Friday, March 27, 2009

Excuse me, Do You Like Stand Up Comedy?

Most annoying thing heard while walking in Times Square:

“Excuse me, do you like stand up comedy?”

This question is posed by fashionably scruffy kids milling about on 7th Ave near 42nd Street (usually guys who, judging from their nascent dirt locks and hemp necklaces, likely own a vault of Widespread Panic bootlegs somewhere near Boulder) paid by various clubs to sell discount tickets to comedy shows. In most cases, they gravitate towards the obvious tourists (slightly overweight to morbidly obese, ill fitting tight jeans, white tennis shoes, Oakley Blades, a hat with the insignia of the football team of the state they hail from and matching sweatshirt) who think of the interaction as being such a quintessentially New York moment.

Luckily, for the most part, office squid such as myself are left alone as we rush to overpriced delis like Café Eurpoa to strap our feedbags on.

However, in less than two blocks today (starting in front of the ESPN Zone and ending in front of the Swatch store) I was set upon by no less than three of these street urchins as I walked to grab lunch. After parrying their advances, saying loudly that “I HAVE TO GET BACK TO WORK,” and then rounding the corner onto 45th St. I suddenly froze in horror. Why would they try to talk to me? What mistake had a made when getting dressed this morning? Quickly I appraised the outfit I was wearing: Brown suede Camper boots, dark 501’s, dark purple gingham check button down shirt and a beige Macintosh jacket. Confused and unhappy, I walked on in a stale mood wishing I had eaten at my desk.

Next time: the savagely idealistic “Save the Childen/Greenpeace” attackers who line 42nd Street in front of Bryant Park . . .

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