A lighthearted look at the news, events, culture and everyday life in New York.
By Nina Pajak
Go, Snackman go!
You must've heard of Snackman by now. He roams the city with a bag of chips in hand, casually stepping in to curtail violence without ever breaking a sweat or his chewing rhythm. He's a crime-stopping, chip-popping dude (and he is probably baked, not fried). Seriously, have you ever seen so cool a customer?
In case you need a refresher, a video surfaced yesterday of a man and a woman fighting incoherently on the subway. They were filmed punching and kicking and shoving each other, and the woman repeatedly warned the man not to follow her when she got off the train. In the midst of this disturbing scene, a guy seemingly unknowingly wanders in between the warring parties. But it isn't inadvertent. Because he remains there, serving as a human wall to separate the two, a very clearly deliberate action to attempt to stop their fighting without getting involved himself. You can't quite see his face, but what you can see is the bag of chips he is holding and from which he casually continues to eat as the screaming continues back and forth over his shoulder. Where did this guy learn to do this? It's astounding. Another woman joins the effort by attempting to kick the man in the fighting duo off the train car, and then others pipe up to let him know that they have his face on camera, and he's busted before he can even think about doing anything to hurt or intimidate her. There's lots of shouting all around, and through it all the Snackman never flinches, never changes gears, never. Stops. Snacking. He is a folk hero to straphangers, peaceful citizens, and lovers of individually packaged snack foods everywhere.
Our city needs a new hero like this! With politicians who alienate themselves from their constituents every day, wanton criminals running around groping and thieving and fighting and generally causing ruckus, not to mention terrorist threats, we're not called Gotham for nothing. But now we have the Snackman, and all will be chill and hopefully salt and vinegar flavored. Or maybe barbecue, that would be alright too, depending on the type of chip. Not all chip surfaces take barbecue flavor optimally, of course. Psht. Of course!
Anyway, Mayor Bloomberg should install a SnackSymbol flood light to cast a giant Ruffle in the sky for when situations get really tense. Then the Snackman will grab a bag of something, saunter over from wherever he happens to be, and silently stand in the middle of the melee, refusing to move or speak until everyone is so confused by his casual yet imposing presence that they are stymied into submission. Then the cops can come in and throw the lot into the paddy wagon to sit in a jail cell until they can plot elaborate and surprisingly effective escapes so that they may resume terrorizing the city. So long as they never again run into . . .
Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I'm always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.
Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.
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