This is excellent. Ok, so before we begin you need to know about this show they produce here, where they find people who are completely fixated on a particular subject, hobby, or person. They interview these fanatics and then put together a show based around that theme. Fun concept. Scary people.

So I’m at the front desk, and this man walks up, he appears to be in his late fifties. He has long, curly gray hair. He is wearing a purple, velvet tophat. And a purple, sequin-covered blazer. And a purple feather boa. Also, his fingernails are longer than a woman’s, and painted in silver glitter nailpolish. He is with a hot, young Asian girl who doesn’t say a word during their entire visit. He asks for a fellow working on the above-mentioned show. Trying to maintain my composure, I call back.

“What’s your first name sir?”


“Hi, Jim, this is Helena at the front desk. Paul is here for you.”

He is fidgeting with his boa.

“Ok, Paul. They’ll be out for you shortly.” The pair stay close to the desk, looking uncomfortable. I would be too. The few people in the lobby are staring pretty intently at them. I’m a little more discreet. But I’m wondering, what the hell is Paul obsessed with? What is his fanaticism? What could it be? The color purple? Shiny stuff? Textiles?

He goes upstairs for his interview, and comes back down about forty minutes later. Jim asks me to validate his parking.

“No problem! Can I have your ticket?”

Paul reaches into his pants pocket and pulls out a business card. Then a subway club card. Then a whole pack of cards, that I can’t really distinguish. He puts all his cards, and stubs, and miscellaneous pocket garbage on the counter.

“Do you think maybe you left it in the car?”

He reaches into his other pocket and pulls out some playing cards, with Hello Kitty riding down a rainbow on the back. He places those down on the edge of the counter, and his elbow catches them, sending them sailing down to the floor. The girl puts down three fluorescent orange nerf balls that she has been holding and stoops over to pick up the fallen cards, as does Jim.

“Because if it’s in the car, I can just give you the stickers.”

Paul is still looking. He pulls out a scarf, and a little purple feather comes out with it, then drifts slowly in front of me and down onto the keyboard. On my reception console now are the contents of his business card pocket, his playing card pocket, three foam balls, a scarf, and a feather. I’m totally hypnotized by Paul’s long, glittering talons, and hardly notice when he triumphantly exclaims, “A-ha!” He holds the ticket out to me, and I validate it while he and the girl put his various loot back into his pockets.

Jim looks at me and says, “Ok, if we’re all set here…” while he slinks away. The pair get set and go.

And ten seconds later they’re back.

Paul smiles, “We forgot something!”

I call back the assistant. “Hey, Jim, this is Helena–”

“Oh no, we found it!”


The other receptionist comes back from lunch a few moments later. He saw the two come in, but missed the whole parking ticket search, so I fill him in.

“Oh yeah,” he tells me, “I just saw that guy drive out in a purple Lincoln Continental.”

[I’ll let that settle in]