The Unbearable Banishment: Somewhere over the rainbow

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Somewhere over the rainbow

When I left work yesterday, there was a steady rain. I ducked and weaved between the raindrops and made it to rotten old Port Authority relatively unscathed. We came out of the Lincoln Tunnel on the Jersey side and it had stopped raining. We turned a corner and I saw this:

Boy, if this isn't a metaphor, then I don't know what is. It was vibrant and bright. The picture doesn't do it justice. By the time I got my camera out we had shifted position but when I first laid eyes on this, it came down directly onto Times Square. A direct hit!

This may be bad poetry, but Manhattan has always been the Emerald City to me. And in my world, Times Square is what lies at the end of the rainbow.

* * *

I had this friend, Klinger, who was one of the all-time great schemers. He had a million ideas for cutting corners and gaming the system.

My favorite grift was the one he pulled on the post office. He and his Chinese girlfriend, Fun, decided to throw a dinner party. This was long before the internet invaded our lives in any meaningful way, so they sent the invitations via the post office (which now seems quaint and unsophisticated).

He took all the invitations, addressed them to himself and put the invitees return address on the back. Then he deposited them in various Manhattan post offices and letter boxes, but didn't affix any stamps. Every single invitation was delivered with "RETURN TO SENDER FOR INSUFFICIENT POSTAGE" stamped in red on the front. Genius.

We both kind of liked the same girl in that special way, if you catch my meaning. An actress named Mimi. (I was a sucker for actresses in my youth.) Mimi took up with a successful artist who had a place out in the Hamptons. She would go there for the weekend and Klinger and I would sit in Manhattan and stew in our rejection. We'd spend the weekend insulting his talent and manhood and question Mimi's taste in men.

Klinger tried his hand at acting, writing, stand-up comedy, directing and promoting, all with limited success. He eventually broke up with Fun and moved to Los Angeles to try his luck there. I wonder what ever happened to that guy?


Blogger Here In Franklin said...

So tell the truth...did you move to NYC to become an actor?

October 28, 2010 at 2:03 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

HIF: Oh, God no. I'd admit it if I did. All I've ever wanted to be was the audience. They'd be nothing without me.

October 28, 2010 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger Ellie said...

Facebook might tell you. (Snigger Snigger).

October 28, 2010 at 3:09 PM  
Blogger savannah said...

@ellie...that's just what i was thinking! (i even snickered, too!)

you know, sometimes, i really do hate you and your NYC stories! ;~) xoxoxoxox

October 28, 2010 at 3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a girl named "Fun"? now there's a good one! i've got a girl who IS fun, but...

and the invitation grift was brilliant. makes me wonder where i went right in my childhood.

October 28, 2010 at 5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think your friend had a hit in "MASH." ;-)

October 28, 2010 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Naughty Klinger fancying Mimi when he's got Fun.
He sounds an interesting rascal. I hope you find him so you can regale us with what he's been up to.
I don't suppose you found the crock of gold?
Wasn't there a Klinger in Sergeant Bilko?

October 28, 2010 at 6:30 PM  
Blogger Leah said...


I adore that story about the invitations. I am SO tempted to try it myself...

October 28, 2010 at 11:34 PM  
Anonymous nursemyra said...

I hope you turn on rainbows like that for my next NYC visit

October 29, 2010 at 3:39 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Ellie: Forget it. The next thing you know I'll be looking for Mimi and her artist.

Savannah: Don't hate me, my dear. I'm not trying to show off or anything. Just tell a story.

Gnu: Fun threw a party in her four floor walk-up Chinatown apartment once. On each floor, she put up signs; "Fun's Just Ahead," "Two More Flights 'til Fun," "Soon You'll Have Fun," etc.

MIT: I loved that about his name. And he only ever used just that: "Klinger." Like "Madonna" or "Cher!" I still don't know if it was his first or last name. He was great.

Pat: No, you misunderstand! Mimi was long gone from New York before Fun came into the picture. It's a compressed time line.

October 29, 2010 at 8:25 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Leah: I've carried that story around for YEARS and wanted to try it but I'm too afraid of getting caught.

Nurse: I offer you a 100% rainbow guarantee.

October 29, 2010 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger SJF said...

LOVE that rainbow!

October 29, 2010 at 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Rob said...

I was going to suggest finding on Klinger via facebook. Tongue in cheek, of course, but I see I'm a day late and two dollars (or commenters) short on that one.

Nice pic of the rainbow, though.

October 30, 2010 at 11:46 PM  

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