Monday, March 31, 2008

Big Apple Musings: On the Phone or Just Off His Rocker?

NEW YORK, March 31 — Walking home from the library at midnight, down the block from my apartment, there was a crazy New Yorker talking to himself. Dark trench coat, scruff, babbling about how he had said he'd do something at the beginning of March. Crazy laugh follows.

Now, this observation certainly isn't an original one, and I'm not sure to whom the credit goes, but it's an example of the observation that technology has changed how New Yorkers view one another. Twenty years ago, maybe even 10 years ago, the guy would have been written off as potentially certifiable.

Tonight, however, I paused, and I thought, he's probably on his phone. I didn't see the receiver in his ear, or a microphone cord, but enough observation of crazy and just regular (if bizarre) New Yorkers has taught me that more often than not, these days, the crazy guy talk to himself on the corner, or walking down the street, or riding the bus, is actually talking to another crazy guy on the other end.

Curious if anyone out there in the blogosphere knows who first observed and recorded this phenomenon; it's not me, but trench-coat-scruff-crazy-laugh man was just about the epitome of it tonight.

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