January 1998
A New York Minute
Grumpmeier Goes to AES

ILLUSTRATION: JACK DAVIS
by PAUL D. LEHRMAN

I ran into my old buddy Grumpmeier at the AES show in New York, and he was not a happy puppy. "Look at this place!" he ranted, without even bothering to say hello. "It's got all the soul of an Erector set!" Somehow, the required "™" was missing from that sentence.

"Oh, it's not so bad," I countered. "There's plenty of exhibit space, all the booths are in one area, and it's easy to find things."

"Sure, if you don't mind walking three blocks to get to the demo rooms and conferences. Did you see how empty those corridors were? How few people bothered to make it to the sessions? I tell you, if you wanted to find the cleanest bathroom in New York, it was right there next to the meeting rooms."

"But," I gently reminded him, "don't you remember the days the convention was at the Hilton, when you could spend hours waiting for the elevators to get to the demo rooms? If you tried the stairs just to get from the fourth floor to the fifth, you always somehow found yourself on a locked stairway whose only exit was an alley off of 51st Street."

"Hey, so you'd duck into a deli, grab a knish and a coffee, and head back into the fray. You try the food here?"

I am constantly amazed at how fast he can change the subject. "It's not so bad," I sighed. "They have decent sandwiches and salads and fruit..."

"C'mon, your basic airport has all that now. This is New York! Food capital of the world! And those people who take ten minutes to find change for a fiver after you've spent two bucks on a cup of cold coffee--"

The rest of this column, along with 56 more, is now available in The Insider Audio Bathroom Reader, published by Thomson Course Technology PTR.

Copyright ©2006 by Paul D. Lehrman