Tuesday, March 17, 2015

An Irishman Gave Me the Finger

Ourselves Club on East 84th Street in 1903

 Paddy’s morning I woke from a strange dream. It was a spring day in the early 1900s in Yorkville. I knew this when I saw isolated wood-frame houses scattered among the vacant lots along the cobblestone street lined with trees in early bloom. I rode inside a copper colored trolley shooting the breeze with the driver.

We passed Lexington Avenue on 79th Street headed towards Third Avenue, when an Irish gentleman dressed in his Sunday best, velvet green vest, spats, top hat, the works, decided to dart out mid-block and jog theatrically across the street in front of us. The driver paid him no mind and kept the trolley at cruising speed. This forced the gent to move faster than he intended and his feet tangled. The gentleman finished his cake walk crossing with a 360 degree turn with his arms flailing and remarkably kept his balance.

The Irishman fumed when he saw us giggling at him. He marched across his lawn to his porch and pulled a large wooden contraption down the steps and out on the grass ~ looked like the catapult that the French hurled the cow at the English with in "Monty Python's Holy Grail."

He set the weapon up on the lawn and started cranking a handle on the side of the device. The driver and I exchanged a look, we expected, "Incoming!" Instead, after several "Crank, Crank, Cranks," a colossus wooden fist rose up with the middle finger saluting ~ the carved hand was giving us the finger. The Irishman crossed his arms, smirked and nodded.  Erin Go Bragh!

If you enjoy my work, check out my memoir, "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood," it's available at Logos Bookstore, 1575 York Avenue, or buy it online atAmazonBarnes and Noble or other booksellers. If you do read it, please leave a few honest words about the book on Amazon and B&N. Thank you.

Central Park

Central Park

Sheep Meadow

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