“I don’t think we’ve had mass hysteria in New York for a long time. It’s kind of scary, isn’t it?,” Jill asked.
“Bullshit!,” Moira roared. She charged past Jill and threw herself into a beanbag chair in front of the teeny television.
“Bullshit to you too, Moira. Is that how we greet each other, now? We say ‘Bullshit’?”, Jill huffed. Her enormous eyes widened. “You brought Bethel!!! Hi, Bethel!” Bethel charged past Jill straight toward Lexington The Cat’s food bowl. Jill laughed and wrapped me in a bone-crunching hug, as if we didn’t see each other every night. Jill was a cuddly, sweet thing with the looks of a super model.
“Why are you guys here? Not that I’m sad you dropped by….”
“Shut up!,” Moira shrieked. “I’m watching this! Get over here and watch this!”
Jill rolled her big eyes and we both plopped onto her love seat. Bethel, full of cat food already, demanded to be picked up so she could sit between us.
Roma Torre, NY1’s sexy and smart anchor person, was running the show.
“Mayor Guilliani and Disney Chairman Michael Eisner are scheduled to speak in several minutes about the mass hysteria that broke out during the Loew’s 175th Street United Palace Theatre demolition earlier today. NY1 reporter Anderson Cooper’s condition is guarded, but stable. We’ll be back in several minutes with more breaking news.”
Actors in animal costumes and puppets appeared on the screen. “He was just a lonesome cougar until he came to THE GREAT WHITE WAY! Get your advance tickets now for ‘Charlie! The Musical’.” Moira hit the mute button.
“What is this crap about mass hysteria and Anderson Cooper?, ” Moira demanded.
“Wellllll…,” Jill started.
“WELLLLLL, a NY1 news helicopter went to film Disney tearing down some old movie theatre uptown. There were a lot of people watching and stuff. The helicopter turned sideways. Banked. That’s what they called it. Banked.”
“Then-Anderson-Cooper-fell-out-of-the-helicopter. And-people-thought-he-was-a-big-bird,” Jill jabbered. “I really like Anderson Cooper,” she added. “Did I tell you that one of my friends emailed him my picture and told him he should date me?”
“Anderson Cooper is gay, Jill,” I said absently. I was suddenly wondering if Moira and I had been part of a mass hysteria. I wondered if we’d infected the cab driver and caused him to see the bird, too. Mass hysteria was, after all, contagious.
“She thinks everybody is gay because SHE IS GAY, Jill. She thinks Ricky Martin is gay. Don’t you worry. Anderson Cooper will date you.” Moira flipped the sound back on as the Mayor and his Disney best bud appeared onscreen.
“We had a little incident uptown this morning, but luckily, loss of life was minimal. We are worried more about what people are saying they saw. Sometimes events take place so quickly that people are confused and they confuse the people around them. We don’t want this to spread. We are here now to quell this mass hysteria so we can get back to the business of making NYC a great, family friendly business.” The Mayor smiled in what I’m sure he thought was a reassuring manner, but I thought he looked ready to rear back his head and plunge those teeth into my skull.
Eisner chimed in. “We have footage of the actual event, filmed by our Official Disney Public Relations Team. Hopefully this and some counseling will get people back on an even keel. Roll tape, please.”
The next 45 seconds were the craziest thing I’d ever seen on TV. There were shots of a happy, cheering crowd. Then, the camera panned to a helicopter hovering overhead. A goofus little man fell out and the camera lost sight of him as he neared the ground. Rapid pan back to the crowd, where faces froze in horror. Dead silence, and then someone screamed, “GIANT BIRD!” Unintelligible screams, a growing wave of “GIANT BIRD” yells. Stampede. Camera jostling around enough to make you sick. The end.
“That wasn’t what we saw at ALL,” I gasped.
“You were there?,” Jill gasped back. “What DID you see?”
“Giant bird,” Moira said.