Me and Top Cat, we’re an old married couple. In that we’re old and we’re married: we tied the knot in Las Vegas five years ago after dating for a year. We were so much in love that it only took an hour to hash out the pre-nup. And ever since that magical moment when the Elvis impersonator pronounced us Husband and Wife, we’ve learned that there’s a lot about each other that we can’t stand.
He can’t stand that I love reality TV, especially the ones with “housewives” or “runway” in the title. I can’t stand it when he slices vegetables directly on the kitchen counter when we have a perfectly good cutting board and the counter is where the cats traipse to and fro tracking god knows what and even when it looks clean it’s probably loaded with microbes etc and if I die from some cat-carried gut-liquefying disease or if I get worms it will be his fault.
But aside from what we can’t stand about each other, we’re still very much in love. And that gets boring. So I decided to test his love for me by playing a game last Thursday night when I went to pick him up at the airport, a game I call “I’ll Put 45 Miles On The Car Driving In Circles At JFK While You Try To Call Me On The Cell Phone That I Left At Home To Tell Me That You’ve Been Waiting At Terminal Two For Hours Already”.
They way we play this game is that I zip around the busy yet strangely barren concrete maze of John F. Kennedy Airport in Queens, New York while James waits until he’s the last soul still standing on the Delta curbside from Flight 84 ( 9 o’clock arrival) from Los Angeles. And then I continue to take the car for a spin around the desolated cargo access ways that lead to and from Delta Terminal One until I realize there’s also a Delta TERMINAL TWO and I frantically haul ass to Terminal Two just minutes after James has realized that I am probably looking for him at Delta Terminal One and he drags his luggage over barricades and down ramps towards the sickly neon light of Delta Terminal One, only to stand lone sentry there for twenty minutes while Security locks the doors and rolls up the welcome mats. Rewind, repeat, until one of us starts to laugh hysterically and the other has to figure out how the “AirTrain” to Long Island works.
What high jinks!
Oh, you can imagine the good will that in our house when the taxi rolled up deposited James on the doorstep sometime after midnight and James staggered upstairs to bed.
And can you picture the laughs we had when sat down the next night, Friday night, in the bar of Chinese restaurant off Exit 37 of the Long Island Expressway and discussed the new rules of our airport-pickup procedure? Can you?
And then, amends made, we discussed to what extent fried noodles and duck sauce were acceptable accompaniments to cocktails.
“But really”, I said, getting back to straightening out things in our marriage that need straightening out, “You have to stop cutting up vegetables on the kitchen counter.”
And a woman standing off to the side of the bar area, eavesdropping while waiting for her take-out order, listened while two people (seemingly nice people, she drinking a Manhattan and he drinking a Chinese beer) had an in-depth discussion about whether or not fried noodles resemble ingestible parasites and how much does duck sauce looks like liquefied human guts.
“Jesus,” she said to herself as she collected her broccoli in garlic sauce, “These Long Island people give me the creeps.”
Tomorrow: a visit to Tabora Farms, a country store in the wilds of Pennsylvania.
On second thought, never mind. I have a whole new concept to tell you about tomorrow. Something that’s been on my mind for a while. Meet me here at 0700 October 28.