Did someone say ugly American?

Of all the uncountable reasons to hope the tiara-whipped one is sent home from Florida with his shriveled balls sucked back into their cavity, one of the biggest is his insistence that he made New York livable. 9/11 did change everything, but no thanks to that tight end of the alimentary canal. My latest evidence came at the Sido on Amsterdam when I ran in for an O’Reilly sandwich on a time-crunched afternoon. The couple ahead of me had just presented a credit card for $13.96 worth of food when the counterman said it was cash only, and they panicked over where to find an ATM. He kept insisting, “Eat first, pay after,” until they agreed to sit down and enjoy their lunch. My first job out of restaurant school was just across the street in 1984, when it was so scary you took your vagina if not your life in your hands walking in at 6:30 in the morning, and whatever produced this sea change was not a petty tyrant. During the blackout I realized it was more likely to be a populace that understands anything that does not involve bodies hurtling out of windows and air not fit to breathe is really no biggie. The city got kinder and gentler almost in spite of its mayor, even before he balked at leaving. And I’m so glad to be living here rather than back in the relatively small town where I waitressed in college — 36 years later I still cannot believe a regular customer came in one morning, ordered steak and eggs, told me he was short of cash and would pay me the next day and then was never seen again. I can only hope he wound up marrying his cousin.