Tuesday, May 18, 2004

We were entering our descent into the Lincoln Tunnel when my companion regained consciousness. The little man at our left began speaking excitedly.

"You had a nice nap, Barry," he said.

"Too much ice cream and beer last night," Barry replied.

"What did you say, Barry?"

"I said too much ice cream and beer last night."

The little man seemed pleased. "Oh, ha-ha. You must feel rested after your nap. Boy, you must have been asleep for a good twenty minutes or so by my watch."

"I usually feel worse," Barry said.

Immediately I detected the eagerness the little man displayed in speaking had been met with a corresponding reluctance on the part of his much younger relation.

"I didn't see any movies this weekend. I wanted to see Van Helsing--are you familiar with that title, Barry--Van Helsing? Yes? Well, I thought I might see that, but the reviews were terrible. I just thought it might be interesting since it's based on a character from the first Dracula movie. You probably didn't know that, did you? Had you ever heard of him, Barry--Van Helsing? He was a character in the original Dracula story; I know you probably never saw the original Dracula movie; that was before your time, sure. Anyway, I thought it might be interesting, but the reviews were terrible, Barry."

Barry could very well have written his graduate thesis on the contemporary bastardization of Hollywood classics, but he would be damned if he were to broadcast his opinion on the subject for the benefit of the Shortline commuters into Manhattan. Women were turning in their seats. Women, for crying out loud! He made a heroic effort to read his newspaper, but the little man would not be subdued.

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