Scammer Smurf and Friends

I should have known better, but while my wife and I were out today, I managed to get us stuck in a tourist trap.  We were in Times Square, waiting to meet up with family for lunch at Olive Garden and I saw a person dressed up as a Smurf, so I asked my wife if she wanted her picture taken.  She thought it would be fun, so we walked over, took the photo and started to walk away when the smurf-person stopped us and held up a bag.  I looked inside and saw some dollar bills, so I dropped a dollar in.  I started to turn away, but then the smurf demanded not just one, but two dollars.

Later, as we were sitting inside the Olive Garden, I saw Scammer Smurf and his little friends congregating outside, scheming together and preying on tourists and other unwary pedestrians.

I think I fell for this because the last time I was in Times Square I had my photo taken with a person dressed as an M&M in front of the M&M store without being harassed for money.  Like I said, though, I should have known.

I guess the moral of this story is:  While in New York City, beware of cartoon characters carrying bags and posing for photos.

Elmo and Cookie Monster at Radio City Music Hall

Elmo and Cookie Monster at Radio City Music Hall.

I don’t remember ever liking Sesame Street when I was growing up.  Maybe I did and I just don’t remember anymore.  Regardless, Elmo and Cookie Monster are still in hot demand, despite Sesame Street being 41 years old.  That’s right!  It originally debuted on November 10th, 1969.  So, some of these cute fuzzy guys are older than a lot of people’s parents are now.  That’s something interesting to consider while watching the show.

Sesame Street is popular all over the world.  My wife told me that when she was growing up, Sesame Street was how she first started to learn English.  So, I guess I have to say thanks to Sesame Street for that, at least.  When I showed the above picture to her, she showed me a photo she took in Singapore a few years ago, with Cookie Monster and Elmo hanging out at an N.Y.D.C. Café & Restaurant:

Cookie Monster and Elmo at an N.Y.D.C. Cafe & Restaurant in Singapore.

And it seems that Elmo has a special friend in the Philippines as well:

Elmo and our cat Thumper, hanging out in the Philippines.

That photo wasn’t staged.  Thumper likes to hug Elmo while she lounges on the bed and sleeps next to him sometimes.

They sure do get around don’t they?