Did anyone click over to watch the Hitchens/Boteach debate? Did you watch the entire thing? All 90 minutes? Of course you didn't. I was there, and I didn't. If you're looking for the basic nub of the gist of the whole thing, you should watch the opening arguments, each about 15 minutes long. Hitchens, the more skilled debater, weighs in with a litany of scientific and rational reasoning, while Boteach screams that God exists because Hitchens is a dick.
The evening got less and less fun as the arguments became more shrill/withering, and if you watch long enough you can hear the groans from the crowd. Then the moderator finally loses it and asks Boteach straight up, "What does this have to do with God?" We were basically writhing in the aisles toward the end, and we left the building feeling really, really earthbound.
And then God thought He would punctuate the sentiment, yea verily, by reaching out his Godly hand and smiting my elevator. So I couldn't "ascend." Clever, right? Such symbolism.
Since most of the apartments in my building are rent-stabilized, we've still got a host of really strange characters roaming the halls. And the elevator is as much a character as any of them. It was found in a thawed polar ice cap back in the 20s, and extensive carbon dating revealed it was hewn from a petrified lava formation by Cro-Magnon hominids. Its interior is a sallow beige with brown trim and "O SMOKIN" stenciled on the rear wall. The floor is shale tiles, most of which are broken. And the mechanism craps out approximately every 20 minutes. The repair guy and I knew each other's first names, and at one stretch he came to service the old box every day for two straight weeks. It was unreliable, it was dirty, it stank.
And now it's D.O.A.
The new management company, the one desperate to monetize its new property, has decided to save the body by ripping out its circulatory system and starting from scratch. They'll be here at the beginning of March and assure us the brand-new elevator (connected to a new basement laundry room) will be done in four months. Which means by the time it's truly done (and inspected), TwoBert will be carrying me up the 68 steps.
So look for us this summer! You'll know us right away, because we'll be the three strapping lads whose calves can crush walnuts.