Last night I had one of those stereotypical New York experiences. Not the first time on a subway, or a rude cabbie (which I’ve actually had more of in non-tourist towns than in NYC or Vegas), or even my first glimpse of the Naked Cowboy.
A friend from work who was up here on the same training session I was here for was also hanging around an extra night. Unlike my slack ass, she’s still here because she has work appointments today, while I have some lonely vacation time looking to join all my other days in the “spent” column. So we grabbed dinner at some joint on 51st, then headed up to Times Square to kill a little time.
“I gotta get watches for my girls,” was her impetus for our trip to Times Square.
“Watches. You know, the watches, from the guys on the street.”
So we traipsed around Times Square looking for the guys with the briefcases full of watches. For like half an hour. And when we finally found a guy with a couple card tables loaded down with knockoff watches, none of them were what she was looking for.
“I didn’t realize you had such specific needs in a knockoff/hot watch.”
“My girls are picky.”
“You don’t get to be picky with gifts!” Somehow this offended me a little.
“You don’t know my girls.”
The girls in question are her employees, not her daughters, although I have no doubt when her daughter is a little more coherent in her communication that she will be at least as demanding.
So we look over the watches, and as we turn to go, this little guy in a very big jacket says “You want watches?”
“What kind watches?”
I turn the floor over to my friend, who we’ll call Cody to protect the somewhat innocent.
“Cheap. Silver. Women’s.”
“I got watches, I sell to you $40.”
“No Way! I’m not paying that for a cheap watch on the street!” Cody can get a little strident at times, and our little friend was looking furtively around to see if her exclamation had attracted the attention of one of the 97,000 cops that were hanging around Times Square.
“How much you pay?”
“I give you four watches for hundred.”
“I’ll pay maybe twenty apiece.”
“Okay. You wait here?”
“Okay, but hurry back.”
It took our little friend about ten minutes to make it back, then we went around a corner to conclude our furtive transaction, purchasing four identical ugly knockoff watches for $80, guaranteeing that her girls would have an authentic piece of New York life on their wrist for at least a week or two until they self-destructed.
Little fella looked hopefully at me for more business when Cody was done with him. I looked down on him, gave him a little headshake, and sent his disappointed behind on his way.