Thursday, December 14, 2006

crossed signals

This evening, my suspicions were confirmed - there is, indeed, a particular stretch of 14th St. that is prone to crazy ass dudes using electronic devices. I walk down this way often, en route to the writing space I use, so therefore, I am obviously qualified to make this assertion.

Lately, the area around Union Square (on the 14th St. side) is packed with consumers buying assorted crap from the red and white tent-like structures that sprung up right around Turkey Day. Move up a block, and it's just your average pedestrians. But right after you cross Fifth Ave, it's like you've stepped into another dimension. The proportion of Sane:Crazy is thrown radically out of whack.

Right around the Guitar Center, there is always a man - up until today, I wasn't sure if it was the same dude or not, but now I'm almost positive. This guy is memorable for one reason and one reason only - he makes crazy talk into portable electronic devices on the regular. And by "on the regular," I mean "every time I walk by."

Frequently, he uses a cell phone. I'm not even really sure that he's speaking to anybody, but by the tone of his voice, he probably thinks he's carrying on a conversation with a higher power. Or sometimes, his crack dealer. One day he had a portable radio (so very 80's breakdancing video!). But then there was today...

Today, homeboy (let's call him "Transmitter Tom") had a walkie talkie! He was talking into it, as he generally does with smallish electronic devices, but the difference today was that someone was talking back to him!

It quickly became apparent that the walkie talkie was...uh...borrowed, because the male voice on the other end was yelling angrily to the tune of "return this immediately!...static....prosecuted!...static..."

Tranny Tom was having none of this, however. He calmly pressed the "Talk" button and said to his accuser, "Don't you ever be makin' me late to dinner! OR lunch!" Then he paused, trying to think of a clincher. "OR SNACKS!!!!" With that he strode rapidly towards 6th, walkie talkie in hand, crazy mumbles leaking out of the side of his mouth.

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