Saturday, February 18, 2012

"R" is for "Repent"

©Nancy Banks

          Dateline: Times Square. We arrived in New York Friday last to discover that all electrical umbilici necessary to K's happiness and well-being had been Left Behind. So K spent some precious laptop battery power to log in to the hotel's wi-fi with the object of googling a purveyor of power cords. Unfortunately, the malware that the hotel's system immediately installed on his computer prevented googling—or, indeed, any other reasonable use.
          Events then unfolded swiftly: a call to K's tech support, who remotely installed Malware-B-Gon™ on K's computer and started the disinfecting process; a few minutes of happiness while Malware-B-Gon ™ worked its malware-slaying magic; subsequent doom and fleeting thoughts of suicide when the battery ran out of power; K's grumpy phone call to the front desk telling them they had infected his computer and we would be checking out five minutes ago and would not be staying with them ever again even if they were the last hotel left on earth and to please call us a cab; the remove to the new, malware-free hotel just off Times Square; a search for nearby power-cord vendors—and because after all, this is Times Square we're talking about—the joy of finding power cords that would indeed power all the necessary devices tempered by the This-Is-Times-Square-And-You're-A-Tourist™ prices. Which were roughly 2x astronomical.
          The good news: one power supply works, and one works well enough to meet K's needs. Oh—and Malware-B-Gon™ was able to scrub K's drive once he got the prodigiously expensive power cord plugged in and his laptop restarted.
          After spending slightly less than the average annual income for a citizen of Pakistan just to buy two power cords, one of which is only partially functional*, K needed a walk. Also a cocktail, but we decided the walk should come first.

Careful—too much Times Square makes you tipsy.
©Nancy Banks
         And Times Square is a visual cocktail. All those bright, distracting neonized colors and twinkly lights and enormous marquees with flashy-movey pictures that You Must Watch because they're Too Big Not To go straight to your head like Champagne fizz.
          We were feeling giddy by the time we turned back towards our hotel. As we waded upstream against the press of pedestrians, lightheaded with relief and sensory overload, the crowd parted, and a disappointingly unbiblical-looking fellow strode confidently through the gap carrying a sign. "The end is coming," it said. "Repent now."
          We were just giddy enough to consider it. And then we went into the hotel and found the bar. And repented it not.

*It powers the laptop but it doesn't charge the battery.


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