Friday, March 18, 2011

It's the song I love the melody of

Pride of the Yankees

This can’t be good, thought Mrs. Hall, when she realized she could only open one eye. “Did you know they start fencing in the building across the alleyway at 7:00 a.m.?” Mr. Hall chirped, as he placed a large steaming cup of mud on the bedstand. “What would you like to do today?”
Mrs. Hall dragged herself out of bed. As she drew back the shower curtain, she could hear Mr. Hall offering his review of the bathroom situation. The fixtures were designed to imitate a spring shower, he said; clearly the engineers were unacquainted with Mrs. Hall. If they were, they would have realized that had she encountered anything even remotely resembling precip, she would step right out of the tub in her desperation to hail a cab.
Mrs. H. was in no mood for levity. Finding it difficult to produce a withering glance monocularly, she returned to the task at hand. The fixtures seemed to be set not so much on “shower”, but “drool.” There followed the usual five minutes of swishing sounds, then suddenly Mrs. Hall called out, “Baseball Cards!” What might ordinarily sound like a complete non sequitur made perfect sense to Mr. Hall. “It’s the shampoo” he said. “It smells like bubble gum. And not Dubble Bubble or Juicy Fruit; it’s definitely Topps baseball card gum.” It was undoubtedly that happy fragrance from her youth, and she emerged somewhat brighter, blotting off to inspect the damages. “Looks like it’s time to get out the spackling compound.” After a few minutes of spin control, it was time to once again hit the streets. “Com’n, my dear-“ she said, “Gotham awaits!”

The following week held the prospect of being nothing but a blur of satin gloves, bus schedules and boutonnières. They were finding out every bus ride had a lottery; every dinner begged a raffle. It was amazing how much scratch it took to keep the wheels of the Good of the Order lubricated. When they returned to home base, the rain kept the other ladies inside most of the time; but the Halls were made of sterner stuff, and trudged on to Times Square and the theatre district. At one point, Mr. Hall turned to an advert for a musical when he realized Mrs. Hall was no longer behind him. Nearly at the point of alarm, he managed to catch a glimpse of her being gleefully swept up into a group of elementary school children heading into the giant Toys Backward R Us. He finally cornered her in the stuffed animal department clinging to a huge penguin. “No, no and no!” he stated emphatically, and dragged her back out onto the square.
The rain began to come down in earnest now. Towards the ABC studios, a legion of local law enforcement was setting up barriers for an upcoming political rally. “That’s all we need” said Mr. Hall. “Come with me.” And he steered her down 42nd St. and into Sardi’s. “Let’s stop here for a while and have a quick bracer.” They slid on up to the bar on the second floor and the bartender put the traditional cheese and cracker platter in front of them. Mr. Hall ordered and looked around; the room was fairly quiet but closer inspection revealed a couple of patrons whose faces they recognized from stage and/or screen. They left them to their relative anonymity, and returned to planning their evening's mischief. A few hours later, fortified against the damp and ready for yet another touch by the tour bus crowd, they left the cozy pub and headed on home.

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