New York 2 and 8

N.B Wooing (pron. WOO-wing) = Weeing and Pooing simultaneously, from the verb ‘to woo’ as in ‘I’m going to woo’.  sim. A Woo as in ‘I’ve just done a woo’.  Also, woo’d as in ‘I just woo’d myself’ (not to be confused with the word wood, which when used in such examples of wordery, makes no sense whatsoever).

Ok, so we leave Canada, it’s the 17th of December and I’m driving to the border of Canadia and the United States of America, which is about an hour and a half away.  And as previously explained, we have no car insurance due to it being too extortionately expensive in Canada.  We do however have insurance for the States, which was cheaper for the year than the Canadian one was for a month.  Which is mad considering we were in a country of 35 million people but a hundred jajillion square acres of unoccupied road compared to one of 260 million and the worlds car-est country with the highest crime rate and with me having the easiest car to break into since Fred Flintstones’.  But hey, Canadia is the country 1984 was based on so go figure.

Now, I’ve been driving on and off since 1995 and as all fellow manbeings on this wonderful planetoid believe, I think I’m pretty ace at it.  More ace than any of you and maybe even acer than Nigel Mansell, I just haven’t got as much hair on my ‘tache as he has, which definitely gives him a small advantage.  Although, I bet that if we both had fiat 126’s, I could ‘ave him ‘round Dartford one-way system any day of the week, even with an shy eagle on a date beside me.  But there’s something that takes over your mind when your driving illegally and it turns you into Mr. Bean having an epi.  I don’t know why, I just get all introverted and shy of my own hands.  Must be something to do with my strict Islamic upbringing.  And so I’m driving from the farm to the border and as I got so much trouble getting into the states the last time, I’m thinking it wouldn’t look so good if they asked to see my Canadian insurance and I produce a note from a mum.  Not even mine, someone else’s.  With someone else’s name on it.  Saying they cant do P.E cos they have a figure skating exam coming up and they don’t wanna get a hockey stick to the knee from Drew Blake massively well ‘ard an’ that cos OH MY GOD that was the single most painful thing EVER!!  So, I’m partly wooing my pants at that and partly wooing them at the fact that if I get pulled over, which is highly probable considering my ridiculous dress sense, I’m gonna get arrested and deported and told off.  And that’d be the end of my travels and I’d have to tell you this stuff instead of write it and you’d probably walk off just about ……… now, before the good bits bit.  I digress I digress I digress.

So, I’m driving like a pale moron, all over the shop, on the way to the border and I have a moustache.  A massive hairy moustache.  Look.

See?  And I have this cos Larry the Farmer reckons that having a beard, as I did last time I tried to get into the states and for the subsequent 12 years previous to that, will make the customs guy hate me harder than having a moustache will.  And being a man who knows A LOT, I listened to him.  And so we make it to the border crossing near Kingston, which I have since learned from another knower has the meanest customs guys of any U.S/Canada border crossing.  And yes, instead of letting us pass through, we have to pull over, surrender our arsenal of chutneys and other farm preserves to the ‘searchers’ and answer questions of extraordinary difficulty second only to those seen on the first stages of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.  But here’s the thing.  As I walk into the customs office and take a look at the mean bastards standing behind their desks, guess what they’re all armed with?  Massive moustaches, just like mine!!!!!  Lord above, Larry was spot on!!  Though I have to say, the good lady to my side did all the talking and if it wasn’t for her amazing memory that recalled the date of birth of all those people we were to cross paths with in the U.S, I’m not sure we woulda made it.  But in less than an hour, we were through the terrifying ordeal and with insurance up to our frontal lobes, on our way to Chris Blisstopherson and Marjorie Daws in Ithaca, New York State!!

Now, a little about our upcoming hosts if you’ll permit.  I met Chris and Marjorie whilst WWOOFing in the Heirault region of France, Spring 2009.  Chris told me the funniest and at the same time most harrowing story of shiteing ones own loins that I have and probably ever shall hear.  And Marjorie, who is a total hotty, was an expert on poisonous spiders, evolutionary biology and stories of Chris shiteing himself (as was later to be proved when it happened to him again at Carcassonne train station, although in all fairness I nearly did exactly the same at the exact same station and for the exact same reason, due to a teasingly out-of-order public portaloo).   Chris and Marjorie are both massive clever clogs, in fact Marjorie is an award winning oral projector of things animally and studies at Cornell, one of the 8 Ivy League Uni’s in America-ca-CAR and Chris is just well brainy.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever felt such clever kinship with other people, ever!!!   Seriously though, they’re well clever…

Anyhoo, we rock up, through the arctic conditions, to Chris and Marjorie’s humble abode, ready to experience our first adventures in the Land of the Free (ironic harrumph following ironic harrumph).  And boy o’ boy did they not disappoint.  No sooner had we kissed cheeks and swapped warm, loving smiles than we were dished up a deeeeelicious homemade little reminder of home, in the form of a pie.  But this wasn’t any old pie (although that begs the question, what is any old pie?).  Oh no, this was a tasty meat and vegetable pie that was just like home ‘in a pie’ accumulated on a plate by the hands of the expert cooker himself, Christopher Blisstopherson……. himself……

All pies aside, it was a good pie.

