By: DrunkGirlHighGuy

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Drunk Girl / High Guy Cultural Review: A Jim Henson Exhibit


This is the second entry in our on-going quest to bring you the most accurate drunk and stoned reviews of cultural events. Here, we go to the Jim Henson exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens.

How We Decided To Go

Sarah: After the massive success of our WNBA adventure, in that I had the best day of my life, two things became apparent: Despite the very real health drawbacks of this venture, we needed to do it again, and fast. Second, it appeared as though Noah had gotten the shortest possible end of the stick because, at the end of the day, no matter how delightful the outing, he would be a paranoid wreck, and I would simply be having an amazing time, every time. So, it was with the massive sense of trepidation on Noah’s part and excited anticipation on my part that we decided to, thanks to a suggestion by our friend Pat, go to the Jim Henson exhibit, which was very exciting because The Muppet Show theme song is my favorite theme song ever, with honorable mention going to the Rescue Rangers theme song.

Noah: After the horrifying ordeal that was our WNBA adventure, I wanted to never do Drunk Girl/High Guy again. I had made the mistake of eating pot cookies instead of smoking, and due to the unexpected and overwhelming strength of those cookies, I was left hazy and depressed for a whole two days afterward. Sarah, however, pleaded with me to do a second. So for this edition of Drunk Girl/High Guy, I decreed that I would smoke instead of eating. In fact, I demanded it. I put my foot down, sternly laid out my case, and quite simply refused to do it any other way. And then Sarah was like “Yay, whatever, I’ll get so drunk!” Sarah and I are good at consensus building. Garfinkel/Walker ’12! We then decided to go look at these puppets we knew when we were kids.

As you can see, the Museum of the Moving Image was built in the Go-Go Space Age.

Getting There

Sarah: We decided to meet at a restaurant called Monika’s Caf ‘ Bar near the museum, which is in Astoria, which is in Queens, which is a place that seems like it’s really far away, but it’s secretly really easy to get to. That is, if the subways are working, which they were not, and I was stuck waiting for a long time for the N train in 100 degree heat, in an unventilated underground tunnel, completely soberly, which was BALLS.

Why did I not bring my flask? Well, perhaps because I live by a personal code of not drinking or eating on the subway. Not even an iced coffee. Not even chicken wings, which I know is the subway food of choice, as I often see chicken bones scattered on the ground and seats. That, or voodoo is a very popular subway activity.

My friend Adrienne came and met me there, which was good because Noah was half an hour late, which I assumed was due to him being stoned, but in reality was just due to Noah being Noah. I was very grateful for Adrienne’s presence, not just because of her awesome personality, but also so I wouldn’t be eating and drinking alone, because when Noah finally did arrive, all he ordered was a cup of ice.

Noah: First of all, how good is ice? Am I right?! To explain, though, I wasn’t just being a weirdo. There was a pitcher of lukewarm water on the table, which is unacceptable because this isn’t Europe or 1832 (before they invented ice?).

Anyway, I got to Monika’s Kafe — which was super kool and khic — half an hour late. Frankly, I have no good excuse except for that I felt no responsibility to show up on time to a thing where the main event is getting high school style trashed. Take THAT, Sarah and high school kids.

I sat down and watched Sarah and Adrienne drink. It was actually a really pleasant and nice time. We’re all so young and good at conversation! The waitresses, however, looked very concerned at the amount Sarah was drinking.

How Sarah Got Drunk

Brunch came with a free drink (score!) So I got a Bloody Mary, which is really a perfect drink because it comes with a built in snack (olives).

I drank that pretty quickly, so I could order another one and eat more snacks while we waited for the food . The second came in a pint glass as opposed to the first one, which came in a regular glass. As a drinking detective, this led me to believe that as nice and accommodating as they were at Monika’s, their free drink was really half a fucking drink. So.

Down went the second Bloody, and I was feeling tipsy, but not as drunk as this experiment required (it’s like a job, a drunk job, this experiment. I’m like an oil tanker captain-Sarah “Relevant Jokes” Walker) so I ordered a glass of Chardonnay. And then another. It was around this time that I got concerned looks from the waitresses. This is what happens when you go to a place where you don’t know the bartender who, as a friend, fully supports your idiotic venture.

There were two waitresses so I think they were actually each individually concerned over half the amount that I was drinking, which depressed and shamed me. The first blip in my experience! I felt what it must be like to be Noah! It was awful. Fortunately, alcohol cures those feelings in the short run, so I quickly bounced out of my Noah-like slump, that is, until Noah showed me the single ugliest umbrella I have ever, and likely will ever, see. I angrily demanded that he put it away.

Adrienne then took us to another bar and on the walk over I wondered aloud why Heidi Klum loved Seal (which was a follow up question to our extensive conversation earlier about his song Kiss from a Rose and my belief that the lyric “to me you’re like a roller dictionary” is in it) and Noah said, “Probably because of his beautiful face,” which was mean, but also funny, so we decided to do some research to see how Seal got scars on his face, which turns out is a very popular Google search:

The answer, we found out, is lupus. We all felt like assholes.

We got to the next bar where I had two more wines and received no weird looks because no one knew that I had had 17,000 drinks before then. The Chardonnay was buttery and delicious. Noah, in response to my ravings (“This Chardonnay is so buttery and delicious!”) took a sip, which was in gross violation of our very flimsy rules of who can consume what substance. But I’m no narc, so I let him get away with it. Then we found an empty stretch of block, easy in Astoria on a Sunday, and, seriously, there was no one for miles, but Noah got really paranoid and thought that people were around.

