Julie and I saddled up to the bar for salads and a quick drink after taking in a chick flick. Next to us sat a middle-aged suit with gray hair and blue eyes. The guy is kinda wobbling on his bar stool when he asks us, "How far is it to 57th Street?"
"About nine blocks that way."
"Is that far? I'm in town for a pharmaceutical convention over at the Javits Center--I come to town about three times a year-- and I usually stay at the Crown Plaza near Times Square, but they wanted $300 a night, and that's too much. Tonight, I'm staying at the Holiday Inn at 57th Street."
At this point, this guy has told us more about himself than any non-homeless stranger has in a year, so I'm nodding politely and Julie is rolling her eyes.
"I'm so hammered. I came in here three hours ago for a drink on my way back to the hotel, and I started talking to these Irish guys. Now I'm smashed."
"You definitely nee to catch a cab then. You can't wander around in Hell's Kitchen smashed," I say.
Minutes pass while he stares at his last beer.
"Hey girls, sorry to bother you, but how far is it to 57th Street?"
We start cracking up. This poor guy from Ohio is so cute, and we're a little afraid he's gonna get mugged on his way home. I tell him so.
"You think I'll get mugged?!"
"Well, I would mug you."
He starts again with his story about how he's in town for a pharmaceutical convention, so we start fucking with him.
"Where are you staying? Have you ever visited Ohio? Why didn't you stay at the Crown Plaza, I've heard that's a great hotel."
We finally convince him to catch a cab. He pays the bill and goes.
Julie and I were having a good laugh about how cute the little Mid-Western guy was and how we're sure his wife is worried about him hanging out in a bar in Hell's Kitchen for three hours. Then the bartender came up to tell us that the guy was actually in town for a pornography convention and that his "pharmaceutical" company really manufactures and sells vibrators for women.
My jaw dropped and Julie says, "Dammit! We could've gotten some free samples!"