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Metropolitan Diary

Dear Diary:
I was waiting for the M5 bus recently on Central Park South when a couple approached me, guidebook in hand, and asked, “Do you know how to get to Carnegie Hall?”

I thought, this is not happening; they have just handed to me on a silver platter pure comedy gold! I suppose I should have factored in their European accents to the possibility that the reply I was wrestling with might fall on deaf ears. And I admit that working at the Friars Club for almost 20 years certainly had a hand in my decision to roll with it.

Without too much inner discussion, however, my outer voice blurted out, “Practice!”

It seemed the perfect and, realistically, only answer I could give them, but in retrospect, taking into account the blank stare of the woman and the disgusted stomping off of her partner, I guess I could have held back from going for that all-important punch line.

Looking like a comedian off his game in a quiet comedy club, I demurely acquiesced and gave her the very dull response she was clearly looking for: walk down this avenue here and make a right at 57th Street. It will be on your left side. So much for showbiz.

Barry Dougherty