>Husband's flight back from Nice was not due until late last night, so I decided to wander around the damp, but pleasantly warmish, city in the evening. Driven by cravings for chocolate covered caramel popcorn, I violated my principals and wandered into Times Square. (Ever since luxurification hit my neighborhood, the fancy popcorn store lost its lease - along with the vegetarian restaurant and the wacky dish shop - so that some ginormous fancier eatery could take over four store fronts, and the only remaining popcorn shop is on Broadway and 48th Street.)
Times Square is an area to be avoided at all costs. Not because it is criminally dangerous (at the popcorn store, I discovered that I had been wandering around with my backpack open and my wallet in view of everyone, and no one touched it, which I think would not have been the case even 10 years ago), but rather because it is packed with tourists. Now, there is nothing wrong with tourists. I love that they come to New York in droves and stay in hotels with very high occupancy taxes, go to shows, eat at restaurants, and buy things, thus helping to fill our dwindling city coffers. However, I hate that they don't know how to walk. It's not their fault. People from other parts of the country drive everywhere, so are not used to it. Since Times Square really belongs to the tourists, and I hate mowing them down while I try to get where I need to be, I do my best to avoid Times Square.
Still, the craving was overpowering, so after walking in the street to avoid the throngs of people casually standing in the middle of the sidewalk, I get to the popcorn shop. A woman is ordering at the counter. Three other women are standing in the middle of the store, not quite in line, but not clearly not in line either. I get behind them.
"Ew, it smells like popcorn in here!," shrieks Woman #1 as she covers her face with her coat.
"What's that buzzing noise?" Woman #2 yells as a batch of popcorn signals that it is ready to be removed from the giant popping vat.
I decide that they are not, in fact, in line, and move around them to stand behind the woman paying for her package of deliciousness. She leaves, and I move up to the counter.
"Wow, she means business!" Woman #3 casually reports to her friends behind me. "She just walked right up to the counter and ordered!"
"Yes, because that is what you do in store," I wanted to inform her, but instead purchase a single serving of chocolate covered caramel popcorn. (This is a new product, which I get to avoid overeating, but unfortunately it is pre-packaged and not quite as good, so the craving is only 3/4 as satisfied.) I leave to walk home and catch the Mets game.
The game is slated to start at 7:30, and I flick on the TV at 8:15. Mets are tied to San Francisco, 2-2. I don't notice what inning it is until Billy Wagner, the Mets reliever, comes on in the 9th when the score is tied 3-3. This is odd because it is only 8:54. How the hell did the game move so fast?
I keep watching, screaming at the TV when bad shit goes down and clapping when Wagner strikes out the side. Then the Mets are up, and Paul LoDuca hits a double. Now I am really confused. Paul LoDuca is no longer with the Mets. What the fuck is going on here? I check out the Mets home page. It says that due to heavy rain, the game against the Braves in Atlanta was canceled.
Yes, I'd been watching a re-run from last summer all along. I'm not sure how the "UltiMets Classics" logo that flashed every time there was a commercial break did not tip me off to this, but my cluelessness strikes again. Lesson learned: Times Square can lead to time warps. I must remain alert.