Arriving at work today, I stopped into the building's lobby convenience store to pick up a can if ginseng tea and chat with the proprietor — Mrs. Kim, a sultry Korean cougar in red leather pants who addresses me as "honey," "handosme," "hot stuff," and "baby" — and as I left my cash on the counter I caught sight of the front page of this morning's NEW YORK POST, stopped, and exclaimed, "What the hell?!!?"
For those who don't know, the POST is the daily newspaper that blatanly caters to the Joe Sixpacks of the city, its headlines stressing sleazy scandals, violent crime, hot chicks, general idiocy, and anything else they can crassly exploit in the name of snagging your twenty-five cents, and that is why it will probably never die. Past attention-getting headlines that I will never forget include a full-page color shot of Christopher Reeve in his Superman getup, the day after his paralyzing accident, that read "VIGIL FOR SUPERMAN," a shot of Olympic swimming medalist Greg Louganis, grinning from ear to ear and bedecked in medals, that proclaimed "I'VE GOT AIDS!" and the immortal account of the stripper who was beheaded at the titty-bar where she worked, a tragic tale heralded by the tasteful come-on of "HEADLESS BODY FOUND IN TOPLESS BAR."
This morning's headline read TIMES 'BARE' — ONLY NEW YORK, KIDS, and featured a full-page shot of a bareass nekkid dude listening to his cell phone while blithely strolling around Times Square while two pedestrians walked by like nothing out of the ordinary was occurring (which, considering where this was, was probably the case).
The story follows, and all photos (save one) are from the New York Post.
WELCOME TO TIMES 'BARE'
HIPSTER'S 'ONLY IN NUDE YORK' MOMENT
By JENNIFER FERMINO
CALL ME CRAZY: The man casually checks cell messages.
October 12, 2007 -- What a weenie!
Tourists' eyes were popping and locals' jaws were dropping yesterday morning when a curly-haired hipster bopped around Times Square in the buff.
Stunned passers-by stopped, stared and snapped pics of Josh Drimmer, 26, during his several-minutes-long naked stroll at the Crossroads of the World.
After stripping to the altogether, he zigzagged back and forth along Seventh Avenue between West 47th and 48th streets in all his glory at around 11 a.m. "Yo, homeboy's got full-frontal nudity right here!" shouted one witness into his cellphone.
Drimmer is a playwright and Yale alum from Greenpoint, Brooklyn. In 2003, he earned a byline in the Daily News covering a funeral story. "He was a strange guy," said a man who lived in Drimmer's Yale dorm during freshman year. "He would do weird things. He would eat scraps of food people left around for a couple of hours."
In yesterday's bizarre jaunt, Drimmer first popped up around the Renaissance Hotel, witnesses said. At that point, he was serenely strolling solo in one black sock. But then he ditched the sock and went the full monty. He started banging on the locked side door of the Olive Garden Restaurant, but workers there refused to let him in. The naked-as-a-jaybird jaywalker then crossed Seventh Avenue midblock and barged into Tad's Steakhouse off 47th Street.
To the delight of about a dozen onlookers outside, he jumped up and down on top of the counter inside before being ushered out.
"I want to be on what he's on," said Xavier Sanchez, 23, of Manhattan. "You don't see this down my way at all," said Pat Purks, a tourist from Bucks County, Pa. "The Naked Cowboy's always here. What's the difference?" asked one unimpressed woman. The Naked Cowboy - a k a Robert Burck - told The Post he wasn't in Times Square yesterday. "See what happens?" he said, "One day out and it literally caused some poor soul to go nuts, to keep the nakedness alive."
Yer Bunche's mom with The Naked Cowboy, summer 2007. (Obviously not a NEW YORK POST shot)
The strip show ended when the police showed up. "You got ID on you?" one cop asked Drimmer.
Someone brought over a pile of Drimmer's clothes - which included plaid boxers, a blue polo shirt, and brown ankle-high boots - but he refused to put them on.
Drimmer was taken to Bellevue Hospital for evaluation, police said.
"I have no knowledge" of why this happened, his father said from his Chicago home.