Three of us were waiting in the restroom line at the new “specialty bakery” Puff & Pao on Christopher Street, when we realized the occupant in front of us – who turned out to be an employee of the place – was talking to a friend on her cell phone: so loud that we could clearly hear a lot of what she was saying and telling this other person all about how she was wasted (last night? this weekend?) and ended up getting frisked by a plain-clothes police officer who was asking her to lift up her shirt. I didn’t get all the details: She was either drunk or high or looking to get high and the popo was looking for drugs or looking for something else and either the cop wasn’t really a cop or she thought he wasn’t for a moment. But then she remarks to her friend: “Don’t they have murders or rapes to be stopping instead of frisking a white girl?”
Meanwhile outside, we’re cracking up at her. Eventually, we heard the water running and knew she was finally wrapping up. If she knew we’d been listening in the whole time, she didn’t let on as much, as she slipped out of the bathroom and into the kitchen. Later, the other guy who’d been waiting for the bathroom sees the employee and says to her as he’s leaving, “Those random searches are pretty bad, aren’t they?” I didn’t get to see her reaction.
Then, on the A train home, no less than three amateur (begging-for-money) musical acts chose my car to entertain. First, a sad-looking guy with a tale of laid-off, daughter-to-feed woe sang “Blowin’ in the Wind” and accompanied himself with guitar and harmonica. Just after the Dylan fan finished up and left, two men and a kid got on with their big conga drums, sat down on stools, and started beating out a rhythm in synch. Finally, a few stops later, a rapper wannabe and his buddy stepped on. By this time, I’d had enough, so I slipped on my iPod for the rest of the ride. What was funny: The second act seemed to be the one that got the most people to reach into their pockets. Were they the best? Or better than the first act? Or had people who’d missed the first guy felt generosity swell up inside them by the time the drummers arrived? Was it because there was a young kid involved? Three people as opposed to one or two?