City Pulse

By Razi Schwartz

Before I launch into my spiel for today, I’d like to share that I’m typing this article on an airplane. I was one of those gabillion travelers that was snowed out of New York thanks to the snow storm. I can’t decide whether I’m thrilled and giddy that I missed the storm of the century and was stranded in 80 degree weather, or whether I’m bummed that I don’t get to commiserate with my fellow New Yorkers and kvetch about what a pain in the ass it was to have snow up to my eyeballs for an entire weekend. I’d also like to share that this flight has a crap-load of turbulence happening at the moment, and I HATE turbulence. I either freak out and squeeze the arm of the heavily botoxed lady next to me, or I write about it to my readers – you folks that love me. Like me? FINE. Tolerate me.

Undermine, Underyours, Underhis

Now, if you just read the title of this fine Tuesday’s City Pulse, you might think I’m writing something explicit in honor of Valentine’s Day. Explicit, maybe – depending on what you’re definition of explicit is. Explicit for Valentine’s…no. But, if that’s where you’re mind went than…you go you dirty girl…buy yourself something sassy, and enjoy your night. Oh, come on…you don’t need more suggestions from little ole me – I mean, I know I’m chalk-full of awesome ideas, but…I know you can do it!

No, I’m here today to discuss a serious matter in life and relationships – the Underminer. Oh, don’t feign that you don’t know an Underminer…or even worse, that you yourself are an Underminer. For all those who cannot get their minds out of the proverbial gutter, an Underminer is that friend, that one friend that everyone has, that oh-so-casually knows exactly how to ruin your day. Some glaring signs of an Underminer are:

“You look like sh**, did you sleep last night?”
“Can I borrow your pink shirt? I need something dowdy looking for an audition I’m going to.”
“Jonathan was at the party last night and didn’t mention you at all, so I made a point of bringing you up at least once or twice.”
“Oh, those jeans don’t fit you anymore? Can I have them? They look awesome on me.”

If those four examples didn’t immediately take you back to “that time” and stab you in the heart, clearly you’re catching on to our concept du jour though. Well, I’m here today to tell you that you’re not alone if you want to finally admit you have a friend like this, and invite you to a group therapy session (oops, I mean an event) where attendees will be paying tribute to everyone’s favorite “frenemy.”

an image

Join Mike Albo, author of the hit novel The Underminer, New York Times writer Virginia Heffernan, and a slew of New York-y celebs to read and rant from the newly released paperback edition of the book. It’s got the same good stuff as the hard cover version, but…it’s easier to carry. I don’t want to blow the big surprise, but Alan Cumming, Murray Hill (the person, not the neighborhood), and Jackie Hoffman will be among the cast of characters reading from the book and offering their own hilariously heart-wrenching tales of run-in’s with their very own Underminers.

The event will take place at Joe’s Pub on Thursday, February 23rd at 9:30pm. It’s only $15 and all proceeds are going to charity. Really, it’s a no-brainer. As no-brainer as dumping that undermining friend we all have – although it’s easier to go to this event and have a rockin’ good time than it is to kick that bad friend habit. I’ve also heard a little rumor that there will be books on sale and door prizes. I prefer table prizes, but I’m not one to be picky when prizes are involved.

If you’re unable to make it to the event but you’re still itching to buy a copy of the book, you can go to www.bloomsburyusa.com/underminer and go crazy with your bad self.

Pub, 425 Lafayette St. (bet East 4th and Astor Place) Call Joe’s for tix: 212-539-8778. $15 cover; 2 drink minimum.

Originally published February 2006
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