Category Archives: FML

Schadenfreude

There is a fungus eating away the flesh on the bottom of where my toes connect to my feet. Every time I take a step, the skin splits. All day at the beach today, sand has been getting in the cuts, followed by salt water. On the way home, our truck blew a tire. Then we got it fixed, then the tire blew again. So we walked, me in flip flops, down the highway until an overcrowded tap tap picked us up. We transferred to another tap tap, then a bus, then another tap tap, in the rain. The final ride wouldn’t drop us off in front of the house, so we got out to walk. And let me tell you, one place you do not want to walk when you have open fungal cuts on your feet and are wearing flip flops, is in the rain-flooded streets of Haiti. I have never missed New York City cabs so much.

Luckily (and crazily, considering how many people there are in Haiti), we didn’t get far at all before we rain into Alain Armand, my journalism buddy who I’ve been adventuring with this whole time, and he gave us a lift in his Jeep the rest of the way home.
Coincidentally, today was the day my dad decided to force me to learn French via immersion because listening to my English exhausts him and “Americans think that they only have to learn English because they think they are the best country in the world.”
“Dad, I wrote you a list of anti-microbial medications. Can you see if you have any of these in the house? If not can we get one first thing in the morning?”
“Que cherchez-vous à me dire? Je ne comprends pas ce que vous dites, vous devez parler en français.”
After an hour of asking him to find it for me, he came back with a spray can of expired jock itch spray. When I pressed down on the nozzle, nothing but a puff of solidified aerosol gas came out.
The stupid thing is, I consulted the Walgreen’s pharmacist before I left, told him I was going to Haiti and asked him if there was anything I should get. “I don’t know, maybe an anti-fungal or something.” Yeah whatever, like I’ll need that.

All in a day’s work

Call me accident prone, adventurous, spacey, unlucky. I don’t know what it is about me exactly, but I end up in more /facepalm situations than the average individual. Yeah, shit happens to everyone, but I would be willing to bet that if you compared my epic fails with those of the average population, you would find a p-value of way less than .05.

Lately, I’ve been on a streak that all started yesterday when I went to move my company vehicle in preparation today’s day of promotions in the city. It didn’t start. Seeing as how I am pretty much the only person I know personally who is crazy enough to accept the responsibility of having a car in this city, I didn’t know anyone who could jump it for me. So I called a mechanic, and sixty-five dollars later the car was running. The problem was, he told me to keep it running for an hour so the batter could charge up. So I did, and on the way out of the lot, anxious to run an errand before closing time, I totally ROCKED my toe on a piece of rusty metal that was jutting straight up out of the cement. It’s one of those things where my big toenail is broken in half but I can’t *fix* it without making it worse, if you know what I mean. Everything about the situation was saying TETANUS WARNING to me, but my lack of health insurance combined with a deep sense of embitterment towards NYC health care facilities after being hit with surprise bills for services I didn’t request made me inclined to take my chances with the tetanus despite the good advice of my Internet friends in the medical fields.

After putting the Xterra in for the night and limping my way to close the gate, I realized that I had locked the key to the gate in the car, which was parked on the other side of the gate I had just locked.

facepalm

That was yesterday, and what stood between the vehicle that I needed to complete my day of work-related activities today and me was a 15-foot chain-link fence, also rusted to the core. At first I thought I was screwed, but I found one four-foot wide stretch that didn’t have razor wire along the top, and I knew what I had to do. With flip flops and a busted toe issue though –not to mention the window full of hipsters who were staring at me, intrigued by my facepalm gesture — I decided to wait for morning.

And there is nothing quite like scaling a 15-foot rusted fence in Brooklyn at 6 AM. Last night, I was able to rationalize not going in for a tetanus shot. Today, not so much.

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The kindness of strangers

Time and time again, I’ve pondered the Internet behavior in which one sends a message out into the aether in response to an interaction that occurred in real life. This usually manifests as a Craigslist “Missed Connection” and is prompted by some kind of heavy eye contact in a crowded venue, a collision on the sidewalk, or a shared subway car. I’ve never understood why people do this — especially in New York City — when, taking into account the likelihood that the person with whom the connection was missed a) noticed,  b) reciprocated the sentiments, and c) reciprocated them enough to wade through the pile of Missed Connections — is slim to none.

What about this act provides a sense of personal satisfaction? Is it that sending the message prevents the “if I had only” feeling that can live in the back of one’s mind as regret for years? Does it immediately reward the message-sender in the way that completing any task does? Is it because it’s easier than actually trying to track a person down but you still feel like you’ve done something?

Perhaps we’ll never know, but I’m going to try it now and see what happens, because the kindness of strangers I’ve seen lately has gone a long way in convincing me that we aren’t all just selfish bastards.

We all need a little help sometimes.

We all need a little help sometimes.

So, to the strangers who will probably never see this…

To the woman who picked me up off the curb where I was crying and told me to move so a car wouldn’t hit me, and asked me what was wrong. She asked how old I am and laughed in my sad face when I told her that I am 22. She told me that it would be OK because I’m young and I’ve got a long way to go, and that she knows a lot of people in my industry and to call her because she could help me. I got very drunk that night and have no idea what I did with your information, but thank you.

To the homeless man pushing a walker on the subway who informed me that it was the last stop, and somehow knew when he saw my face that I was the most recent victim of the desolate economy. “Don’t worry darlin’, pretty girls don’t starve,” he told me with confidence. Sir, that statement was both comforting and disturbing, and I will remember it for the rest of my life. Thank you… and I hope you don’t starve either.

To the innocent guy in the subway who I snapped at because he was looking at me, “Do you think it won’t happen to you too?” To which he smiled at me and responded, “I got laid off 3 months ago, unemployment benefits are pretty nice” and made me feel sheepish, yet comforted.

To the bartender who provided me the tools for efficient memory erasure (Side Cars and chocolate cake shots) and didn’t charge me anything……. yeah, you probably shouldn’t have done that, but thanks.

And to the waiter at the fancy French restaurant where my roommate works who gave me his employee dinner credit when I hadn’t eaten all day and couldn’t access any of my funds. Thank you very much, it was delicious, and you have validated the homeless guy’s statement! And… I’m sorry that the mussels you shared with my roommate gave you both food poisoning.

Well, I’ve reached the end and I still don’t know why I am writing this Missed Connection, but I do feel pretty good about it. Perhaps there’s a similarity between the impulse to send a message out there into the Internets, not knowing what — if anything — will come of it, and that which inspires strangers to help people they’ve never met before and will probably never see again in order to claim their thank-you prize. I thought I had this shit all figured out when I was a cynical undergrad in philosophy class and argued the “ethical egoist” perspective until I was blue in the face. But in light of this new evidence, perhaps a revision of my original stance is in order.