Sunday, April 01, 2007

Welcome to the Hotel Amy

My sister Amy, much like the Muppets, has taken Manhattan. We haven’t lived in the same time zone for eight years, so it’s pretty exciting to be able to call her without having to go through the exhausting mental gymnastics of subtracting three hours. Also, the only female to ever properly execute a simultaneous headlock and wedgie maneuver on me is now just a short train ride away, and that is most excellent for many reasons, not the least of which being that her proclivity for applying said maneuver seems to have diminished greatly ever since she became a lawyer. Lawyers can give people headlocks and wedgies with words.

So now when my wife Kara and I visit Amy in the Big City, we don’t have to worry about carry-on luggage and putting on our prettiest socks for the security people. We just hop on a train and relax for a couple of hours, listening to the surrounding cell phone conversations and letting them lull us gently to sleep like sweet lullabies, sweet, cacophonous lullabies about the merits of piercings vs. tattoos, punctuated liberally by laughter that could wake road kill.

Since we know we’re going to be doing a lot of walking in the city, we pack in our old camping backpacks like we’re attempting a through-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Somehow during the packing process, Kara stops looking at me as her husband and starts viewing me as her own personal burro.

“Oh, can you fit my boots in there, too?” she asks, looking at the cascade of tampons, purses, hair dryers and Gap jackets overflowing out of the top of my bag.

“Hee-haw,” I reply, adjusting my saddle blanket.

Last weekend, Amy was traveling away from the city, so Kara and I selflessly volunteered to keep her vacant apartment from getting all lonely and dusty in her absence. This is a service which we provided (perhaps a little too generously) completely free of charge. Sometimes you just have to make sacrifices for family.

We also enlisted the help of several of our friends, just to make doubly sure that Amy’s bed, couch and floor were properly slept upon while she was away, keeping them nice and broken in for when she got back. If you’re going to do a job right, you need good help. Besides, Kara and I couldn’t be expected to go out on a Saturday night in New York City and drink enough alcohol to get ten people drunk all by ourselves -- that would have been totally irresponsible. You need at least five people to do that.

When my buddy Josh and his wife Jaime arrived at Amy’s building, I met them in the lobby, gave them a high-five and a hug, respectively, and strolled over to the elevator with them, not paying any attention to the man who came up behind us. Had I been more alert, I would have let him get on the elevator first and then quickly come up with a reason why we needed to wait for the next one. Unfortunately, I didn’t have this foresight, and I paid the price for it.

Josh’s favorite game to play, besides Fill up the Hard Drive with Illegal Material, is a pastime most aptly described as Embarrass Mike in the Elevator. Whenever we’re on an elevator with a stranger, properly observing elevator etiquette by standing in silence that is only mildly awkward, Josh likes to turn to me and say things like, “Oh, I hope there’s a view. It’s going to be so romantic up there.”

Last weekend, as we stood in the elevator with the stranger, watching the digital number beep upward towards Amy’s floor, Josh looked at me and asked, “So has that rash cleared up yet or what?”

You can be a part of it, Mike Todd, Mike Todd at


  1. cacophonous? is that kind of like homophoebic?

  2. I love it, nothing better than going against the elevator ettiquette.
    I used to stand and face inwards and smile at people. Funny how awkward that can make one feel.

  3. lol! Wo all have to love our friends like Josh. This post reminded me of my friend, Cindy, who plays that game with me, except in public bathrooms. She'll hollar from the next stall..."Gee, Sheri, it's too bad you had to come down with the screamin' twirlies like that. What did you eat?"

  4. My Josh story involves a friend who had to drive his sister to the airport. After she had gone through the security gates, he yelled this to her...

    "Ah PLEASE stay Fiona!!! Don't leave me like this!!! I can't go on without you!!!'s MY baby too!!!"

    Let's just say it's not exactly obvious that he's her brother. You can imagine how that made her feel. She later said she wished they handed out sick bags BEFORE you got on the plane.

  5. So.....has that rash cleared up???? hehehehehe

    I stand in an elevator, and make a baby step toward the person and when they move, I do it again. They are like face pressed to the door by the time we get to their floor. hehehehehe

  6. Ha. Funny.

    My brother and I do the same thing.

    The only time we are together is when we are drinking (or are we always drinking and occasionally get together?) - anyway, at concerts and sporting events.

    For us, it's talking real loud while walking back to the car. STD's are common topic. Also rashes and prohibited distances from schools. Or ages of girlfriends.

  7. JP -- Could be, dude. It was the word of the day. I have no idea what it means.

    Berry -- Nice that they're letting you out in public again! I hope you found someone to loosen the straps for you.

    Sheri -- Screamin twirlies! Thanks for introducing me to some new lingo. Are you aware that your blog is the only one Google finds with a "screamin' twirlies" search? That makes you even more awesome.

    JL -- You know somebody named Fiona. That's awesome. You're the most Irish dude I know.

    Burfica -- Dude, I don't have a rash. Seriously. Do you have any Gold Bond I can borrow?

    Buster -- "...or are we always drinking and occasionally get together?" That's gold, Jerry. Gold.

  8. Both my brothers play that game with me. One took me and the girls out to dinner the other night. He said to the waitress in a very low voice, "My sister just got out of the hospital... you know, one of THOSE hospitals.. please don't make any sudden movements."

    The other one said to a cashier at Wal-Mart, "I'd better pay for her stuff. She just was released on BOND for shoplifting. There's nothing in her purse, I swear..."

    The screamin' twirlies, that's the funniest dang thing I ever heard.

  9. I see some Jerry there too. Scary.

    My ex, her twin sister and my daughter actually went in to see his show; that itself in a sentence sounds weird. Enough said. At least it wasn't Oprah.

  10. yes you did find me, and i am having a hellava time trying to update my you will be back, when I have the patience again :)

  11. When hubby and I were on our first vacation together, I broke some horrendous wind in the elevator thinking it was hilarous because he was trapped.

    Then, the elevator stopped and an elderly couple got on. As the doors closed they both promptly turned green and glared accusingly at hubby.

    Still rates as one of the funniest moments in the relationship. At least for me...