Andrew J. Lederer's BRAND NEW LIFE

After the frustration of taking an elevator down that only went up, I got on the escalator, put my bag on the slatted step and got slapped in the head by a padded solid. Hoping it was improbable affection from a Near East language expert I’d spoken to earler, it turned out to be a tall, red/blonde fellow who didn’t hesitate to say, “Sorry.” Still, I was annoyed, ’cause what he’d hit me with was a lengthy, black-cased menace.

An instrument? Was he the kind of asshole who’d have a didgeridoo? Perhaps it was a long pool cue or a petrified eel.

Well, eel, cue or ‘doo, when you’re on an escalator with people, you don’t fling around something that length, willy nilly (barring the spontaneous carnal enthusiasm of the physically gifted). I looked back once more and he said, “My bad,” the kind of phrase which is both right…

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