For the last few days, we’ve had guests in the house — my cousin Alan and his wife, Beth, came in from Cleveland.Â I don’t know them well.Â I only met them once before, during my bar mitzvah.Â Both of them are in their fifties, and former hippies.Â
“I’ve been to all three Woodstocks” Alan told me.Â
I had no idea that there were three Woodstocks.Â
During the last one, Alan camped out near the concert site with a friend.Â On the second day of the concert, they decided to take a hike.
“Should we take the tent with us?”Â asked his friend.
“Nah.Â This is Woodstock, man!” he answered.
When they returned, their tent was stolen and they had to sleep in the van during a rainstorm.
Alan is also an obsessive baseball fan.Â His main reason for coming to New York was to attend games at Shea Stadium and Yankee Stadium before both teams moved to their new homes.
Alan and Beth are nice enough, but the hippy shtick, which was probably once cute, is now annoying to anyone with a real life.Â I hope I don’t sound too anti-family, but you just don’t walk around naked in the morning unless you areÂ VERY close relatives.Â And it wasn’t like they were coming here to build homes for the poor… or to even visit us.Â They just drove to New York to see some baseball games.Â
They also provided bad luck for our New York teams.Â Both teams lost.Â The Mets lost 11-0.
Ex-hippies may have XM radio nowadays, but they apparently don’t believe in suitcases.Â I met my cousins by their car when they pulled in.Â Their luggage was in twenty-five shopping bags.Â Since they were vegans, three of the shopping bags containedÂ food.Â Two of the shopping bags were vitamins.Â The rest were clothes.Â What a pain in the ass.Â It took a half hour to carry everything upstairs.Â Alan also brought a guitar.
“Do you play?” I asked.
“No,” he answered.Â “But I always wanted to learn.”
I carried the guitar upstairs and it sat unopened in the hallway until I carried it back to the car several days later, when they left.
Alan took a bit interest in me when he saw me in the kitchen with my laptop, and I told him that I was “writing a screenplay.”Â He said that he believed in past lives, and that in a past life, he was “a successful New York playwright living in the late 1950’s.”Â I told him that even though I am skeptical about “past lives,” I respected his belief.Â I didn’t tell him that since he was alive in the late 1950’s, he could not possibly have had a past life as a successful New York playwright in the late 1950’s.Â But who needs logic?
I hate to go for the stereotype, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this couple had, at one time in the past, consumed immense quantities of marijuana.Â They had the worst sense of direction.Â When hey wanted to go somewhere on their own, I gave them explicit instructions printed from MapQuest.Â
They want to visit a local bakery.Â They walked several milesÂ the wrong way.Â
They wanted to visit the Museum of Natural History.Â They got lost on the subway and visited “The Museum of Sex” instead.Â They loved it!
My apartment complex consists of two buildings.Â Although the buildngs lookÂ alike, their entrance ways are located on opposite streets.Â Each building has a different address, which isÂ clearly printed over the entrance.Â Â I’ve never heard of anyone mistaking one building for the other.Â
On the way home from “The Museum of Sex,” Alan and Beth walked into the wrong apartment building.Â They took the elevator to the first floor and walked to Apartment 1H, whereÂ is our apartment number, although the one in the other building.Â Alan and Beth tried to open the front door with the house keys that I gave to him on the first day.Â Neither of them could open the door.Â They started arguing and jigglingÂ the knob in frustration.Â
Suddenly, Mary Fanelli, the tenant ofÂ the other Apartment 1H, opened the door, the doorchain still firmly attached, brandishing a steak knife and screaming for the police.Â
Alan explained who he was, and luckily, Mary knew my mother from the weekly mah jonng game.
I can’t wait to hear the gossip at the next game.