Tag Archives: abc news

Lame Adventure 155: Insult to Misery

Since the Eastern seaboard has been pummeled with a fifth snowstorm in the first month of winter, with more surely to follow, the time has come for the silly statistic, a claim that is blathered solely to blow the average Joe or Joe-ette’s mind.  For example, last June, on Day 63 of the Gulf Oil Spill, CBS News reported that the spill would fill 9,200 living rooms.  Naturally I felt immense relief knowing that my home would be spared since it’s a living room-less studio apartment.  How that calculation was determined would be another report in itself.  I hope that either the Onion or Saturday Night Live tackles that story soon.

Today’s silly stat comes courtesy of ABC News blandly handsome correspondent Jeremy Hubbard who reported on Thursday evening that so much snow has fallen over New York City in the past month; it’s enough to fill 1000 Empire State buildings.

The son of Mother Hubbard with his producer standing in the background, who's either the smallest man working in network news, or a tool to illustrate a point that this mountain of plowed snow could fill Neptune.

Real deal silly stat.

Aside from wondering why anyone would want to know that the Empire State Building could pack the past month of snow one thousand times, all anyone who lives in the Big Apple needs to do is walk out the door and look around.  There are miles of snow everywhere.  Who needs to know how many skyscrapers, golf courses, or used car lots it can fill?

The look of ugh.

Where'd the sidewalk go?

Suck morning.

Lambs to slaughter entering West 72nd Street subway station.

With my naked eye, as far as I can see, I see snow everywhere I look.  I get it.  There’s a gargantuan amount of snow out there.  If I hit my head on a low hanging air conditioner, knocked myself out, and fell face forward into a snow bank in the middle of the night, I’d probably wake up dead, possibly with a Friedrich logo partially tattooed across my forehead.

There’s so much snow, some of it was even in my apartment when I left my window a tad too open during the fourth storm two weeks ago.  It was not enough to fill the entirety of my modest digs, but it was annoying and rather snarky.

Suggestion from Cyclops the windowsill snow woman, "Next storm, lower your window, stupido."

Furthermore, I do not need to know how the size of the small toxic lake currently floating in front of the West 72nd Street subway turnstiles compares to 987 sixteen ounce Starbucks Grande soy lattes.  I just know from entering and exiting that turnstile that it’s another snowstorm-related butt-pain I, and thousands of other rush hour commuters like me, would prefer to live without.

Heading to Hell.

Lake Pea Soup

One silly stat that anyone has yet to measure is the steam generated by grousing New Yorkers riding public transit.  My guess is that the hot vapor we emitted en masse as we exited that uptown express 2 train when it went out of service at 14th Street Thursday night was enough to launch a rocket into the next galaxy.   In addition, we could have collectively fueled the rocket’s return to earth in time for a monsoon-like spring.  Maybe it would behoove me to price wet suits now.

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Lame Adventure 90: Rainy Days and Wednesdays

For the past four days, Gotham has been cloudy and rainy.  It feels much more like October than August, but considering that most of July felt akin to being trapped in Hell’s basement, particularly while being broiled alive on the subway platform, I’m not complaining.  Well, not complaining much.  My hair does look like a big brown cloud, and I am not too thrilled about that.  Pictured below are the crippled remains of an umbrella; an umbrella that was very likely purchased by some drenched sap or sapette for around five dollars from a New York City rainstorm institution, The Umbrella Man.

Undignified ending.

The Umbrella Man is a guy, and always a guy — I have never seen an Umbrella Woman, that miraculously appears on every Gotham City street corner and outside subway stations the second it starts to rain with a pile of cheap, crummy umbrellas.  He chants, “Umbrella, umbrella, umbrella …” almost as if this word was on an endless loop.  Every so often he zeroes in on a potential customer, usually someone holding a soggy newspaper or wearing a plastic shopping bag – the definitive rainstorm fashion statement — over his or her head.  Directly, The Umbrella Man says to this target, “Five dollars,” but controls the impulse to add, “You fool.”

I’ve lived in New York so long, I remember when these guys used to charge three dollars.  Since I am almost always equipped with my own umbrella, I have two turbocharged models that might have been manufactured by Maserati for they almost pull my arm out of its socket when I press the button that opens them, it’s possible that The Umbrella Man might be charging six dollars or more by now.  One thing that I am certain of is that the quality of The Umbrella Man’s umbrellas remains trash can worthy, and that’s the likely destination of the vast majority that are not ditched in the street like the one pictured above.

Almost as soon as you open one of The Umbrella Man’s umbrellas, if there is as much as a Chihuahua’s sneeze in the air, it will instantly blow inside out, so you can imagine how sturdy they are under gale force wind.  It has occurred to me that these umbrellas might blow inside out if opened under a sunny blue sky, simply because there is an umbrella industry conspiracy in play here.  The conspiracy is that The Umbrella Man’s umbrellas are purposely designed to blow inside out to ensure that customers will either buy more umbrellas from The Umbrella Man, which could be another definition of insanity, or just before these users commit themselves to a mental institution, these same customers – people like me – break down and invest the equivalent of a one way plane fare to New Orleans on JetBlue in a top of the line umbrella instead.  Also, if I were inclined to visit New Orleans this time of year, it would probably behoove me to pack my performance-enhanced umbrella.

Returning to the subject of the defective nature of The Umbrella Man’s wares, the handles tend to be wobbly and the little round piece at the top holding the entire apparatus together has been known to fall off, especially if you’re like me and bought one that said Totes.  That batch of The Umbrella Man’s umbrellas was probably manufactured in the same third world sweat shop that produces knock off Coach and Louis Vuitton handbags.

If the user of an umbrella purchased from The Umbrella Man is able to get three uses out of it, that user is qualified to be ABC News’s Geek of the Week, and/or they should make a guest appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman to discuss this phenomenon, for it simply does not happen.