Philadelphia Walk To Remember

Philadelphia view from the Camden side.

Philadelphia view from the Camden side.

At around 11pm the high stakes gin rummy game at 22nd and St Albans finished up. The outcome was surprising. I didn’t drive there so I needed to taxi home. It was a relatively nice night and I decided to walk a bit of the way just because. I knew that Philadelphia had a lot of characters at this time of night but I heard one of the best lines of my life tonight. I couldn’t make this stuff up. As I pass a trio of two females and a male, I overhear “People lose their cool over money, Rita almost threw Ramone out a window over 50 cents.” Is our economy this bad? Is this what it’s like on the city level? I seriously hope they don’t live on the 5th story. My brain couldn’t produce a thought this original. This could be the premise of an entire comedy act. After that line I kept walking but didn’t see any other possibilities for material so I decided to catch a cab and then it hits me square in the face.

The cab driver was a 65 year old, born and raised, Philadelphian. He starts off with the leading line, “are you coming or going?” I pondered it a moment, unsure what to say, “I guess you’d say I’m going.” He replied, “Going out for the night.” I said, “Going home, that question isn’t very clear.” We got to some small chat and he updated me on the building collapse at 21nd and Market. First he noted “Ronald Wagenhoffer, the city inspector who previously examined the four-story Center City property that collapsed onto a Salvation Army thrift shop June 5, killing six people and injuring 13, committed suicide in a secluded stretch of Roxborough Wednesday night, authorities said.” Then he told me, and this I can’t find any record of so I can’t verify it properly, “they locked up a poor kid who makes 11 bucks an hour because he knocked down the building and no one stopped him.” The man noted above was in charge of the operation and had the power to prevent this kid from knocking down the building. I can’t vouch for any of this other than that is what I noted from putting the pieces together from what the cab driver told me. After that story he told me how the Gov’t holds all the power and the people have none. He started getting a little heated telling me about some Wegman’s alcohol department in NJ asking for his ID (he’s 65). Next he moved into what it’s like in Panama and how some woman rammed her shopping cart into his back for no apparent reason. It was fairly bizarre and normal at the same time.

I digress back to earlier in the night. I went for a run after work and showered quickly in hopes of making it to the bar as quick as possible. This proved to be a mistake as I wasn’t finished sweating after my run. To make matters worse, I started walking and couldn’t get a cab. This had me walk 14+ blocks in the heat and as I arrived I was completely drenched in sweat. It was completely embarrassing as no one else in a crowd of 300 was sporting a disgustingly sweaty look. I cooled off in the Comcast building and eventually was suitable for socializing for a few hours. I will never make this mistake again in heat like this. Ample time is needed after working out and taking a shower. Shower sweats deserve their own entry. Nevertheless, this was a more entertaining Wednesday than most. I’ve been making an effort to do something every night of the week so I’ve been more active as of late. Hope this entry was as fun reading as it was living.

I noted in the intro that the gin rummy outcome was surprising. I was down 140 points to Evan in the final round when he needed 15 to win. Adam was hooking me up with cards because he didn’t want Evan to go out and I made a storming comeback. On the final hand I was down a few points to Evan with 3 cards, 778, in my hand. The board read 88 and Adam had to drop. He knew I had the 77 and elected to drop the K because it would be over points wise if he dropped his 7. He dropped a K, I scooped the 88 and dropped the K for the win. Except I stupidly dropped the 7, Evan went out, and ended beating me by 5 points. How I could misplay that last hand makes me question my brain. It’s one of those situations where technically Evan can say he wins, but it’s not a win you’d be proud of.