Tuesday 4 December 2007


Another long, lingering, boozy lunch with my Ab-Fab friend on Saturday. She had me in fits of laughter when she was describing her first visit to New York to visit her beautiful son.

She had been instructed to telephone him when the plane landed for directions on how to get to E34th Street using the air train, where he would meet her.

Ahhh! The only fault with that plan was that her mobile didn’t work in NYC. So….. she got off the plane in a state of panic, not knowing where she was going, where she was staying and wondering if she was destined to become a bag lady in Manhatten.

She actually managed to buy a ticket to Manhatten all on her own, but still had the problem of how to ring son. But help was at hand – the NYPD, and a rather georgeous NYP at that!

Using her most perfectest English voice she pointed to her mobile and said "My cell ‘phone doesn't work here and my son is meeting me in MANHATTEN and I need to let him know I am here so – COULD I PLEASE USE YOUR ‘PHONE?!" The NYP looked at her as though she had gone out (as you would expect him to) and said " No Ma'am"

She then came completely unglued and said "No you just don't understand, my ‘phone doesn't work, so how can I contact my son and without speaking to him I don’t know where I’m going or how to get there. Please, please, help me". With that he moves his arm 5 degrees and pointing to a wall immediately next to where she was standing on which was situated a public telephone and said "You can use that" "Thank you, thank you so much"

"Sorry to bother you again" (best English accent) " but what denomination do I have to put in here?" holding out her hand of small change. Sigh. He takes the correct money, puts it in the ‘phone.

Then age came into the equation. Her arms were not long enough to read son’s telephone number. Extending her arm didn’t help much but a blurred number eventually came into vision and she dials, wrong number, tries a second time, still wrong number. She then turns again to NYP and says "Sorry, sorry, really sorry but this number isn't working on this ‘phone". NYP sighs again, takes the phone and paper and dials the number and it connects, Son answers, she tells him she is in JFK and the most wonderful police officer in the world has helped her. NYP sighs again!!!

So duly sorted she thanks NYP and moves towards the barrier, bowing and scraping looking back at NYP as she moves forward saying repeated how grateful she was for all his help - thank you, thank you, thank you. Then she gets her luggage wedged in the barrier gate. The gates close on her and her luggage and she’s stuck in a maelstrom.

One over-worked, underpaid NYP rescue her plus luggage from the jaws of death, open the side gate, and send her on her on her way. One last parting tap on the shoulder – pointing "Ma'am MANHATTEN is that way"

The frightening thing is that my dear friend is going to Dubai for a week on business. God help Dubai! I reminded her that it is a “dry” country. She said not where she’s going it isn’t!

After a hilarious lunch we bad each other a fond farewell. She was going to look after here granddaughters for the afternoon and I was going to take a “window of opportunity” to power nap before my mad great granddaughters descended for their weekly Saturday night riot at Nanny and Granddad’s house!


Stinking Billy said...

Now be truthful, you had to be taking notes as she told you that story, yes?

Regardless, a terrific post which I would have loved to be mine right now, as I ponder on what the hell I am going to write about next?

Gimmee that woman's number, now!

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

What a lovely tale - how I would like to meet one of those NYP chaps. Thanks also for your comments -always appreciated. M xx

www.retiredandcrazy.com said...

Hi SB. I actually got her to email me the details afterwards. Work smart not hard? Isn't it a great story though. She is completely barking and so, so nice. I worry about her being in Dubai. Is she going to be a future news headline?

This is what you should do when you have writer's block - get someone else to write for you!!

www.retiredandcrazy.com said...

I love your title "A mother's place is in the wrong". Brilliant and so true. Here I am a mother, grandmother and greatgrandmother and I'm still in the wrong! So much so that my daughter is moving to France and taking some of my grandchildren with her to put "clear blue water" between us!

Anonymous said...

How great to have a friend like that. I think I'm one myself, to someone out there!

Crystal xx

www.retiredandcrazy.com said...

Dear CJ - I know, she's great isn't she. I'm so lucky.

dulwichmum said...

It sounds like fun at your house! I can so visualise that story you told of NY! I have just been there for a weekend, and on TV they seem to constantly refer to the police as "New York's Finest" which seems so very sweet. Even during a news broadcast which told the tale of a young man shot in cold blood while driving a car by a member of the force, the police man apparently fled the scene and was not found for 24 hours. The style of their news broadcasts fascinated me.

www.retiredandcrazy.com said...

Dear Dulwichmum. Fun in my house? You've got to be kidding. I think you apartment overlooking Central Park sounds much more fun!