Sunday, March 23, 2008

Shun Lee and the Socks of Doom

This is Easter Sunday, the day Christians all over the world celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus.

I just got home from dinner with my family at a local restaurant and I'm looking at the big story in today's Daily News.

Is it something related to the war, the economy, or the upcoming presidential election?

Perhaps a story about this most sacred holiday for so many millions of people?

No, this is much more important to the lives of millions of New Yorkers.

The big story today is that former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer, who was forced to resigned after being caught using the services of an expensive call girl ring, kept his socks on while doing the hokey-pokey with the hotsy totsy.

Yep, Spitzy was a sock boy who wore his hose when he was with the hos. And not only did the News tell us this riveting story, they also posted an online poll asking readers if they thought it was okay to leave their socks on during the horizontal tango or not.

I feel very strongly about this issue and voted no.

Socks have no place in the sack, but the poll was running pretty close as of a little while ago, with 48% of those asked saying it was all right to wear socks during sex, while 52% were anti-sockers.

The article says a sleaze bag Republican operative--redundant, no?--ratted out Spitzer to the FBI saying that, according to his source, the Sheriff of Wall Street "did not remove his midcalf-length black socks during the sex act."


I guess Easter Sunday is a slow news day and Elliot Spitzer's misdeeds still can grab a few headlines.

But this is really stretching the elastic on the great sock of information; it's like trying to squeeze leftovers out of a turkey a week after Thanksgiving.

You can make sandwiches and soup, but sooner or later you just have to toss the carcass out. And I think we've reached that point with Spitzer and his socks.

My brother in California tells me that porn stars used to wear socks in films to get around no nudity statutes, as in, hey, they're not naked; they're wearing socks.

The expression "knock your socks off" goes back to skin flicks, he said. I learn so much from this guy.

There was an old Superman episode where this little fellow from another planet possesses the power to freeze people in their tracks with his index finger. He does this in a clothing store while a local gangster is in the place looking to buy socks.

After witnessing the pint-sized alien's amazing ability, the hoodlum dismisses the idea of footwear.

"This is bigger than socks!" he declares and storms out to do some kind of evil, prompting Superman to stomp his ass in the name of truth, justice and the American way of socks.

Hmm, I wonder if Superman wore his socks while taking Lois Lane up, up, and away. And what about his cape?

I like fancy socks myself, but those are the ones that always get lost in the wash. I often get the mass-produced, standard issue black socks just to avoid this grief, but
occasionally I enjoy a little style.

I went out with a woman years ago who once kept her socks on during an intimate episode. When I asked her about this later, she said her feet were cold.

I'm assuming she meant "cold feet" in the sense that her feet were actually cold, as opposed to having cold feet toward me. But it's hard to say now.

Still, it seemed odd since she wasn't wearing anything else at the time. Why not wear a parka to bed if you're so damn cold?

I almost lost my socks--and my shirt--last night when I went out for dinner with my best bud Hank.

We went to this place called the Shun Lee Palace on East 55th Street, which seemed like a nice place, except that it cost a small fortune (cookie) to eat there.

I got suspicious when I saw they had about 500 waiters, all of them wearing spiffy uniforms like stewards on an ocean liner.

Then I opened the menu and ran into an iceberg of mind-numbing prices, like 30 bucks for an entree. I felt a shiver run right down to my socks.

Now we should have walked the hell out of there, embarrassment be damned. If they weren't embarrassed by the prices, then we didn't have to be embarrassed by refusing to pay them.

Off The Tracks


My family did that years ago while on vacation in Vermont when we stopped in a restaurant and saw that the prices were so steep we would have ended the trip right then and there.

The place was called "Track Four" as I recall, and I remember my mother snarling at brother as he reached for some bread sticks on our table.

"Don't eat anything!" she snapped.

She faked an illness and we ran out of there like the Dillinger Gang fleeing a bank job.

We joked about it for years, with one of us wailing in a train station announcer's voice, "Lenihans leaving on Track Four, alllll aboard!"

But what the hell? We didn't have the money and we had no absolutely no intention of coming back to that place.

Hank and I stuck it out at Shun Lee's joint, though. Luckily neither one of us was particularly hungry, so we made a meal out of some appetizers, made for the door, and went to the Museum of Modern Art to catch a showing of the Preston Sturges film Unfaithfully Yours.

It was a good movie, not of one of his best, but I'm glad I finally got to see it. However, there was this nutzoid woman sitting in front of us who kept on turning around and giving the entire audience the annoyed movie fan stink-eye every time people laughed.

I know I'm a freak about noisy idiots in theaters, and just about everywhere else, for that matter, but this woman was really overdoing it.

She was like a matron in the old Fortway Theater, except she didn't have a flashlight. This is a comedy, sweetheart, people are supposed to be laughing their socks off.

This woman should have been on the N train coming home with me last night; she would have turned her head so much it would come clean off her shoulders.

I was sitting there playing my favorite subway game of "Name That Stench" when I heard some blowhard talking loudly to impress his crew of idiot friends. He looked like out-of-towner and I couldn't wait for him to get out of my town, not to mention my train.

Now at 49th Street, this rather dignified-looking old gentleman got on the train and sat next to me. He was holding a Playbill from "The Homecoming," apparently having just enjoyed a night at theater.

The loudmouth and his friends got off at Times Square, but then that dignified-looking old gentleman suddenly got his socks all twisted at some construction workers who were during repair work on the express tracks.

"Don't work on the fucking express tracks!" he erupted. "It's a waste of fucking time. The problem with you fucking people is you believe your own fucking propaganda!"

Okay, where do I begin on this one? I didn't know who he was talking to, what he was talking about, and what the fuck his problem was.

Don't repair the express tracks? Why, so we can all go loco like you?

And whose propaganda are we believing--assuming it's us you're talking about and not some invisible pint-sized alien floating around your head and pointing his finger at your brain?

I had mistakenly thought this guy was a class act--based mostly on his appearance. He goes to the theater, for God's sake. I thought a Playbill was some kind of international sign of sanity.

He said "excuse me" when he brushed against my leg as he took his seat. He had to be gentleman.

Did the sight of the construction workers set him off? He didn't speak loudly enough for them to hear him, of course. But I wonder if he had behaved this way in the theater. Perhaps he was perfectly normal and well-adjusted when something in the play made him snap.

Fucking Pinter and his fucking pauses! What a fucking idiot!

I buried my face deeper into my book and hoped my fellow passenger would soon calm down. He did, or at least with the cursing, but then he started coughing. The guy was a real symphony, now that I think of it. Maybe he's a frustrated actor.

As a certified hypochondriac, I had to move, and, spotting an empty corner seat, I left my foul-mouther theater-goer for a quieter, and hopefully, less germ-ridden location.

And I kept my socks on the whole time.

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