This past Saturday, 8pm-ish, I was checking my e-mail in a cafe on Houston and Wooster, when I heard the sound of an explosion. Explosion? I looked around at the people in the cafe; everyone was acting as if nothing had happened. Ok, then, maybe it was just thunder or something (though the sky was clear...). In a few minutes: boom! another one. What the hell, thought I? This time around, lots of fire trucks started descending on the intersection a block or two away. This was getting interesting, so I packed up my computer and went to check things out.
As I approached Houston and Mercer, I saw that cops and firemen had cordoned off a several-block perimeter around Houston and Broadway. A small crowd of bystanders was gathering, and I asked them what was going on. A man told me, "It depends on what you like to see. Over there," he pointed toward the commotion ahead, "two manhole covers just shot up 50 feet into the air" (indeed, smoke was billowing from the pavement). "And over there," he continued, pointing to the sky, "is a lunar eclipse." New Yorkers were being well entertained that night!
But the night's weirdness didn't stop there for me. I phoned my mom to invite her for a movie. She told me she wanted to see "Elizabeth", and asked me to call 777-FILM to find out where it was playing. So I dialed, navigated the menu to where one enters the first three letters of the title, and accidentally pressed a wrong key (I wasn't sure what I pressed, but it wasn't the letter "E" that I had intended). Surprisingly, though, the voice on the other end proceeded to prompt me to press one if I wanted to see "The Queen"! ...and I remembered that the title was "The Queen", not "Elizabeth".