Friday, February 27, 2015


My neighborhood, unaware of the horror
that was about to unfold.
The prosaic, predictable Upper East Side lifestyle to which I'm happily accustomed was briefly shattered yesterday afternoon when high-pitched, unintelligible screaming broke the usual silence outside my building. 

Figuring it was one of the local school kids letting off steam, I ignored it for about two minutes before deciding it was time to give my typically courageous response: Lowering the shade, opening the window a few inches, and bellowing "HEY, SHUT UP OUT THERE!" before quickly ducking out of sight. Just call me Upper East Side Sniper.

As I got to the window, it became clear this wasn't just some kid showing off to his friends. This was the yelling of a woman who sounded mighty angry, and not because she disagreed with her husband about whether the dress was gold and white or blue and black. (For the record, I go with gold and white.)

And there she was: a woman in the building across the street pounding on the window of her first-floor apartment. Pounding so hard, in fact, that the window bulged out every time she hit it, as if made of plexiglass. I still couldn't understand what she was yelling, but it was loud enough to transmit through a closed window. 

I neglected to say that she also appeared to be at least partly unclothed. What the hell, lady, where do you think you are, the Reeperbahn? This is the Upper East Side. We only walk around naked with the shades open because we don't think anyone across the street is looking.

Passers-by, in their typical New York fashion, took little notice of the drama, giving it no more thought than they would a siren down the block. I was thinking that this might be a good time to call 911, when she suddenly stopped and backed away, out of sight. OK, show's over, bub, nothing more to see here.

Suddenly, when what to my wandering eyes did appear was the woman, around 30 years of age, opening the window and carefully hoisting herself out. She was naked, alright, ambling up the block toward York Avenue in the 27-degree air, pausing from time to time as she glimpsed into the parked cars, inquiring, "Mom? Mom?"

As I watched this freak show unfold before me, one obvious thought came to me: Y'know, if this chick wasn't crazy, she'd be pretty hot.

Not even the jaded Manhattanites could ignore it anymore. One older woman took out her cellphone to call 911 instead of doing what anyone else would have done: shoot a video and post it online. 

As the naked woman traipsed out of sight, two words entered my head: bath salts. And not because I was feeling all achy. Take a gander at these real headlines:

                 ‘Bath salts’ suspected in nationwide naked crime wave

 Miami's 'Naked Zombie' Proves Need to Ban Bath Salts, Experts Say

Crazed naked man high on bath salts threatens to eat police officers

 Woman High On Bath Salts Strips Naked In A Park For The Second Time

The gateway drug.
Anybody else starting to notice a pattern? 

These people weren't all naked because they were getting ready to step into the tub and thought, I've got these bath salts here. Hey, let's see what would happen if I snorted them. According to a DEA spokesman, ingesting bath salts causes the body temperature to spike dramatically. Other side effects include violent behavior and unnatural strength. (Don't give NFL players any ideas.)   

As for la femme nue, she was carted away in an ambulance a moment later. By the time I finished putting on my shoes and coat to go out, another ambulance and three squad cars were double-parked outside my building. They were still there when I returned about 45 minutes later. I guess those guys really wanted to find another naked woman.

You'd think this adventure would've been worthy of a paragraph or two in the local tabloids this morning, but you'd be wrong. If only I'd had the presence of mind to take a video with our iPad! It probably would have been good for a C-note or two from the local Fox affiliate's 5:00 news.

But the worst part? The crazy naked woman put on her show after the little brats from the private girls school on our block were dismissed for the day. That's an education they never would've forgotten.


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