Thursday, December 10, 2009

Learning to say NO.

Last week, I was scurrying through Times Square to the office when I got accosted by a couple of guys selling CDs.

"Help me get my recording career off the ground, Man!"

Normally, I don't get bothered in New York, since I dress in a conservative business-suit and definitely don't look like a tourist. That day, though, my 'mojo' wasn't working and I wound up chatting to this clown for about five minutes and then, partly out of sympathy and guilt, but mostly because I find it very difficult to say 'no', I gave him $5 and took one of his CDs.

I was annoyed about it for the rest of the day, though. I'd just finished reading Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist and figured that one of his most admirable traits was his ability (diplomatically, but firmly) to say no. I'd be five dollars richer if I'd developed that knack (the price of a pint of beer, which would have been lovely at the end of the day.)

Why couldn't I say 'no?' From this day forward, I vowed to myself, I'd learn to say 'no.' I'm so desperate to be nice, and polite and please people that I tend to do the right thing by everybody but myself. No longer, I said. 'No' is my new watchword.

And as for the guy who 'sold' me his crappy CD? "He'll get his," I thought. "Karma has a funny way of catching up with people."

Well, it did, this afternoon.

The crappy CD in question. Worth $5? Not likely, mate...

The guy who sold me the CD was gunned down by a plainclothes police officer on the corner of Broadway and 46th (the spot where he'd sold me the CD.) After scamming people for weeks, cops had identified him - but when an officer attempted to arrest the man, he'd pulled out a Mac-10 (a terrifying, fully-automatic handgun) out of the waistband of his trousers.

The cop was forced to shoot him dead. Four times. Because being shot to death once isn't bad enough. Read the story here.

Two things occurred to me. Firstly, that when I'd been hustled out of $5, I'd had no idea that the man had a 9mm automatic shoved down his trousers. It's a chilling reminder to be a LOT more careful in New York City these days.

Secondly, when karma does finally catch up with somebody in New York City, it catches up hard.


paul mitchell said...

Post the tunes, Roland.

Susanne said...

Um, yikes!

Connecticut Yankee said...

You could probably make at least your $5 back reselling that CD on eBay. It's now a piece of scandalous NYC history!