song The Locomotion, which, by virtue of being 54 years old, was no longer cool. But this place was cool. Did it have chairs? Fuck, no. It had milk crates, which had been turned into chairs. It was across the street from Tiffany’s, a popular breakfast house.
“Sweet tweets, man,” said Chip, referring to my Twitter page, which he had “mad respect” for. Those weren’t my words, those were his. I don’t say shit like that.
“Hey, it pays the bills,” I said, with a sip of bourbon. “Kids gotta eat.”
Famed director Woody Allen sat across from us, with an old Remington, pounding away at his latest screenplay: a farce set in Brussels.
“Hey, Wood-man, pass the salt!” I said.
“I... uhh... well... you know,” he said.
We both burst out laughing. We talked shop for a while, swapping anecdotes about heated auditions and pesky camera operators. Chip interjected a few crass jokes that greatly annoyed the Wood-man and me. We chuckled politely, though. Editors.
“Well let’s get down to business, then, Jason,” said Chip, as he ordered a tea. He was so corny. After a sip of some weird green shit, he popped open a briefcase, which contained sacks of money with dollar signs on them (See: McDuck, Scrooge). “How’d you like to come to The New Yorker?”
The waitress interrupted with a pot of black coffee. “More coffee, hon?” She had long fingernails. She also worked in the mailroom, answering phones. I don’t know why the phones were in the mail room. They just were.
As I took a drag of my cigarette, pondering Chip’s offer, Ross, Chandler, Joey, and the rest of the gang walked into The Locomotion with a flurry of well-articulated, colloquial banter. Central Perk had just closed, I learned, and they were very disappointed. They got lattes, though, and settled into some milk crates. Chandler had just gotten back together with Janice again. Oh, Chandler! Why would you do this?
“Would you like to meet Derek Jeter?” asked Chip. “He wants to meet you.”
Reluctantly, I took batting practice and shagged some flies with Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who was honestly a bit clingy. Still, Yankee Stadium was beautiful and it was a perfect day for a ballpark frank. Jeter adored my tweets, as well as my Facebook statuses, dating back to 2006 when I was an English major at The University of Akron.
“Before I even knew what a status was, you were doing them,” the wide-eyed Jeter said, spitting some sunflower seeds. One of them hit Roger Clemens. I think Roger Clemens is still on the Yankees. No, I’m thinking of David Cone. No, I’m thinking of the fat one, Orson Welles. It doesn’t matter. “Oh, and remember that one blog you wrote? About how you hated red lights?”
“You’re crampin mah shit, Jeter!” I yelled, and Chip and I snagged a quick cab and headed to my new brownstone, which I would get if I signed on to the New Yorker staff. Outside my brownstone, a man waited for a girl with flowers, a hopeful look in his eyes. When the girl came out, it began to lightly rain, and he told her he loved her as he opened an umbrella for them to share. I love romance, don’t you? It was Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, by the way.
The next stop was Wall Street. You may have heard of Octopi Wall Street, which turned out to be just what it sounded like. I petted the firm beak of Samuel, a fiesty old mollusc from a little corner of the world that you and I call the Pacific... but Samuel just calls it home.
As we dined in their eatery, the current mayor, Rudy Guiliani, stepped in, with his Notre Dame jacket. Everywhere he went, people shouted, “Rudy! Rudy!” At first he didn’t recognize me, but Chip whispered in his ear, and then Guiliani waved me over to his booth. He told me how no one thought he’d hack it at college ball, but then a bunch of shit happened and everyone was all, “Rudy plays or I don’t,” and they let him play one down or something. I don’t really remember the story.
As we rode the Staten Island Ferry, who did I see, but fucking Jeter again! He was stalking me, but he totally acted like this was a coincidence. “I’m sorry,” he said, “but look, man, your Twitter is just so rad.” Rad? “Can I have your autograph?” He handed me his mitt, which I signed.
We headed next to Ground Zero, but its name made me really thirsty for a Coke Zero, so we didn’t stay very long at all. There were no vending machines at Ground Zero, which to me was like stacking one tragedy right on top of another.
As we enjoyed a ride on the subway, it dawned on me that it would be a very funny gag to pretend to be a Midwesterner who was mistaking the New York Subway for Subway, the restaurant. So I asked a bunch of people where Jared was, and even asked one homeless fellow to make me a six-inch Meatball Marinara on wheat. He shouted that only queers eat wheat and shit himself.
As we rode back to my luxury suite at The Plaza Hotel, I knew it was time to make a decision.
“All this glamour,” I said. “All this glitz. New York really is something. But... there’s just something about home. There’s just something about Youngstown, Ohio.”
Chip nodded. “I guess you’ll be leaving now, huh?” I nodded slowly.
As his taxi drove away, I waved goodbye to Chip. What a gentleman. A giant ape (King Kong?) grabbed his taxi and ate it. He was dead within the week.