So I was at the Rangers playoff game with Rich last night (which was an absolute blowout, 7-0 blueshirts). Between periods we always hang out in the lobby landing with a nice view of the 8th avenue/34th street area (especially from the “blue” section which is way at the top for those who haven’t been to the garden before). Anyway we’re standing there talking to a bunch of people about the 1st period and this guy is lingering around the beer cart waiting for his beer to be poured. He was your typical contractor type guy -100% Italian, a stocky build (probably like 5’8”, 240 lb) and very “hey, how you doin’ ish"). He even had on his company’s T-shirt, I forgot the name of the construction company and this guy gets closer to us and says “Hey...yo, you happen to be Nets fans?”
If he was really eavesdropping on us he would’ve heard me say I hate the NBA. Maybe he needs one of those Listen Up devices. Anyway, we all kind of respond we hate the NBA and continue to talk about hockey.
Well what does Vinny Goombaats do but keep talking to me about basketball. Didn’t you just hear what we said?? Anyway, this “blowhard” (as Rich called him) starts telling me that he just remodeled Jason Kidd’s granite countertops in his kitchen. Rich and the other guys wisely turned away from this guy but I was trapped. Figures. “Yeah, it was like 400 square feet of granite…$50,000 worth of granite. His countertops are bigger than this whole area” says Mr. Goombaats. I nod in a half I don’t give a shit, half “good for you spider”. Well does he stop there…nope…he proceeds to tell me how Jason Kidd gave him courtside tickets for the Nets games for the season. “You look for me courtside…I’m the one sitting behind Jay-Z”.
My life is now complete. I met the guy who does Jason Kidd's kitchen.
"You know, I'm doing his garage do. All tiles. $25,000 job. I'm doin' it for free. He gave me 2 courtside tickets all season. I'm doing the job for free."
Dude…if you’re trying to impress me, I really don’t give a shit about your courtside tickets. Am I jealous? Sure. But honestly I’d be more impressed if I was 15…not 30. Anyway, he goes on and on about how he hangs out with players and all this bs. I’m sure he was telling the truth, but he was just one of these guys who likes to flaunt his big shot status.
After trying to ignore him doesn’t work, Mr. hot shot proceeds to ask me if I watch the Sopranos. I tell him I don’t get HBO but he proceeds to tell me two of the Sopranos are at the game tonight, he was hanging out with them before the game. Ok…I get the point. You’re “important”. Now just leave me and my Guinness alone.
Our friend Tara and her friend come over to talk. You think this guy would get the hint and walk away. Nope. He continues to pester me with questions. Like there’s not 18,200 other people you can talk to right now.
“Hey, you like the Yankees right?” No shit Sherlock, I’m wearing a Yankees hat. I give him a nod and point to my head knowing where this is going.
“I live up in Larchmont. My wife’s flower shop delivers flowers to Joe Torre’s wife twice a week. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Anytime we need tickets we slip a note with the flowers saying hey Joe, gimme two. Bamn, (he gives me a 'hand on the counter' sign for emphasis) next time we deliver, we got 2 tickets, right behind the dugout.” That’s great…glad scumbags like you get the good seats while good people like me have to buy season tickets just to sit in the bleachers.
He taps me on the arm. “Hey. You know what Jeter and Bernie drive? They have a no motorcycle clause in their contract. They drive mopeds. I went out to dinner with them last year. Nice mopeds too.”
What else you gonna tell me next? George Steinbrenner sucks you off every Friday? You were an extra in Goodfellas?
Surprised that "goomba johnny" didn’t tell me he just did the cast of Goodfellas' kitchens.
After a brief delay so he could chug his beer he taps me again. “Hey, you like clams?”. I mean seriously, what is it with this guy?
I decide to indulge him. “Yeah, I grew up in Brooklyn, I love clams”. “Man you gotta come up to this place in New Rochelle. You know New Rochelle?” I indulge him with a nod yes. “Man, you gotta go. It’s right off the docks. You know that factory near the docks? Down the street from there. Best baked clams. I go there every week. I know the owners. If you want to go just tell them you’re here to see John.”
I basically tuned out the rest of his verbal barrage about this place in New Rochelle so I didn't remember the name of it. After about 20 seconds of pretending to listen I check in again. “You know, if you like Jazz and good food, come down to Oakland New Jersey. There’s this place Ruga. R-U-G-A. Great Jazz on Friday night. Are those your girlfriends?” he asks while pointing to Tara and her friend. “No, just friends of ours” I reply. “Oh, ok, well if you want, bring your friends down to Ruga. Ask for Johnny. I’ll take care of you. I’m there every Friday night. Come look for me”.
At this point I seriously had enough. Thank god the period was about to start so this asshole finally left me alone. Rich turns to me and says “Dude, what the fuck was that about?” Unreal…he basically talked my ear off for 15 minutes. I told Rich he was some hot shot who was friends with Jason Kidd and the Sopranos stars and Joe Torre. Then we look at each other and almost at the same time ask, “So if he’s so important, why the fuck is he sitting in the blues?” I mean if this guy is such a hotshot surely he could’ve gotten tickets up front? Or on the bench even? I mean the way he was going I was expecting him to say he was doing James Dolan’s kitchen. Or banging Brendan Shanahan's wife. (Yeah, you know Brendan. Yeah, I'm banging his wife).
Anyway, I guess you had to be there to see this guy in action. Luckily he didn’t come back to chat between the 2nd and 3rd periods. Maybe he found another friend to talk to.
Anyway I’m surprised I remember the restaurant. Maybe because he mentioned it 20 times in 30 seconds. The website is RugaRestaurant.com. The place looks cool although I don’t think I would ever go there thanks to this idiot. Last thing I need is to go there and have this schmuck on wheels see me and talk to me for 2 hours.
Stuff like this only happens to me though. Seriously. I must have a sign above me that says talk to me. Impress me. Blow smoke up my ass. Unreal.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007