Central Park has no shortage of people quietly and shirtlessly vying for public attention. Recently, I saw a juggler whose routine was harmonized with Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust," and included a full lip synch and calculated ball-dropping each time the refrain announced, "and another goes another one goes another one bites the dust." I should also mention the juggler was filthy, and had a large grease-painted biker mustache. Not sure why.
But my favorite sight of all is the adolescent jackass two-man team. These guys usually appear in very public spaces – the Vegas strip, Myrtle Beach, or, in this case, the fountain at Central Park. They're never women, because I guess women are accustomed to receiving attention with or against their will. The team I saw in Central Park consisted of the jackass leader – a skinny 15 year-old dressed head to toe in stars and stripes regalia. He had American flag workout pants, a red, white, and blue sleeveless t-shirt and bandana, and a blue and white face-mask. (the mask, i guess, was something a professional wrestler might wear to intimidate his opponent. it was similar to the mask employed to restrain hannibal lecter in silence of the lambs.) He looked like an idiot, which was surely close to his intention. I just don't think he intended to look like the kind of idiot that no one wanted to honor with any kind of attention, good, bad or otherwise.
Either unfazed by the cold reception he received, or totally oblivious to it, the American Jackass wandered through the crowds, waving at people and trying very hard to make eye contact and stifle his laughter. All the while, he was being trailed by a friend – an essential co-conspirator in this entertainment – who filmed the proceedings with a handheld video camera. The videographer was also on the verge of hysterics as his friend smiled and goofed his way through a completely indifferent crowd, trying desperately to draw some kind of attention to his outrageous and carefully-executed costume. Watching them for a while, barely able to contain themselves while everyone else failed to see anything funny or interesting, it reminded that this must be how Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sanz feel when they giggle their way through sketches, finding themselves so precious and kick-ass that they are unable to see that the viewing public fails to see the humor. And, judging by their forced, trembling smiles, their castmates, whose lines fallon and sanz often crush under foot in the interest of having a live tickle fight, share the majority interest. Now, whenever I see these two, I'm going to imagine Jimmy Fallon in a stars and stripes bandana and face-mask, smirking and waving at a disinterested crowd, with Sanz manning the camera right behind him, saying, "Dude, this is gonna be awesome."