Paris? I’d Sooner New Yawk!

  I have been on the Atkins diet, a very active exercise program, got rid of the grey, and asked my doctor about Viagra. So, when Linda, my wife, asked about going back to Paris, I responded, “Paris? I’d sooner New Yawk!” Maybe my answer was because the vision I have of myself now is that of a wild stallion galloping across the prairie seeking adventure. Or, maybe I was influenced by the movie Death Wish in which Charles Bronson whipped up on the bad guys of NYC. And I have always had the desire to utter Dirty Harry’s words, “Go ahead. Make my day!” as I scowled at the ruffians in my gun sights. Therefore, I decided Paris was just not a challenge to the new me–the real bad, mean, lean good guy. I mean, come on: Paris is for sissies. You got to be tough to make it in New Yawk. Think about it. You get a taxi in Paris and all you need to know are a few French phrases to get you where you want to go–all those cabbies speak French. But in NYC you never know what language skills might be needed. You might get some Indian words thrown at you. Or Russian, or even that Jamaican lingo. And believe me, that Bangladashise is a bitch! But even if you get a driver that speaks English, he don’t. He speaks New Yawker. “Turdy turdin Lex,” a cab driver responded to my request to be taken to 33rd street and Lexington. The corner of fifth street is “Cawna fish treat.” A real man can really get into this enterprise of navigation. Want rude? Real man rude? New Yawk is your place, fella. Yes’um, yes’er, please and thank you made up three quarters of my Southern childhood vocabulary. My Mama saw to that. In Paris, folks greet you with bonjour. They use merci a lot, and acknowledge your departing with adieu. They had good mamas. And what do you hear from New Yawkers? “Whatca watt joy’k.” “Shaddup an otter.” “Whataya whataya.” “Git atta ear.” And those are the New Yawkers who had good mamas. Those with bad mamas can be downright crude with their rudeness…. make a Frenchman blush. It is safe for my 90 year old Grannie to walk the streets of Paris any time of the day or night. Therefore, there is no he-man perturbation there. But in New Yawk, danger threatens from every corner. On my first visit with my son, who lived in “The City”, I was advised on street conduct while there: carry only as much money as I was willing to be robbed of; do not make eye contact with anyone; and, for god’s sake DO NOT smile at anyone. In Paris, a filcher may steal your wallet without you knowing it. No excitement in that. But, in New Yawk, they’ll get right in your face with, “Gimme yo got dam money ora i’ma gonna kill yo ugly ass!” Now that is a sensation you won’t get in Paris. That will get the old juices flowing. Excitement!! Often a place to find tumult is a public restroom. Paris, with little old ladies guarding the facilities, offers little chance for daring. But, hey fellow, in New Yawk going to a public “terl it” is scarey stuff even for a rough, tough guy like me. Doing so is tantamount to regressing to a primitive jungle. I mean, if you’re into really, really scary stuff just venture into a NYC subway public “terl it”. I guarantee an adventure you’ll not forget. The underground transportation system is a lot different in the two cities. Paris has those sparkling clean, well lit, sanitized Métro stations with soft music playing. Even the name Métro shows sophistication. The walls are covered with artistic posters advertising the beauty of youth and commerce. When the doors of the Métro car are about to close music announces it. But, descend into the bowels of NYC’s subway… Oh, Boy! The trash, the constant pungent odor of urine, vile graffiti, and some really bad looking characters all tell you this is no place for the timid. This is a real adventure opportunity. Here, car doors close to a distorted recording of “Washda closendaws,” jailing you in with survival skills a-ready. What a rush for the venturous he-man. Legend has it the nephew of the god of good food was kicked out of France and traveled about to find his personal gourmet haven. He passed through London and New York City and took away forever fine dining. He moved on to make a home in New Orleans. The story may be true. In England, what do those folks eat? They eat things like spotted dick, clotted cream, bangers and mash, blood pudding and haggis. Ugh! And in New Yawk? Pasta. That’s it! Everyone, everywhere, all the time eats “Paws ta”. Give me a break, real men don’t eat that crap. A food adventure in Paris is to try to find bad food; in New Yawk, the adventure is to find good food. Hells bells, the only decent he-man place to eat in New Yawk is at one of those sidewalk vendor carts that has those really greasy sausages–God knows what they are made of–that comes out of that stinky, nasty holding tank. Now, that food will grow hair between your toes! Gotta give that one to NYC. So, I’m telling all this stuff to the little woman while she huddles over the computer working away. She looks up coyly, smiles and says, “Yes dear, that sounds lovely. Now, you great big strong bad man thing, go attack the trash and wrestle with it all the way out to the garbage can. And. if need be, you may use violence. And, when you are finished, pack your bags. We’re going to Paris tomorrow.” Well, damn. That lady ain’t got no adventurous spirit a’tall. Linda continued, “However, since you are into this big macho thing and want a challenge, I didn’t make any reservations for lodging or dining.”  “NO RESERVATIONS? In Paris? Leave tomorrow? Oh, my god. That is scarier than a NYC public “terl it”. I ain’t up for that much adventure!” I whinnied. “Oh, go on bad boy, make my stay!”  (Special thanks to Mike Ellis – – for NY slang. He says: “When I launched…
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