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There is something strange in the air. I don’t know what it is, but a tension is resting under the surface like a tender, ripe zit. In the last week, I have witnessed three very intense arguments spill out to the sidewalks of New York; arguments so feral that I felt the need to get away — quickly. This morning took the cake. Right there on Broadway at 8:45 AM, I passed the butcher shop just in time to watch this exchange:

Queens-Accented Guy (“QAG”): I’ll get your ass deported back to Mexico, you fu*k!

Butcher Shop Guy (“BSG”): Silent.

QAG: You stoo-pid fu*k! You’re going back to Mexico!

BSG: Still silent.

This went on in this manner for a while. The QAG was making a lot of noise intermingled with quick, threatening moves while the BSG remained in the doorway of the butcher shop standing still, with a slight smug look on his face — antagonizing the QAG without ever uttering a peep.

Why, was the BSG so smug you ask? Because the BSG was holding a meat hook. A FREAKING MEAT HOOK! I’m not talking a small little hold in your hand and cleave some raw meat meat hook. I’m talking a long, steel pole taller than the BSG(uy) himself covered in fresh blood and hooked on one end and spear-like on the other end meat hook!

It’s still 8:45 in the morning mind you, and I’ve just gotten my fresh coffee and paper. I’m sing-songing my way in the cool Fall breeze with my pleated skirt and pearls –I had on pearls forgodssake — past this madness, this palpable fury.

So, since I’m so happy and white, I say, “Dude, he’s got a meat hook. He ain’t going nowhere.”

I think my pearls shrunk three sizes this day.