Lost luggage key
I was on a trip from Queens, where I was born and raised, to the Soviet Union in 1985. I was staying at the Intourist Hotel in Bukara when I realized I had lost my luggage keys.
I went to the lobby, hoping to find someone who spoke English and could help me. Somewhere in the polysemous voices of tourists, I discovered a New York accent.
I approached the group of people the voice was coming from, explained my dilemma, and asked if I could try their luggage keys to see if someone could work on my suitcase.
A woman pulls out a key that looks just right. It was. I opened my suitcase and then managed to give the key back to its owner. She insisted that I keep it.
Curious, I asked her what kind of luggage she had.
“I don’t know,” she said. “I sold it at Alexander’s.”
– Mary White
What song is that?
In the fall of 2014, I attended the exhibition “Nam June Paik: Becoming Robot” at the Asian Museum and Society.
It has been many years since there was a major exhibition of Paik’s work in New York, and I am a longtime George Washington artist of video art.
As I walked through the exhibition, I seemed to fall in the footsteps of a petite, well-dressed elderly woman.
At one point we were sitting on the couch watching a video and she asked me who the music provider was.
“It’s the Pet Shop Boys or the Thompson Twins,” I say. “I think it’s the Thompson Twins.”
A few weeks later, I saw a photo of the woman I was sitting with. That’s Joan Didion.
– Michael Gulachok
‘Gotta Get It Over’
I have been driving small moving trucks for many years. When one of the long-distance drivers where I work quit, my boss decided I should take his place to drive a giant tractor-trailer.
My first trip was unusual. On my second trip, I had two shipments to deliver: a household moving to New Jersey and a small office to 25th Street in Manhattan.
Arriving in the city, I crossed the George Washington Bridge and then down to Broadway. When I arrived at the address on 25th Street, I saw a crowded pier. Squeezing isn’t a problem for a veteran rider, but I’m a rookie.
After waiting a few minutes for another truck to arrive, I went back on my first try. Unfortunately, it was a parking lot for two trucks and I passed a bit of the mid lane.
“You have to get through it,” said the pier manager.
“Perhaps it will take me longer to get through it than to get my stuff out of the truck,” I pleaded.
“Not my problem, man,” he said. “Lots of other trucks. You have to get over it. ”
So I paced back and forth, trying to move the truck a few inches. The driver of a pickup truck waiting to get inside helped me block the way.
When I finally crossed the center line, I met the pickup truck driver at the pier.
“You just got out of truck driving school?” he asks.
“No,” I said. “This is a truck driving school.”
– Jack Clark
An old friend came to my house on the Upper West Side. As is his custom, he leaves his shoes outside my apartment door.
As he was about to leave, I opened the door and saw that the shoes were gone. We went back inside to look for them, thinking they must be there, but they weren’t.
I ran down the hallway, ringing the neighbor’s doorbell. No one has had visitors, and the missing shoes have never been seen. Unbelievable – someone stole my friend’s shoes.
A man who had just moved in at the end of the hallway saw me very distressed. He entered his apartment and came out with a pair of his own shoes.
“Let’s see if these fit,” he said.
– Marjorie is trapped
The Judge’s Question
I owned a dry cleaning factory in central Queens for 20 years. We have a retail store in the Bronx and a commercial van that carries clothes back and forth between the factory.
One day, when the truck needed servicing, the driver offered to put the clothes in his car to take to the Bronx. He was stopped on the Bronx River Parkway and fined for carrying commercial goods on a prohibited roadway.
When I arrived at Bronx Criminal Court on the day of my trial, I was given a number and asked to wait among all the others present to arbitrate their tickets.
Finally, I was called: “Mr. Roth, owner of UN Cleaners, step forward. ”
I explained the situation to the judge.
He thought for a moment.
“I just have one question,” he said.
“Why does just making one suit cost $8.99?”
– Edward Roth
Illustration by Agnes Lee
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/30/nyregion/metropolitan-diary.html ‘A woman pulls out a key that looks just right’