By Sigge S. Amdal © 2004
This all happened a couple of months ago when I visited Pauly in the great city of New York. We'd been doing stuff the entire week, Pauly was eager to prove me wrong on certain views I've had on America(ns) and still have, so he'd decided that he wanted to spend his Friday alone (with Haley, I presume) and that he needed a babysitter for Little Paul. Friends just call him LP. For those of you unknown with LP's history, he is not Pauly's son. The Smithsonian Institution's Research Department had conducted a study going where they needed volunteers for cloning. This was way back when Pauly's writing days had just begun, and short of cash as he was, he agreed to add more Pauliness to this already crazy world. They grew the clone in an underground lab in Nevada, while Pauly was kept busy solving mazes and eating free cheese, and everything seemed to go the right way for everyone. Bam! Congress found it unconstitutional to grow clones, the Research Department was closed down and LP left to Pauly's "care". After that they pretty much stuck together, for whatever reasons I don't care to know.
Pauly was making a move on Haley and found it difficult to have LP running around the apartment, or Studio as Pauly likes to call it, and since the little bugger had been left to himself around Central Park all week because of my visit, we found it reasonable to leave him in my care for the evening. Despite the fact that Pauly and I had pretty much covered the beer-consumption quota for the week, I still fancied a couple of cold ones, and that's how we, that's LP and I, ended up at a Texas-wannabe pub near the river. They were having some sort of combined lapdance and karaoke, and I thought that this must be the right place for a twelve-year old to learn some of the hard facts of life and of women, so I just let him run along as he wanted to and come back whenever he felt like some more Diet Coke. Me, I'd gotten my hands around a mighty Guinness Draught, and couldn't care less about what was going on around me. Except for the strippers of course.
LP had been gone around twenty-five minutes when I noticed just that, and I began looking for him after ordering another Guinness. I found him at a deserted table... well, the guys who'd been sitting next to him got out of my way as I entered the premises to ask if everything was all right. LP looked up at me, eyes like golfballs. The two bastards had thought it was fun to feed him a couple of tablets of Amphetamines. I turned after them, they'd just left, but saving LP was more an issue at the moment so I gave them up. He was sitting on the red, fake leather sofa, back to the wall and shaking like a leaf. He looked really scared. Or maybe more like a twelve-year old you've just fed eight espressos. I told a waitress that everything was all right, that he was a hyperactive little devil who mostly just wanted attention, and paid for my beer and an additional Coke for LP. I sat down with him.
"Are you all right?" leaning across the table to not arouse suspicion.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALllllllllllllllllright!" he answered, one word in two sentences. What could I do? If I took him to the hospital I'd be held accountable for his condition, since I'd been more interested in looking at the strippers, so I figured that all I could do was to make his way down again easier for his young body. Coke.
I'd informed the people working there that they shouldn't mind LP's little drama. His condition was overrated and was totally normal and that the hookers over there were giving bjs for free! It was only when LP began singing the theme song of "Willie the Steamboat" at a really high pitch and really, really fast, that I decided to take the boy with me and out into the streets of New York.
Outside the Texas-wannabe pub we ran into a bunch of bikers, probably Hell's Angels, and I had a hard time explaining to them why LP was pointing at me calling: "PERVERT! PERVERT! PERVERT!" because I'd denied him a Coke to-go. They thought his appearance not unusual at all, merely worrying and probably my fault. While I was standing there arguing I failed to keep my eyes on the hyperactive, hyperdrugged LP who had disappeared. This was actually quite good, as I was about to get my ass kicked by Hell’s Angels bikers, who didn't like the way I'd been yelling back at the kid.
Shit! I thought to myself. If I lose LP in New York, anything can happen to him! And Pauly, what will Pauly say? I started looking around a construction site nearby, thinking that he might have been interested in the machinery or something, but I changed course immediately when I heard the annoying sound of his voice around the corner and up a block.
LP was standing in front of some people looking abashed by this little youngster screaming, "GEZUNDHEIT!" from the top of his voice over and over again, and I ran over to the rescue. The four people, two men and two women, turned out to be German tourists, who'd gotten themselves lost in this district, which explained LP's enthusiasm. In this district? I told them to get out of here ASAP, there were hookers, Hell's Angels and kids on gear around these areas, and you never could know. What happened to them later that evening? I don't know.
But LP was on the run again, making his way towards a traffic light that must have looked brilliant in his drugged, little eyes, and me being totally out of shape with the remainings of what once had been a cigarette in the corner of my mouth, fell behind. I was walking fast, lighting my cigarette, coughing, cursing, lighting my cigarette again, annoyed that the little asshole had nullified the effects of a great Guinness Draught. I reached LP, now hanging above the street on what he explained was a holy quest, in a state of anger. I put both of my feet firmly to the ground, gathered the last breath of my lungs, and announced that if LP wouldn't get down from there I would make sure Pauly cut out on his Coke-supplies for at least a year. LP mumbled something, before he climbed down again.
It was getting late, but as I knew Pauly would still be busy – if things had gone as planned with Haley and all – it would be too early to get on home. What do you do, in the middle of NYC, when you’ve got nothing better to do?
LP was allowed to decide what film we where going to see, and I was glad that he'd chosen a hard-core German fetish film in 3D colours and cinematic sound. I thought it couldn't hurt, he was twelve years old and I thought it was about time for him to see his first foreign porn movie. Me with a bottle of Jack Daniels, trying to fit in with the Americans, and he with the shaking hands, 3D glasses and king-size popcorn sat there for about the first twenty minutes of the film when LP decided that he'd had enough. He ran towards the little whole at the top of the theatre where the projector was standing, and begun to interrupt the course of actions on the screen, annoying a lot of bald, middle aged men who had their hands full, but otherwise would have killed both me and LP, or so they said. I rolled my eyes, and I understood that this was my cue to take LP out of here, despite that I'd just begun to understand the plot of the film. After yelling at each other for about fifteen minutes outside the theatre, randomly kicking after the other’s legs, we shook hands, decided to ride a cab home and call it a night.
I had to pay the cabdriver an extra fifteen dollars for LP insulting his cultural heritage, by making obscene hand gestures and pig-like noises. I've heard that tourists are ripped of in the Big Apple, but this was surely overdoing it. Still, I was thinking about the moment of heavenly peace I would have when I would turn LP over to Pauly, and could find myself a hotel room.
Pauly wasn't satisfied. He couldn't care less about the amphetamines, I told him about that you see, but Friday night was Friday night and it surely must be something that even I could find to do with a kid on speed in the great city of New York. I agreed, but stated that I’d had enough and that I wouldn't have anything more to do with that little bugger, as he'd almost got me killed on several occasions during one night alone. He'd nullified the Guinness I'd had, he'd ruined my chances with that Bosnian waitress over at the Texas-wannabe pub, he'd yelled at Germans and Hell's Angels and had been a pain in the ass all around. This began to sink in. Pauly thanked me, and we decided to meet again the following Sunday. Without LP.
So that's my story. That's the first meeting I had with Pauly's little life-mate, a heck of a kid. Despite what I believed when leaving that evening, me, Pauly and LP were set to go on a whole lot more dangerous adventures.
Sigge S. Amdal is a word wanker from Oslo, Norway.