Rod Townsend sometimes receives phone calls from The Future, a mysterious entity that knows where things will be in New York after the Starbucks and Whole Foods have blanketed the town and then disappeared.
"Es salaam aleikum, giga-glans! I've been wanting to call you for years! This is The Future."
"Pay attention, tera-tits. It's The Future. I've had your number for years on my iPortal, and it seemed like it was time to call."
"But, why now?"
"It's as clear as the waters of magnificent Lake Zero. It's Halloween."
"You can always call them back. Ah, Halloween. It's really my favorite soujorniday. All of the—"
"Soujorniday? You mean holiday?"
"That's right. Language desecularization hasn't occurred yet. So yes, holiday. What are your plans? Have you selected a costume?"
"Um, well, I've been working my ass off, so I honestly haven't thought about it."
"Putting all your effort into the last minute, huh? I've made that mistake before, but you simply must go to the Halloween Parade."
"That's something I tend to avoid. That crowd in the West Village is sort of rough with all the people coming in on the PATH train. A guy could get shot or stabbed or bleach-gunned."
"Well, the parade hasn't been in the Village for years. There was the brief time it changed course to follow the migration of the gays up Ninth Avenue from Chelsea up to Hell's Kitchen, but once the construction of the Moynihan Mediaplex was done, it had to go. Something to do with the outrage when Anna Wintour's mobility scooter was dragged into the parade route."
"So wait. Where exactly is it then?"
"It followed the gays of course. To Governor's Island."
"Gover—but that's so remote."
"Exactly. The gays were tired of having to leave a neighborhood once the fertilizers would move in. After stints all over Manhattan, most of them were at a loss, because a move to a borough would have been too stigmatizing. Instead they moved on to Governor's Island. It's perfect really. They've built up the water taxis, creating a vast system of piers all around, which is an added plus."
"So you're going out there in your costume?"
"Actually, no. This year I've been invited to the Mayor's residence for a very swank affair. For the first time in decades, I'm going to break out the drag and go as the First Lady. Everyone thinks I'll make a great Hillary."
"Wait. Hillary Clinton?"
"Yes, Hillar—wait. Clinton? No one's heard from her since she moved to Lesotho. No, the current First Lady. I think her maiden name was Duff. Anyway, this party is going to be simply jayed!"
"And it's up at Gracie Mansion."
"No, quadri-cooze, that burned down after former Mayor Quinn tried to get all butch and fix some electrical problem on her own. But Tinsley Manor has been a stunning replacement."
"Yeah, naming the mansion after his wife was controversial at first, but Mayor Mortimer paid for the entire construction with his personal prophets."
"Profits from what?"
"Oh, um, no. After the last non-millionaire moved out of Manhattan, there was a dearth of certain businesses. Along with Simon Hammerstein, the Mortimers opened a high-end fortune telling boutique called The Prophet Box. It did so well they created a chain of them, taking over all the empty Starbucks after the caffeine prohibition. Everybody adores the Mortimers now here in Tinsley Town. But they are sticklers for punctuality, so I should get going. I have to get to the Cover Girl shop and find the right labia-pink shade of lipstick if I'm going to be the First Lady."
"But you've told me so much, I...."
"Don't worry, kilo-cock. I'll call you again and explain everything. Asavakit!"