Spilt Milk

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February 2013
It’s a busy opening night and I’m in the lobby herding the animals (customers).

LADY: “Hey You!”

Obviously I’m the “you” that the demon (customer) is referring to. I turn around to face the demon (customer).

ME: “Hi, how can I help you?”
LADY: “You can start by wiping that grin off your face!”

At that moment, I wonder if shoving my head in the popper will get me workers comp. Surely the third degree burns and singed flesh is better than the encounter I’m about to have.

ME: “What can I help you with?”
I make sure to suppress any hint of a kind smile.

She sits there, her eyes burning a hole into my flesh. She says nothing, just slowly tilts her head down and stares at her brown suede moccasins. I call them moccasins because it’s the closest word I can think of to sort of describe the abysmal contraptions on her feet.
I don’t speak “angry silent glare” so I look at her quizzically.

LADY: “Well look what you did!” She points to her shoes.
ME: (confused) “I’m sorry ma’am. I don’t understand. What happened?”
LADY: “ARE YOU BLIND?! My shoes are ruined! You’ve ruined my shoes!”

Relief floods over me. Thank God, she didn’t buy them this ugly.

ME: “What happened?”
LADY: “I’ll tell ya what happened!” (She slams her tub of popcorn into my chest.) “You put butter on this popcorn and when I went to sit down on your LOW seats, I fell too quickly and spilled popcorn all over my shoes!”
ME: “Did you not want butter on the popcorn?”
LADY: “YES! Of course I wanted butter on the popcorn but NOT on my shoes!”
ME: “So you spilled popcorn on your shoes? Did you trip on something on the floor?”
LADY: “No. I didn’t trip. While I sat down the bucket tipped. Your seats are much too low. I doubt they’re up to code.”

I make a mental note to have the chair inspector come in tomorrow to measure the distance from floor to seat to make sure we are indeed, “up to code.” I look down again at her shoes. The shoes look soaked.

ME: “That’s butter on your shoes?”
LADY: “No I put water on them to clean off the butter. They’re not supposed to get wet. Now they’re ruined!”

Confused are you? Yes, well let’s recap what we’ve learned so far shall we?

This dumb biddy ordered a tub of popcorn with butter, paid for a tub of popcorn with butter and was handed a tub of popcorn with butter. She then proceeded to walk into her theatre, tripping/slipping on nothing but while going to sit, she spills her popcorn on her ugly shoes. She then proceeds to walk into the bathroom with her shoes that “can’t get wet” and soaks them in water. After water-logging those puppies, she finds me and here we are. Knowing that none of this is possibly the theatre’s fault, I act oblivious to the whole situation. She doesn’t like that. Not. One. Bit.

ME: “Oh Ok. Sorry to hear that. I can refill this for you now and we’ll get an usher into your theatre to clean up all the popcorn you spilled on the floor. Which theatre were you in?”
LADY: “I DO NOT WANT A REFILL! YOU NEED TO PAY FOR MY SHOOOOES!!!!”
ME: “Huh?”
LADY: “My shoes are ruined! Get behind that counter. Open up the register and give me the $145 I paid for these shoes!!!”

Now to this day I still can’t decide which part of this story is more ridiculous. The fact that this lady wanted me to pay for the shoes she spilt popcorn on and then “ruined” with water, or the fact that she paid $145 for burlap sacks shaped as slippers.

ME: “I can’t take $145 out of the register to give you.”
LADY: “Well you get paid to work here right?”
ME: I nod yes. I’ll entertain her. I’m curious to see how far she’ll take this.
LADY: “Well then you’ll have to give me the $145! Somebody is paying for my shoes!”

#LOL

ME: “Ma’am. I can’t replace the shoes you ruined with butter and water.”
HER: “But YOU put butter on the popcorn!”
ME: “Which you asked for.”
HER: “But not on my shoes!”
ME: “I can refill the tub for you but I’m not going into the register, or my wallet, to give you $145 for shoes you ruined.”
HER: “Well then, lucky for me my husband’s best friends with the police commissioner. You’ll be hearing from me soon.”

She just sits there staring at me.

ME: “Is there anything else I can help you with?”
HER: “Ya. Refill my fuckin’ popcorn.”

I take a deep breath in, my hands shaking as the adrenaline courses through my veins. I walk back to concession and refill the popcorn and place it on the counter in front of her.

HER: “You forgot the butter.”

I don’t remember what happened next because my brain exploded. It took weeks for the concessionists to scrape my cerebral cortex off the counters.

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A Carousel From HELL

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Fear. It’s a small word, just 4 letters, but it encompasses so much. The word itself brings with it an uneasy feeling that everyone knows and recognizes immediately. We all have fears and sometimes just talking about them can be a very scary and intimate thing. But I aim for transparency with this blog so I’m going to share with you mine. Deep breath, here we go.

