Monday, May 21, 2007

Rudy the Robot

Friday night at about midnight I was out walking the dog. I don’t much like going out to bars and whatnot on Fridays in my neighborhood, it’s too crowded with non-regulars and you can never get a seat. One thing I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older, if I can’t get a seat I’ll find another bar… I’m not going to stand for three hours just for the honor of giving you $5-$6 a beer.

It’s a beautiful night, pleasant temperature and the pup is even actually walking for once instead of trying to sniff every surface ever created. As we stop for one of the rare sniffs this walk I spot a group of five African-American gentlemen who are probably 40-50 years old hanging out on a stoop across the street from myself and the pup.

I hear one fo them whistle and immediately know the song.

The theme to “My Three Sons” followed by one of the guys shouting out the name of the song.

We cross to their side of the street and the next thing I hear is one saying, “Remember this?” and he begins to whistle the theme to “The Munsters” at which point all the others join in and finish the song with a laugh.

As we sniffed and worked our way closer they seemed to be trying to remember the name of the robot from “Lost in Space” and one decided it must have been named Rudy.

“Robby the Robot” I piped up.

“Oh yeah!” says one guy who then rips off the names of the rest of the flight crew/family from that old show.

One then started riffing on “Space 1999” and “Buck Rogers”. Another started to try to remember the name of the old sci-fi show with the evil Asian guy. I had already passed them but looked back and joined in with a “Flash Gordon. It was Ming the Merciless. Queen did an amazing theme song for that show.”

They laughed and as I got further from them I could hear them start to talk about how in the old cliffhanger sci-fi shows you could see the strings holding up the ships and then they started in on a favorite of mine, old Ray Harryhausen animated movies such as “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.”

One of the things I love about this city is that you run up against people and situations that strip away any preconceived stereotypes. If I had run across those guys in a movie or TV they would have been sitting, drinking 40 oz. bottles of Colt .45 and been generally threatening, as they were hanging out on a stoop at midnight on a weekend night. I love that you come across the exact opposite, some guys talking and laughing about classic TV and movies that they enjoyed as a kid to this day. I love that they were people, doing what people do and enjoying the night.

Not a bad way to spend a midnight on a Friday.

1 comment:

sigglesworth said...

makes me miss the old NYC .... sigh.