Google Something Clever 2.0: New York, Part Four

Sep 18, 2013

New York, Part Four

Another cab ride, and it was time for the moment my husband and I had been waiting for. Our number one to-do in New York: Obscura. Do you watch “Oddities” on the Science channel? Dude, you really need to. It’s a show about this antique store, only it’s not your average antique store. They sell stuff like mummified heads and old quack medical machines. Really cool shit. We’ve been fans of the show for a couple of years now. We walked in and my son immediately demanded to leave. Was it the creepy clown mask? The taxidermied two-headed cow? Who knows? The point is, he was ruining everything! Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh. But we’ve wanted to visit this store for years, and the boy has seen the show, and god damn it he needed to come inside!


It was nearing the end of a long, hot day, and my husband was fresh out of fight, so he told me to go in alone, and he’d stay with the boy. Then we could tag team. Well, that sucks, but okay. I walked in, and the first thing I saw was curly white hair behind a cash register. Oh my god, it’s Evan! No. It was not Evan. It was just some normal, non-celebrity lady. I told him, I thought. There’s no way the owners of this store, who are sort of famous, actually work here every day. I browsed for a bit, noticing that most items did not have any price tags. Scary. I wasn’t even going to bother with those. “If you have to ask,” right?

Nearing the back of the store, I saw a man with dark, slicked-back hair behind a desk. It’s Ryan! Ahhh! Nope. Not Ryan. What the hell? Do they just hire doppelgangers here? Are the people on the show even real? Are they just actors? That’s when Fake-Ryan said, “If you have any questions, feel free to ask.” Which, if you watch the show, you’ll recognize as the very specific phrasing that all the employees always use when a customer walks in. It’s like their catchphrase. So that was neat. I had him open a glass case of antique medicine bottles for me. I found one I loved, and a couple more items. I went outside and briefed my husband on what I wanted, and where to find them. In he went.

I almost didn't want to unwrap this.

I stood on the sidewalk begging and pleading with my son. I tried logic. I tried to appeal to his sympathy. I tried outright bribes. I got him to agree to stand just outside the door. Two men approached, and I said, “Look, they’re not scared to go in!” One of them tried to help by encouraging the boy to come inside, but a spooky store is not made less spooky by a stranger-danger beckoning you to join him. So that backfired.


A couple of minutes later, my husband tumbled out the door and told me, “Go. Just go. Now.” So I went.
You guys. Mike was standing there! Friggin’ Mike! My husband later told me that those two guys who walked in were regular customers who needed to talk to him, so  Fake-Ryan had fetched him from the back room and ohmyfriggingodfrigginMikewasthere! He was really there! If you couldn’t tell, I get star-struck really easily. And Mike is my favorite. So yeah.

He was standing right near the case of medicine bottles. Perfect. I went back over there and pretended to look at them. I was two feet from Mike. I waited for him to finish talking to Stranger-Danger. I think I was staring, because he kept glancing at me like “What does this crazy bitch want?” Stranger-Danger finally left, and Mike turned to me and said “Hey, how’s it goin’?” in that same way that he always does on the show. I grinned like Crazy Eyes from “Orange is the New Black” and replied, “It’s going great!” That’s right, I am a Grade-A fucking doofus when it comes to even mildly famous people.

At that point, the door opened, and I saw that my husband had somehow finally convinced the boy to come in the store. Like, jussst inside the door. And he was holding him. I told Mike we were all big fans of the show and asked him if he wouldn’t mind posing for a picture. He said yes, and I turned to my son and calmly explained to him that he needed to let his father put him down so he could take a picture. Well, that’s what I said with my mouth. My eyes were saying, “Boy, if you ruin this moment for me, I will destroy you.” He got the message.

If you stare at this picture long enough, you can actually hear me say "Derp."

Mike and I spent an awkward minute or two with our arms around each other, because I blinked no less than four times while my husband was trying to take our picture. Doofus, I know, I know. Then he actually hung out and talked to me about the items I was purchasing for a few minutes! Like a normal human! What?! I wanted to stay and chat with him all day, but the store was actually getting pretty busy, and the boy was about five minutes away from snapping, so we left.

Coming up next is my least favorite part of New York (no, I didn't get mugged). Stay tuned!