Tag Archives: bed bugs

Lame Adventure 218: Mystery Hat

Over the weekend before the torrential rains came, I was heading out to volunteer usher an Off-Broadway play when I saw an incongruous sight on the fencepost outside my modest abode.

Is that what I think it is?

It inspired an inner dialogue.

Me (asking myself):  Is that a hat?

Me (answering myself):  No, it’s a Frisbee, you moron.

I inspected it closer and touched it gingerly, as my childhood fear of cooties collided with my adult terror of bed bugs.   As soon as I entered the theater I rocketed into the restroom and washed my hands with such vigor, I could have easily performed surgery as well as hand out Playbills.

See me, feel me, touch me.

Back to the hat, when I peeked under the brim I saw that it was unlined fur felt, size 7 1/8 and made in the USA, but the manufacturer was unidentified.  Basically, it was a cheap hat, unlike the rabbit fur felt fedora, coincidentally the color of Bugs Bunny, which I purchased for a king’s ransom at Worth & Worth on West 57th Street half a lifetime ago.

Quality fedora made from Bugs Bunny fur.

I wore that hat for two or three years throughout the fall and winter seasons.  Although it was an extremely well crafted and lovely chapeau, I looked like the consummate idiot in it.  A then-skinny twerp with a big nose in a big hat — not the most winning combination.  Also, I felt guilty about wearing bunny.  Humiliation eventually dawned on me and I donated my hat to charity.

Returning to the mystery hat blowing in the gentle breeze on the fencepost, I wondered, “How did it get there?”  Did the tenant that was in the process of moving out leave it there intentionally?  I envisioned this snippet of a scene in the play staged non-stop inside my head as She and He exit the building:

He:  Are you really taking that ghastly hat with you?

She: Of course, silly, it’s my trademark.

He rolls his eyes.  She notices and gets defensive.

She:  What’s your problem with my hat?

He:  It makes you look fat.

In warp-speed that hat lands on the fencepost.  I suppose I should add that He is gay.

Or, possibly one of the movers from Mad Men Movers was wearing that hat when they arrived to move the tenant out?  When the most Don Draper-ish of the movers started sweating profusely within a nano-second of heavy lifting, he left it on the fencepost.  Then, he noticed a dish noticing him; he completely forgot about his hat and pursued her as his colleagues completed the move.

A third case scenario could be that someone had the same epiphany I had about my fedora many years ago. They caught a glimpse of their reflection, realized they looked like a Bogey-worshiping nerd, and they hung it on the fencepost when no one was looking.

"Take my advice, Kid, do yourself a favor and lose the hat."

When I returned home, the mystery hat was gone.  Where did it go?  I don’t know, but it didn’t blow into the garden.  Possibly someone with no fear of cooties or bed bugs is wearing it right now.  It was replaced with a pile of the usual former tenant detritus denied a ticket to ride to the next location.

Usual Tenant Detritus -- bring back the hat!

Lame Adventure 123: West Side Chair Story

Weekends are prime time for me to indulge my literary pursuits and this past weekend was no exception.  Saturday morning around ten o’clock, I was home, six minutes into working diligently on my current pet project, the book for a musical about itchy, dry skin, when I was suddenly compelled to take a nap.  As I was resting my head on my keyboard, I heard the familiar thuds, thumps, and drags of an upstairs tenant moving out of my brownstone, Casa de la Shangri-La.

Since there was no sleeping through that racket, I stayed on the computer and read a fascinating email from Duane Reade featuring the Goddess of Adventure — a smiling woman half my age and forty-fold my fitness level surfing. Borrowing a page out of the classic tampon ad proclaiming that tampon users can swim, play tennis and ride horseback, the 21st century version of that message declares that this woman is able to ride ocean waves because she shaves with the Venus Embrace.

With the right toothpaste, I can also pilot a plane!

Reflecting that I shave with the Erida Reject, could this shine a light on why I nearly landed on all fours while stepping off the curb in an effort to cross West End Avenue en route to purchasing a bagel?

Yet, I am getting ahead of myself.  First I had to exit my building to walk up the street to West End Avenue to engage in this act of ill coordination.  Once the sounds of moving had subsided, I realized that I was hungry for a cinnamon raisin bagel.  Knowing that the coast was clear and I would not be in the way of the departing tenant(s), I decided to venture outdoors, a generally uneventful endeavor.

Just as I opened the door of my building leading to the outside world, what do I see but a crappy chair on casters blocking the walkway.

You don't look happy to see me.

Had whoever left it parked it closer to the front door, my more whimsically-inclined mentally impaired neighbors could have sat in it and pushed their way over to different trash cans to make their deposits.  I briefly considered moving it up to the sidewalk but just as briefly considered pulling a hamstring.  Therefore, I walked around it, walked up the street on my bagel errand, and almost fell off the curb when my faulty peripheral vision mistook a pigeon for a rat.

Not this rat.

When I returned home, bagel-in-tow, the crappy chair still stood proudly in the walkway rivaling the toilet with the open lid that had been placed in front of my building on a snowy night last February.  I did not dare look at whatever might be in the bowl.

An image of my block not found on Google maps.

A more pleasant site, that cinnamon raisin bagel.

On any given day in the many trash heaps throughout Gotham City, the eyesore pile is bound to visit my building.  Or not.  The second time I went out, someone had moved the crappy chair up to the sidewalk outside the gate where the recycle cans are located.  The third time I went out, it had relocated west in front of a tree near a building two doors down.  The fourth time I went out, it was gone.

I suspect it has found a second home proving the new adage that one tenant’s trash is another’s source of bed bugs.

The survivor.