'Weed Man' and 'Beer Man' in NYC panhandler brawl
The growing tension between buskers recalls Times Square's bad old days.
The dispute between Weed Man in a Box and Beer Man, recounted in The New York Times, may bring a chuckle to even the most hardened and cynical of New Yorkers. It certainly shows that if you can make it in the cutthroat world of tourist hustling in New York's Times Square, you can make it anywhere. All it takes is a gimmick, which is precisely what Weed Man in a Box, also known as Weed Head, has discovered.
According to the paper, Weed Head, whose real name is Dwight Laird, began wondering around the New York tourist mecca six months ago with a cardboard box on his head and a sign over his chest that said: "I am the weed man. I'm too sexy for you to see me."
Tensions escalated between Laird and fellow panhandlers -- particularly one named Wayne Semancik, or Beer Man, who carried a sign requesting "spare change for pot, pizza and beer."
Semancik took umbrage to Laird's statement to the media that his rivals were drug addicts and con artists. Then Laird hit one of Semancik's friends in the head with a frozen water bottle. Laird reportedly spat at Semancik, and, in return, Semancik to hit him.
Laird allegedly retaliated by using a pen to stab Semancik five times in the head and chest.
Tourists are only asking for trouble if they engage with these Times Square characters who specialize in what the Times delicately refers to as the "busking" business.
At least New York officials can take comfort in knowing that this panhandler story didn't involve the man known as "Evil Elmo." That character operated in Times Square before being locked up on charges tied to a bizarre extortion plot involving the Girl Scouts.
--Jonathan Berr is a Philadelphia kind of guy. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
[BRIEFING.COM] The early advance for the market ran into some technical resistance with the S&P 500 pushing the 1871 level. Now, the major indices are mixed as a wave of selling interest has flattened everything out in what has been termed a sloppy session so far.
Notably, we are seeing some relative strength in the defensive-oriented utilities (+0.4%), telecom services (+0.3%), and health care (+0.2%) sectors. Conversely, the influential financial sector (-0.1%) is ... More
More Market News
Serious issues like drought and the deterioration of the developed world spell opportunity for this industry leader.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'