Which way is Fifth Avenue?
Is this the uptown train?
Can you spare a quarter?
I generally answer them. Im from the Midwest, where people do things like that. Problem is, when someone stops to ask you a question in New York, you have only a split second to decide: Is the person a tourist, or a psycho? Usually its pretty clear. But not always.
Take the other night: Im walking home from my neighborhood grocery store in lower Manhattan. Im marveling at how a tiny container of raspberries could cost a whole $7, when a shy-looking young man spots me and says, Can you tell me... I figured he was a normal guy about to ask for directions to the Brooklyn Bridge or something, so I slowed down. But no. What he wanted to know was, Is my penis too SMALL?
Then his hands flew to his zipper. Well, I did what any New Yorker would doI picked up my pace and jetted past him with my $7 raspberries. But he persisted: Maam, seriously, is it too small? Look at it! LOOK! I need to know! Do you think my penis is too small? Maam?!? he shouted down the street, till I disappeared around a corner.
The nutcakes here are nothing if not creative.