Then I pretended to drink from a fire hydrant, because when you’re drunk, sometimes you win some, sometimes you lose some, jokes-wise. This probably falls under the losing category.

How Noah Got High

Okay, let’s clear something up right now. It is not paranoid to think it’s a bad idea to stand still in the middle of a non-residential block conspicuously smoking a cartoonishly stereotypical joint. That’s just good sense. Particularly when the person next to you is pretending to drink out of a fire hydrant. I recommended we keep walking as I smoked. Sarah then recommended to herself to sing a song about me being paranoid. I reluctantly admit that it was a pretty good song.

Paranoid Noah (orig) by Swwalks

Sarah: It is good, isn’t it? The lyrics are “Paranoid Noah/No one’s here/Noah’s here.” I asked my friend Tim to make a REEEEEEEEEEMIX!!

Paranoidnoah1 by Swwalks

Sarah: The Museum of the Moving Image is a hidden gem in that probably a lot of people know about, but it had previously been hidden from me because Astoria, am I right? It’s only 10 bucks to get in and, besides the Jim Henson exhibit you can see old timey cameras and the history of movies and television and, for realizies, the fat suit that Robin Williams wore in Mrs. Doubtfire, which is to say, why are you still reading this, you should be running there right now. However, it’s also full of Narcs. Because when I took this photo of what can I only assume was an off duty hall monitor itching to make a citizen’s arrest said, “You really shouldn’t be taking pictures.” Thanks for the tip, Narc! Why don’t you go turn in your best friend to the police, just not on my time!

Jim Henson was so cool. In the 60’s he made these amazing short films. Sexy, jazzy short films for a sexy, jazzy era. One even earned him an Oscar nomination. That could have been enough for Henson. But then he went and invented the Muppets and created Sesame Street and made Labyrinth. I told Noah that David Bowie in Labyrinth was my first crush when I was like eight, which is the truth, and he said, “Really? Eight year old you liked big dicks and feathered hair?” Nice, Noah. Way to be creepy towards my eight-year-old self.

Fun fact, Sesame Street is shot around the corner from the Museum. I felt like Eddie Murphy in Coming to America, not because I was an African prince and not because Noah was Arsenio Hall (wait, is he?), but because I was super excited about Queens and all of its offerings, yet at the same time felt extremely out of place. Maybe it was because I was wearing overalls, or maybe because I felt like the Narc was following me around. The museum was dark and I was getting tired and cranky. I HAD TURNED INTO NOAH, like that movie, The Switcheroo.

Noah: When we entered the museum, I did, in fact, experience a genuine moment of paranoia. I had all these drugs in my bag, and there was a sign that read “All Bags Must Be Checked.”

Immediately, drunk Sarah got all drunk condescending. “Ugh, God. You just have to check your bag like you check a coat. No one’s, like, examining your bag. Relax.” And, well ‘ she was right. But, in fairness, when you get your eyes “checked” they don’t just take your eyes from you, give you a token in exchange, and then have you come back later to have your eyes returned. They thoroughly examine your eyes and then if you have drugs in them you go to jail.

After that brief moment of panic, everything went a lot more smoothly. In fact, too smoothly. The whole point of the “High Guy” part of Drunk Girl/High Guy is the juxtaposition of me being high and out of my comfort zone to Sarah having automatic fun because she is drunk. It turns out, however, that a stoned outing that includes looking at Muppets and watching short films on television screens is way the fuck in my comfort zone. I was having a very good time. I was so engrossed in the exhibit that I didn’t even find anything to mock. Except for, oh yeah, all the Muppets look filthy up close.

They look like they were found in the attic of an abandoned house in Detroit.

Getting Home

Sarah: Noah, as is his way with these things, had fallen silent. After we had watched a Jim Henson video about three times, not realizing that it was on a loop, we made our way to the subway. Noah realized that his cup of ice hadn’t been enough at brunch and he said, “I want a subway sandwich, but not a subway sandwich.” I said that I wanted chicken and grapes. Again, because I had turned into High Noah. Because of Noah’s silence I suggested we listen to music. Noah created a playlist that included “That’s Just The Way It Is,” by Bruce Hornsby, “Soul and Inspiration” by The Righteous Brothers, “Out of Touch” by Hall and Oates, and “Let It Linger” by The Cranberries. Basically, it became clear that High Noah has the musical taste of a girl who went to UMASS in the late 90’s who was obsessed with Dirty Dancing. Also, why is Dirty Dancing the go-to retro cultural reference all of a sudden? I know it always has been, but it seems more so lately? I don’t mind, but I think it’s apparent that all those girls who went to UMASS in the 90’s are now writing our TV shows starring Zooey Deschanel and our rom coms starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.

Noah: Getting home was fun too! My iPod is basically a collection of songs you would hear in a grocery store in 1997, and Sarah let me ear bud DJ. She eventually got off the train, and I continued on to my stop where I got off and bought a chicken parmesan sandwich. It was pretty good!


Sarah: I left Noah on the subway and met my friends in Williamsburg where I was hot, taciturn and insisted that they call me Noah. Inhabiting someone else’s experience is good for perspective, but in this case, not fun. I assume that’s the lesson that The Switcheroo would have taught me. Next time I need more women basketball players, bartender friends and less Narcs and well meaning but judge-y waitresses. However, I fully recommend that you see the Jim Henson exhibit.

Noah: I returned home, got high again, and watched cable news. That debt ceiling stuff was NUTS, right? Next week, Drunk Girl/High Guy attends a concert for a very popular high school band.

Sarah on Twitter: @swalks

Noah on Twitter: @noahgarfinkel

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