That evening, our superb friends had a party to go to and we were invited.  Which was nice.  Because had we not been invited I would probably have felt that they didn’t like us.  And that wouldn’t have made for a nice stay.  But partying we right well went.  Now, I’m not sure if you have heard of a white elephant party so I’m gonna quickly explain it.  You go to a party with a present, wrapped up all nice ‘n fancy, put it in a corner, then mingle an’ that.  Then later, a master of ceremonies asks you to pick a number out of a hat, a bit like a cat in a hat, and upon the calling of your number you get to open a pressie from the pile that’s been sitting all alone in the corner (if a corner has been designated for the presents that is, otherwise you may take one from wherever a pile has manifested).  Ok, this is where it gets even more interesting, more interesting even then opening a present from a mysterious person.  When its your turn to pick a pressie from the pile and remember, this pile can have accumulated in any given place, you can either choose to pick a pressie or ‘STEAL’ an already assigned pressie from the pressie assignee…er…ed.   And even more interesting than that, and may I add, used to is utmost potential by yours truly, the same stolen pressie can then be stolen up to two more times by subsequent pressie openers.  Of course, it wouldn’t have been de rigeur to have turned up to such a party pressie-less and so I rummaged around my new wheelyhouse and found not one but TWO pressies for the party and even some old toilet paper to wrap them in (one pressie was a rubber finger zombie that I bought for Steven H Taylor for his birthday but later realised to send such a tiny thing from Canadia would have cost me $27, yet another example of the fascist state that is Toronto, and the other, a key-ring with Canada printed on it).  Oh, I forgot to mention in a previous blog that whilst in Toronto I went to Muskoka Lakes with my friend Nicky B to tha M and her WONDERFUL parents and had a lovely time and I cant believe I forgot to mention it and also I hope she doesn’t think I’m ungrateful for not mentioning it cos it was a lovely weekend away and I was privileged to be invited.

So I take the crap presents to the party, wrapped in old woo paper, one from me and one from ‘er, along with Chris Blisstopherson and Marjorie Daws and their magic presents, place them in the assigned pressie placing place and start to mingle.  Not before too long, the real reason we are there (not to talk and learn and love but to get FREE PRESSIES!!!) gets underway.  And as usual in these scenarios, I draw a high number and so am to pick from the designated pressie placed place after most others (sob sob).  Now for some reason, my EXTREMELY friendly female companion spots a pressie that has already been opened and therefore belonging to someone else, in the shape of a ‘Onesie’ (see http://www.???)  I don’t get it.  I just don’t get it.  But, girls being girls, she has set her heart upon it and so who am I to stand in the way of a woman and her REALLY RATHER RANCID ONESIE.  SO, onesie is stolen and may I also just add here that sometimes when a pressie is opened and the openee is very happy with pressie but then said pressie gets stolen, legally may I remind you due to the rules of the soiree, much catiness and even immediate hatred may take place.  So, onesie has been acquired and some smiles and much disappointment (from the original pressie recipient) ensue.  We move on, I steal a dashboard Jesus, I’m immediately hated and post game, completely illegally, dashboard Jesus is stolen back only to be returned after a quick summation of the ten commandments and some harsh words from a local man of the clergy.  However, just before the end of the White Elephant part of the party, a man, with the cunning of a rainbow trout, steals the onesie and OH MY LORDETH, the hells open, fury and scorn escape and the present occupier of the onesie curses the day the thief was ever born.  I have never seen such devastating disappointment from someone over such a crap item of clothing in all of my days, and that includes any days of past lives lived, although I don’t remember any of those lives, but if I did, yada yada yada.  Honestly, I thought a fight was to be had and when the stealer proclaimed that he was going to use the prized item as overalls for fixing his car engine, well, you may as well have called the authorities right there cos blood was about to be forced out of one person by the purest evil of another.  ‘Oh No’, I hear you say through watery eyes, ‘How can a party end on such a note of disappointment for somebody’?  Au contraire, readers, for there is a twist in this most riveting of tales!!!

Unbeknown to yours truly, this was also a party with a theme that not many had taken seriously.  But I just so happened to accidently be taking this theme seriously.  And although I am slightly embarrassed to relieve myself of this secret, for the sake of an end to this now rather monotonous saga, I will quell the rumours and state that this was also a ‘Bad Jumper’ party.  And so, as there happened to be three presents unclaimed and 3 participants of the Bad Jumper section of the party, including myself, we all had the chance to either open a pressie or steal some shit.  And yes, although a new pressie, the size and shape of a Mercedes 280 SE mark 1, wrapped up in shiny paper and tied with the intestines of a boy was on display for all to see and even though it was my pick, albeit my illegal pick due to my stumbling upon the Bad Jumper section accidentally, I did the gentlemanly thing and opted for the stripper dressed as a mummy in the corner…

… and I stole back the onesie for the lady… which didn’t get me laid or the Mercedes but saved me from an ear-bashing and so all’s well that ends well.

