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I Spy

September 22, 2008
Spies are abundant when the President is in town.

Spies are abundant when the President is in town.

Add ‘Spy’ to the growing list of credentials on my resume’. At least according to the scraggly, grey-haired woman in the trench coat that accused me of such this morning. She looked more spy-like than I did, though she didn’t do much to hold her cover as she shouted – “Put all your energy into finding the damn terrorists, and LEAVE ME THE &@$! ALONE!”

The latter is what I thought I was doing when I was eating my ham, egg, & cheese in Bryant Park this morning. In fact, I didn’t even know she existed before she leveled the distinction of spydom on me.

To be fair, I wasn’t the only one. The “suit” on the cell-phone at the table near me got the full honor of the accented expletive portion of the accuser’s delivery. But he was a real pro. He was as cool as a cat, continuing his conversation with the agent on the other end of the phone, as if the woman was invisible. He kept a low profile in spite of the presumably unexpected exposure. A good spy must adapt to all circumstances.

42nd Street was lined with NYPD, with center lanes reserved for dignitaries of one kind or another. Some United Nations function was on tap, and president Bush was reportedly to be in New York. Most likely, the trench-coat woman, along with other homeless or undesirables, was asked by the NYPD to “move along” so as not to ruin the patriotic, American Flag-lined channel experience through NYC. Nothing ruins a patriotic buzz more than legless and wheelchaired homeless war veterans, of which there have been several recently on this stretch.

The trench coat woman wasn’t overtly homeless. She looked like she could be a spritely West Village activist, of which most New Yorkers are distinctly familiar. For whatever reason, though, I suspect she was asked to get out of sight, and she took out her frustration on a couple of us nearby.

It all makes logical sense, except for the spy part. Unless…

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