October 8, 2010

Pathetic Pete

After receiving literally hundreds of requests (okay, two) to put something up to replace the "bloated deer" photo, here it is, New York's most miserable clown.

While walking through Times Square the other day I saw this smug-looking clown just sitting there among the throngs of tourists. I asked him if he would mind if I took a photo. He stared at me for a moment looking annoyed and then mumbled, "Gimme a dolla'." I said, "What?" He repeated in a loud and nasty tone, "Gimme a dolla'." I handed him a dollar. I pointed my camera at him and he just sat there frowning and wouldn't even look at me. Annoyed, I said, "Hey, clown, look this way. Smile or something." Frustrated and a bit curious, I sat across from him and made small talk by asking him his name. In a heavy Brooklyn accent he said, "Pete, Pete the Painter," as he pointed to his tie which had his name on it. It was like pulling teeth trying to talk to this clown. Finally he warmed up a bit and told me that he was 71 years old and a retired house painter. His dream is to be a stand up comedian like Henny Youngman. Then he pulled off about ten stale old one-liners, one after another. I tried to laugh but could barely fake a smile. He sucked. He told me he comes out here a few times a week and sits around waiting for someone to ask to take his photo. "Some days I only make about 12 dollars and other days as much as 25 or 30 bucks. I'm retired, I need the money." I reached in my pocket and gave him another $2 (big spender). Not exactly the clown you want to hire for your kids 12th birthday party. Well, unless you want all the kids to commit a mass suicide.

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