If you’ve ever ridden the subway, you’re familiar with the saying “if you see something, say something.” It’s posted to encourage people to report “strange” behavior on the trains. Well…I guess “strange” behavior isn’t exactly what they mean–there’s plenty of strange behavior that goes unreported. I think the idea is that if dangerous activity is witnessed, it will reported. But let’s face facts: we’ve all seen the series finale of Seinfeld…we know New Yorkers don’t report stuff.
Well, that’s not entirely true. Saturday night Boo, Rachel and I ventured to my favorite burger joint/bar–Dorrian’s. You may remember Dorrian’s from the Preppy Killer case (not his recent drug bust, his initial murder bust). Well, the place seemed to be clear of murderers on my past few visits so I told Boo and Rachel it was a must that we go.
We grabbed a window seat and soon noticed a guy in a van with a light on. Not his interior light, a separate desk lamp, attached to a desk of sorts. And he seemed to be hard at work. Performing a surgery, perhaps–he was wearing a surgical mask anyway. More and more people started to notice this guy and curiosity grew inside the bar. While a crowd of onlookers grew inside, passersby outside were equally confused by the situation. People would pass his car, stop, walk back, stare inside and keep going. This guy never looked up.
We started to take bets as to what he could be doing. I guessed making jewelry. He looked like he could be soldering something. Then a car drove up next to his, stopped, and he handed them something. Ohh, so it’s that kind of car. He is selling something…not jewelry…this is a drug dealer, isn’t it?
This started to weird people out. One guy inside began to contemplate calling 911. “After all, if you see something, say something.” I’m not making it up. He kept saying it. Over and over until he finally called 911. (NOTE: Rachel and I decided that we would do our part and took photos of the guy…well, of me and the guy.)
Guy: So I called them. They didn’t seem too concerned.
Hostess: What do you mean?
Guy: Well, they asked me what the emergency was. I told them there really wasn’t one, but in these times of terrorism…
Moments later a police came skulking down the street. Lights off, barely moving it turned the corner and pulled up next to our mystery van. They chatted for a few minutes then the po-po drove off and left our man, lights on, to pack his gear. So clearly not drugs, but what then? 911 guy had the answer we were looking for. Any guesses? No? You sure? Now’s your chance…
Fine, I’ll tell you. He was a traveling nail clipper sharpener and he was sharpening nail clippers for the salon around the corner.
In his van. In the (mostly) dark. On a Saturday night.