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Monday, May 10, 2010

"Extra Extra! Read All About It SUCKER!!!!"

If you know me you know of my obsession with "The Onion", a brilliant satirical newspaper that is often the only news source I can genuinely trust. I have often found myself obsessed with their horoscopes, but not as of late. Just in case you haven't seen this brilliant periodical, you should do yourself a favor and visit their website and enjoy their news videos. The physical newspaper itself is not only awesome, it is FREE!

Well, a few years ago after a particularly long day out on the mean streets of NYC, I had been looking for the new issue of The Onion to pick up for my subway ride home and every spot I'd come across was out of them. I am pretty sure I even went out of my way to seek it out in a few choice spots, but to no avail. I was dragging my weary bones down 8th Avenue looking for a place to rest my soul when a sort of crazy-eyed homeless guy approached me with a stack of newspapers. I figured he was selling the "Homeless Times" paper that some of these folk are peddling. Just as my auto-response "oh, no...sorry" was about to begin, my eye caught sight of the old familiar font and Today's Weather looming off to the right. This man was trying to SELL me "The Onion"! I couldn't help but laugh. This man thought I was dumb enough to pay $2.99 for "The Onion"? He even pointed out the joke price that used to be printed on it that looked legitimate but was just part of it's brilliant satire. I could NOT stop laughing! I figured this was worth the $3 for the amusement I was getting, and besides, I needed the new issue anyway. So I told him I WOULD buy one off of him, just because I thought it was hysterical of him to sell it. I walked away grinning from ear to ear only to realize, as I glanced down in jest, that I already had this issue, and it was WEEKS old. This swindler not only sold me a FREE newspaper, but he sold me an issue 3-4 weeks old! That bastard still GOT ME! At least it was actually one of my favorite issues. I know that sounds strange but I told you I was obsessed. Every single inch of that issue had cracked my shit up and mostly out loud....so at least he sold me a good one!!

This has long-since been one of my favorite NYC stories, much like the time I saw a "blind" panhandler with a walking stick walk off the subway reading his newspaper.

Well....I was hangin' out in Times Square this past week....acting like a hippie with flyers for "Hair" when this man wanders through.....




Now this is NOT the man who swindled me, but I have never seen anyone else trying this since then and that was at least 4 years ago. So I had another good laugh. I told him all about it...and he kept saying it was probably him. I knew it wasn't but I still needed some documentation. This man was very good humored about it all even though it hadn't been him originally. He mentioned that they stopped putting the fake price on the paper and he assumed it was so that people like him couldn't sell them on the streets. He also mentioned that he recently returned from being "away" for the past 4 years. By "away", he definitely meant "in jail"...which he was also, oddly, good humored about.