Time: A sunny Friday morning in August
The players: A grown man and a grown woman
Woman: Organic? You mean stuff that falls to the ground?
Man: No, no. Organic is the original! It's the original stuff! It's real.
Place: Bleecker Street, New York City
Time: Just after midnight on a balmy Saturday evening
The players: Two incredibly average-looking guys in their late 20s
Guy #1: Dude... Are you...? Should I...? Disappear?
A classic example of the Britons' peerless gift for prim understatement this morning on the BBC World Service.
A reporter noted that twelve gunmen attacked Sri Lankan athletes today in Lahore, using a grenade, rifles and a rocket launcher, killing several people, and that they had inexplicably escaped into the city.
"So a dozen very dangerous men are loose in the city and no one knows who or where they are?" asked the anchorman.
'Yes," the reporter replied, "and that has caused really quite a bit of concern."
Tonight I had dinner at one of my old reliables, the Japanese noodle joint Sapporo, at 152 W. 49th Street between 6th and 7th, where I've been going for at least 25 years.
I usually go during the daytime or early evening; at that time of day, they always have Japanese chefs. But the much less busy late-night shift is all Hispanic men.
I sat down at the counter, which looks right onto the kitchen, and ordered my usual, miso ramen with no pork. The waiter dutifully went behind the counter and announced the order to one of the chefs, who in turn repeated the order back to the waiter, something like "miso a la mujer." In other words, "miso, woman-style."
Wow, so avoiding meat is effeminate. That runs so deep, I don't have time to unpack it all. But it's pretty telling, huh?
Young neo-hippie woman #1: Do you want to go see Cat Power?
Young neo-hippie woman #2: I don't know.. What are they like?
Young neo-hippie woman #1: Her voice is ethereal.
Young neo-hippie woman #2 : (rolling her eyes) Like I know what that means.
Young neo-hippie woman #1: It means very mystical and... of the atmosphere.