I’m fine with heights. The bigger and faster the roller coaster the better, I’ve even jumped out of an airplane once (kind of over-rated, I was expecting more). I’m told “young people” think they’re invincible and nothing can touch them. I guess I have a little bit of this sentiment when I walk down a dark alley or drive in a snowstorm. “U can’t touch this”.

But today I witnessed one of my worst fears unfold right before my very eyes.

I commute into Manhattan everyday during rush hour. The hustle and bustle of the city was glamorous and exciting during the first few months, but it’s quickly lost it’s magic. The music coming out of my headphones and the route to my destination are all that I am paying attention to…until today.

If you’ve been to Manhattan, and I’m sure any other big city, you’ve seen revolving doors. They’re a very common sight on pretty much every building. Now being a Westchester gal, I thought these kinds of doors were just for fancy hotels and movies. We have regular ol’ doors that you push/pull round these parts or the automatic sliding ones. Revolving doors? No, pish posh.

But Marge ain’t in Westchester no’ mo’ This is the big city, a place for big city livin’ and big city revolvin’ doors.

Now before this is seen as an attack article against revolving doors, I want to make it very clear that I personally have nothing against said revolving doors. They’re great; very handy. You don’t have to sit there holding the door open for people and suffer through those “in-between” moments where somebody is kinda far behind you but kinda not and you’re not sure if you’re obligated to stand there holding the door and wait for them or if you can just keep trucking along, pretending you didn’t see them.

With revolving doors, all your problems are solved! You just zip right in there and just as fast as you went in, you’re out. You’ve broken the barrier to the inside…or outside depending on which way you’re going, and you’re free to keep on trekking along your merry way without missing a beat. That’s what New Yorkers see.

However when I see these potential death traps the only things that go through my mind are those of horror. What if it gets jammed somehow and stuck? Crazier things have happened. Now you’re enclosed in this little tiny case with no room to move your arms or legs. Even if you can survive the overwhelming claustrophobia there’s no telling how long you’ll be stuck in there. A girl could starve to death in there waiting for a hero to come free her from the glass jail.

But the speed of their rotation is the real terror. It’s like a carasoul ride from hell (#namedrop). Some of these suckers top out at speeds of at least 100 mph if I had to guess. You walk up to one and it’s whippin’ around so fast, all you see is a big blur as your hair moves with the breeze the force of the spin is creating. You take a breath and hop in, your heart palpitating as you spin around that puppy and out. Phew, made it. Another game of Russian Roulette won.

You may say this fear is completely ludicrous and irrational, but today I saw first hand that I am in fact, fully validated in my fears.

I’m walking behind Mr. Businessman on the sidewalk. It’s just a regular morning. I’ve got the soundtrack to “Mamma Mia” in my ear and the sun is shining. All in all, it’s shaping up to be a pretty OK day. He turns right to enter my building. The revolving door is in front of him but it’s moving faster than usual. It’s got a little extra pep in its step today and Mr. Businessman isn’t factoring that into his plans.

I see him take that little run hop that I know means he’s gonna go for it. There’s nothing stopping him. The guy must think he’s invincible, there’s no way he’s gonna make it.

You know how when people describe near death experiences and they say the world just moved in slow motion. Well, I can now say, I know exactly what they mean. Everything slowed to a glacial pace. No sound. I look to my left; nobody is paying attention. I look to my right, it’s a brick wall…no help there.

The man is just inches away now. I open my mouth to scream, to warn him, to do something! But… it’s too late.

Mr. Businessman squeezes half of his body into the door…the other half isn’t so lucky. He’s SLAMMED into the beam. His glasses knocked off his face as his head hits the glass of the door. A single drop of blood falls from his forehead and he looks at me with pain in his eyes. The world is quiet. Surely this man has suffered permanent brain damage. His arm must have been chopped off, being held in only by the tied cuffs at the wrists of his shirt. He’s probably having a hard time breathing with the cracked ribs and the lung he just undoubtedly collapsed. But this guy’s a trooper…some may even say a hero.

Like any true New Yorker, he composes himself immediately. He swiftly picks up his glasses and gets in  the door, walking briskly around to the other side. He disappears into the building, and just as fast as it all happened…it was all over. I look around. Nobody has noticed a thing. I’m left there all by myself on the sidewalk; forced to replay over and over again what I just witnessed.

Mr. Businessman might have been able to shake off what happened in an instant. But I certainly wouldn’t.

And to be honest with you guys…I don’t know if I ever will.

I welcome you all to share your fears, whether about doors or not. Talking about them can help you conquer some of your demons. Don’t be shy. Let’s heal together.