I have been hit. Man down. Sucker-punched in that weakest spot of all: the wallet.

Last night I returned from the mighty Northwest, where at two bookstore readings I kicked the appropriate amount of ass. The totally full flight, complete with nearby screaming infant and mother who did very little to quell the noisemaker’s revolt, had already put a damper on my trip’s success. And then I saw the line at the taxi stand: 20 minutes, easy. Another defeat. When I got to the front of the line and told the dispatcher where I was going, he handed me a slip of paper that said “$65 + tolls.” A bejeezus just to get back from crappy-ass Newark airport, which isn’t much farther away than JFK, from which a cab will run you at most $40 (including tips). I debated whether to take the Airtrain to the New Jersey transit to Penn Station to the subway, but then laughed at myself for considering something so ludicrous. My fate was sealed.

At the end of the trip, the driver asked for $66 ($1 surcharge for a bag in the trunk!) plus the cost of the tolls both coming and going. The $8 that he wanted for the turnpike toll and bridge fee into the city I could have lived with, but a $9 charge for him to leave the city via the Verrazanno? I questioned his route. Why take the Verrazanno and subject yourself to the $9 toll when you can simply cross the Manhattan Bridge and hit the Holland Tunnel for free? At 11pm, this seemed like the quickest route to Newark anyhow, not to mention the cheapest. The whole wheat side of me suspects that he was planning to do that very thing, and pocket the nine bones for a few nightcaps. At any rate, an insane $85 was handed over for a drive that took all of 25 minutes. Bona fide highway robbery.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Don’t fly into Newark if you live in Brooklyn.

Anyway, a friend sent me this video by Baby Dayliner. Someone’s been listening to a little Depeche Mode, it seems. And yet strangely I love it. The overall effect of the video is that of Kevin Dillon doing karaoke on a cable-access show in the 1980s.

It’s 1:25pm and I still haven’t showered or eaten, despite being up since 9:30. Man, I’m slow.