Mental Flotsam, Mental Jetsam

Because the only thing that beats going crazy is going crazy with somebody else

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

*Cue the theme to "Jaws"*

As you may or may not have heard, on Sunday June 14th, being of sound mind and body, I dressed up in shorts, a t-shirt and an inside-out bathrobe and took to the streets. Specifically, the streets of Union Square. I did not go alone. No sir. By my side (or in front of me) was Herman, a 7-foot long fibreglass great white shark. Perfecting the image of insanity was the sign I'd drafted, which read "Need $ for Shark Food (He's doing poorly)".

Call it a social experiment. Call it a chance to blow off some steam in a manner not entirely dissimilar to M*A*S*H's own Trapper and Hawkeye. (They frequently acted crazy to prove that they were sane.) Call it thinking and acting outside the box.

Sure, some folks were confused. They were no doubt asking themselves, "Why is a healthy, seemingly cognizant adult sitting on the street, asking (via print) for hand-outs for what is obviously a fake shark?" To ask why was to miss the point. There was no reason. There still isn't one. It was just fun.

The majority of passersby got the joke. Some gave a chuckle, some only a smile, some even gave a dollar. Many took pictures. The minority took offense to my harmless attempt to kill a few hours on what was a glorious and beautiful day.

Here's the kicker: It made New York Magazine. After only a few short hours of benign frivolity, my harmless antics were deemed worthy of recognition in their weekly "Neighborhood News" segment. Others mentioned in that week's post: Social Security fraud (he was dressing up like his dead mother), a cafeteria-wide food fight, and last but not least; an official police search for a runaway pony. The spirit of the post, I gathered, was this: "Real-life events that would make a person say, There's something you don't see every day."

Needless to say, my roommate is chomping at the bit to resume the activities Chondrichthyic. My own self, I'm not so sure. A repeat performance might smack of unoriginality. We'll just have to wait and see. I wonder who else might be, too...