Friday, May 21, 2010

Fuggedaboutit, Part 2

A Slate columnist says, "If you see something, say something? You'd never shut up."

"I set out to see how much disturbing behavior I could encounter in Times Square during an hour and a half around lunchtime...

"I met a Brazilian tourist who had way too many shabby bags in tow, and an off-duty Indian pilot who was carrying a grocery bag around his neck like a cape, food stains running down his shirtfront. I sidled up to a guy scalping Broadway tickets because he was wearing a sweatshirt in the heat.

"Several guys ... tried to sell me a ride, including Abdullah Ghazi, a bearded young man in a yellow City Sights polo. I asked Ghazi what sort of 'unusual' behavior might grab his attention. 'Someone panicky or paranoid,' he said. 'You make a logical assumption that he's off his meds.' And how often does he see that? 'Oh! Every day.' ...

"Investigators announced that they were hunting for a man who was shown on a surveillance tape taking off his shirt immediately after the incident. This was deemed suspicious activity by the police, though Mayor Michael Bloomberg didn't necessarily agree: 'It was a hot day,' he said. 'Maybe he was just changing his shirt? And this is Times Square, where you have the Naked Cowboy.'"