I don’t know if you’re all familiar with the show White Collar. It’s a show about the white collar crime division at the FBI, art thief and forger extraordinaire Neal Caffrey, turned consultant for the FBI. Caffrey as you can imagine is extremely charming, good looking and just generally good at everything.
I’m at Huckleberry Bar one evening in Williamsburg. It’s the middle of the week so nobody is really trying to get too crazy. Or I’m not at least. I’m at the bar by myself (no I don’t think this is weird), enjoying a nice refreshing cocktail after the usual day at work, trying to forget about all of the screaming children, just minding my own business really. A guy who has been sitting a ways down the bar, heads towards me and introduces himself as Neal. I immediately get a weird vibe from this guy but I’m not one to judge and I introduce myself as well. Within five minutes of meeting, this guy is going off about how he just lost his serving job, and how the entire service industry is completely screwed up. Now, you might think I’m a terrible person, although I like to think I’m not the absolute worst, but I’m sitting here listening to Neal bitch about his life and thinking, I don’t really give a shit, mostly ‘cause I’d just met the guy. I’m trying to enjoy my cocktail and detox after my work day and Neal is kinda making that hard to do. I feel bad, but I’m really just not that interested.
Eventually we get on to other subjects like where we live, the things we do, blah blah blah. By chance we find out that we both live on the same street in Bushwick, about two blocks from each other. Neal is saying how great that is and all I’m thinking is, please God, no. Now I’m really not that interested in this guy and am kind of trying to drop hints that I’d like to finish my drink in peace but he’s just not picking up on any of the hints. The bartender however is sensing my vibe and feels sorry for me, he tries to step in and get rid of Neal for me. We start playing silly games over the bar on receipt paper like tic-tac-toe and hangman. Neal is not at all phased. Just keeps on talking away about himself and a variety of other things which I have zero interest in. It’s starting to get really annoying. By this time I’m being more and more blatantly obvious about how I wish he would go away and he’s still just not getting it at all.
Finally he’s too drunk to order another drink. So he turns to me and asks “Are we going to take the train together, or share a cab?”. It’s all I can do to keep the horrified astonishment off of my face that he would even think to ask this question. I understand that we are neighbors, but still, just no. I stare at him for a second and then reply with, “I just ordered another drink, so you do whatever you want to”. He seems confused for a split second and then shakes it off and proposes that we should make a secret Bushwick handshake. I can’t think of any other way to get rid of him so I reluctantly agree. The secret handshake quickly goes from weird to super creepy status when it turns into him trying to do a thumb war with me, but really he is just rubbing his thumb on mine. When he’s finally done molesting my thumb he says goodbye and leaves the bar and I breathe a big sigh of relief.
Oh but don’t you worry, since we are practically neighbors I run into him randomly throughout the neighborhood in bars, grocery stores, the train and even concerts. It’s always a particular pleasure watching his failing attempts to pick up girls when I see him at other bars. Needless to say, he turned out to be the opposite of Neal Caffrey from White Collar, being extremely annoying, not incredibly good looking and the only thing he seems to be good at is annoying girls in bars.