Chris Blisstopherson and Marjorie Daws continued to be the most wonderful of hosts during our stay.  Apart from cooking us the greatest breakfast, the most delicious biscuits and gravy Alabama style and feeding us more of the ‘better than ‘ome’ pie, they took us out for bagels at a lush place Chris Blisstopherson used to work at (http://www.collegetownbagels.com/pages/home/home.php), walked us around the beautiful natural trails of Ithaca, showed us some very neat waterfalls, including one that is the tallest free falling waterfall in America which was iced up due to the cold and therefore even more of a spectacular spectacle through spectacles than when in its usual state,

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let us sleep in a blow-up ‘bed’, not mattress, ‘bed’, made entirely of air ( and the material that contains it so not entirely airy but certainly ‘iree’!), took us to a proper American Bar that shows American Football and serves divine burgers and delectable beers, showed us a very amusing home video in which Marjorie Daws gets annoyed at having to walk to a nearby tree, took us to Cornell Uni where we saw a lovely art exhibition on trees, a superb view and a library straight out of a Harry Potter novel, drove us wherever we wanted to go, never once allowed us to put our hands in our pockets, made us feel like we were staying with the most wholesome, lovable, friendly, interesting, fun people ever because we actually were and cemented a friendship that I hope will last until the end of days, even if Hobbs didn’t like me much.

And so it was with a twinge of sadness that we waved them goodbye and watched them drive off towards Michigan, quite surreally, as we were waving them goodbye from their own doorstep!!  The date was Tuesday 21st December and as we weren’t wanted in New York until the 23rd and as it was a certain anniversary on the 22nd,

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the wonderful departees said we could stay in their apartment for a coupla days more and so we took full advantage of it and sofa bummed for a cosy 48 hours and no, that isn’t a sexual term, it’s a term that means being a bum on a sofa.

But as well as bumming on the sofa we walked about some more

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and one time we walked all the way to this café that was supposed to be the best café in all of the World and when we got there, a freezing 3 and a half hours later, the bitches of World Earth Rulers Inc. decided to make the proprietor close 5 minutes previous and so we walked 3 and a half hours back to the house and had some spam.

As our newly departed hosts had left us their Netflix password (some internet site that lets you watch movies at home that are too crap to charge someone $2 in a video store for), we watched some movies, including ‘Up’, which was actually a little disappointing and Radio Days, which was most excellent.  What isn’t disappointing though is being a member of whatcd.com, thanks to Mr. Blisstopherson, which is the greatest music website the Universe ever produced and I’m a member and you aint.  Which is nice……

And then, it was the day to leave for our Christmas in New York City and so that’s what we did.  And on the way, with an ever increasing clicky front wheel and an ever increasingly worried-about-the-clicky-front-wheel driver, we ran over something, which I took to be something falling off of our recently purchased wheelyhome and pant wooing ensued as I stumbled about a busy highway looking for a phantom engine that hadn’t fallen off and putting my life in more danger than if I had walloped an alligator in the left rear molar with my face.  Oh, and New York drivers are c***s.

And to top it all off, after a quite Christmas with my nephnew, which included some bath pooing, a few delicious coffees, plenty of mulled wine, a disappointing trip to Barneys and very many cute moments, on the eve of the day of departure one of the biggest snow storms ever to hit New York hit New York and we couldn’t go anywhere cos there was 4 foot of snow in the middle of every street.  Even the snowplows were getting stuck.  People were skiing along pavements and children were building igloos on the sidewalks.

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However, not being one to be held somewhere I don’t wanna be, unless its Alcatraz, we dug ourselves out and the next day, after a brief sojourn to the greatest mechanics I have ever experienced, (http://www.yelp.com/biz/alba-auto-repair-brooklyn#query:Alba%20Autos) we got in our motorhorse and begalloped all the way to the next stop on our journey, which was a ‘Gas’ station in New Jersey where the non-attendant decided to put my gas cap in his pocket and make me forget that he had my gas cap in his pocket.  Now, one Christmas my mother bought me a pair of the illest-fitting undies I have ever had to squeeze into.  Seriously, it was like Keith Harris had his arm up my arse every time I put them on, which was basically every time I’d ran out of clean ones and had to resort to the dreaded ‘Substitute Cacks’.  But now, I’ve not only found a way to get them out of my life forever, I also have a brand new gas cap, from BHS no less!!  Thanks mum!  And no sooner had I stuffed my gas tank with Phillip Green’s finest, then we were headin’ out of New York State and headin’ into ‘…the streets of Philadelphia’ in the State of Pennsylvania…

Oh yeah, by the way, Hobbs is a dog.

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