Number 18 was called to one table, number 28, me, to another. I sat down and the interviewer asked what I thought of the test.

"The 'Jeopardy' test was harder." I replied.

The interviewer mumbled something about not wanting to hear that, and then read over the application, chuckling a couple of times over the smart-ass answers I had thought about for a week and written down on the form.

On the line that requested "Occupation" I wrote my standard answer, "Artist/Webmaster/Spy," and this was the first question in the interview.

"Spy?" he asked.

I made a brief comment about having excellent peripheral attention, and how this had even gotten me a gig watching a parking lot where a series of break-ins had occurred.

Another exchange of comments and the interview was over. Two-and-a-half minutes.

I left feeling pretty good about the audition. I had passed the test. The interview had gone very well, I thought, since the interviewer had laughed a couple of times. At least, it seemed to me, I didn't come off as another "dull normal."


Now, with the day's mission successfully (I hope) completed, I had several more hours available to do the kind of things you can only do in a place like New York City.

I walked up Central Park West to 81st Street and bought an admission to the American Museum of Natural History, and the Hayden Planetarium show at the new Rose Center for Earth and Space.

I won't bore you with further details. I'll just say the show and the museum displays were what you'd expect from a museum of the first rank. Two hours later I was again on the street walking south to Madison Square Garden and Penn Station, under the hypnotizing lights of Broadway.

It was close to 5 o'clock and the sidewalks were jammed with people. I wove my way through the crowds. Vendors sold photos, watches, pretzels,

prints and more from tables set up along the sidewalks. Artists made sketches, drawings, and caricatures of willing passersby. Others sold paintings of city scenes, including a lot of World Trade Center images.

Shops blasted air-conditioning out onto the steamy street. Building sized posters advertised movies

The north-south block are short and the numbers whiz by. In no time at all I'm across the street from the Ed Sullivan Theater home of David Letterman's

show. As luck would have it, I'm just in time to see producer Biff Henderson stuffing staff member Stephanie, dressed as Little Bo Peep, sheep in tow, into a yellow cab.

Twenty more blocks and I'm in the vicinity of Madison Square Garden. I can see it to the east, as it spans multiple blocks of the city. I'm barely a side street, lined with Korean and Asian restaurants, away from my destination. But a couple hours remain until my 8:20 train.

Right across the stree from the station is Lindy's deli, and I was feeling hungry again, in spite of the morning's cheesecake. Entering the black formica clad deli, I took a seat at a table by the bar and started reading the menu. Dinner? $16.95 for pasta. Sandwiches? $12.95 and up. Salads? Ditto. I couldn't conceive a salad being that fantastic that it merits such a lofty price-tag, so I folded up the menu and left, ducking into the burger joint next door.

I whittled away the remaining time by taking a walk around the US Post Office nearby and smoking a joint while I strolled.

Eventually, it was time to board for the ride home and the wait for the notice. Play, or no play. Millionaire? Or try again.

Keep your fingers crossed.