Nando & The 2003 NYC Blackout

Dear Friends in far away places, who had electricity this weekend.
Just in case you out there were wondering, I am safe.
I am alive!!!!!!! I am back at work, complaining about my job!
So, everything is back to normal. Picture it: Thursday 4:09pm,
I went out for a snack, KNOWING for sure that GOD would be PUNISH
me for eating Hagen Daz, since I haven't visited the gym for a
week. I get back, sit at my desk when all of a sudden,
guilt sits in as I take the last spoon full (4:10pm),
and the lights, computer, and my radio shuts off.
I think, Dear God, I haven't been THAT bad. Everyone at
work is in a panic and we finally get a battery operated radio
and heard about the blackout, which it seems is politically i
ncorrect, BROWN-OUT is what people began to call it.
I thought, I'm brown, why can't it just be "lights are
out"...why it gotta be color related? I have such great
conversations with myself during times of stress. After
the conversation with myself is over, people begin to
gather in the office and start to organize walking parties.
“Anyone for Staten Island? What about the Bronx? I’m in Far
Rockaway? You’re Far out of luck,” someone yelled. Lucky
for them, it was dark, and no one knew who it was.
I found a small group headed in my direction and
we all walked together, just like the run-away slaves
did when they broke free and marched north! My group
consisted of three colored ladies, a Puerto Rican lady,
and me (Mexican). Off to Brooklyn we went.
We began our journey at 39th street. By 23rd street  
I wanted to start singing OLD NEGRO SPIRITUALS, but they
were all against it. We came across a bakery that was giving
away all there sweet breads and baked goods. As the hungry
sophisticated people that we were, we pushed and shoved
our way to the front of the line because there were only
four cinnamon rolls left. In times of need and despair,
carbohydrates are the items that keep us going. We
stopped at Washington Square Park to rest our feet
and gossip about the other people walking home.
So many people filled the streets that day,
it was like a Garth Brooks concert line in Odessa, Texas.
Our resting time was over and we started on our way.
We crossed bridges and went up crossroads to arrive in
. We all went our separate ways after reaching
Eastern Parkway
. I finally got to Crown Heights
around 11pm. If you are asking yourself why we got
home so late, these folks were SLOW. Had we really
been escaped slaves, the Master’s DOGS would have
certainly gotten us all!
It was a dark night, but  I got to my apartment and
I walked upstairs to my lonely home. My body was tired,
my mind was tired, and my eyes had given up on me.
I grabbed the neighbors cat who was sitting outside
on the steps and went up the stairs to my room. At
least I think it was a cat, all I know it had a
tail and it kept purring when I petted it. Although
in the morning, there was a huge hole in the wall,
the "cat" was no where to be found, and my cheez-it
crackers were all gone.
A  friend called me early the next day and
invited me to the Jersey beach. Since the
trains were not up and running, I had to
walk back into the city to meet him. Ten
long minutes into my walk, I spotted some
relief on this hot sizzling summer day. It
was a homemade snow cone that cost me $5.oo.
I purchased this expensive ice sculpture from
Ricky the Ice-man. Usually, he's known as Ricky
the Transvestite junkie, but on this HOT summer
day on Flatbush Ave, it was Ricky the Ice-man.
Throngs of people were waiting in line for his
cherry snow cones. They seemed to have overlooked
his purple flowing gown, his flaming red locks of
amber, and his high-top converse as he chipped
away at the stubborn ice. He’s quite talented
with ice, if you know what I mean.
Friends, to make a long story short,
I spent the weekend on the Jersey Beach:
tanning, chil'n, eat'n, biking, and just having
a great time with my friend Joe. Every once in a
while I would rush back to the beach house and turn
on the TV just to hear the latest update on the
electricity situation. My heart sunk as I watched
people fanning themselves with paper fans to keep
cool. How the children were sweating bullets and
found no relief or comfort in their own homes. All
I could do was crank up the air conditioner in
this house and drink a cold Margarita in their honor.
I never thought I’d say this, but thank God for Jersey!
The moral of the story is:
a. In NYC be prepared for ANYTHING!
b. Always have $5.oo on you in case you need a snow cone
c. Keep Jersey in mind for your next vacation
d. Always keep a candle in the home so you can see
exactly what you are petting in the dark, and keep your cheez-its UP high!
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