Dinosaur Dracula!

Times Square’s Puffy Hustlers.

One nice thing about my current workload is the chance to see Times Square at its Christmassy finest. There are lights, trees and blaring Christmas music at every turn, and I’m always reminding myself to stop, look around and soak it all in. And then, when I do, someone bumps into me and calls me a fucker.

Christmastime has also brought out Times Square’s best-ever assortment of costumed hustlers. Half a dozen or more on every street corner, ready to trade Kodak moments for a dollar a pop!

I shouldn’t have to tell you that this isn’t entirely on the up and up. It’s not like Disney strategically placed Mickey and Minnie on the corner of 42nd and 7th in an effort to raise fifty bucks a day. Doesn’t bother me at all. Compared to how aggressive or downright nasty some of the area’s other hustlers can be, these costumed weirdos are a-okay. Read More…

BFCDAW #5: The Albino Ferret of Christmas.

I met the Albino Ferret of Christmas in 1986. One of my then-in-college brothers was home for the holidays, and with him were his two pet ferrets. Thinking back, I have no idea how he got away with dorm room ferrets, but kids never considered the particulars.

One looked like an everyday “normal” ferret, but the other had yellowy-white fur and fiery red eyes. He was the real star. The Albino Ferret of Christmas.

I was told in no uncertain terms to stay away from those ferrets, and my brother scared me more than enough to listen. (To give you some idea: One time, he dropped a glass in the kitchen. I made the mistake of walking into the room while performing a sarcastic golf clap. The results were disastrous. Ever have broken glass scraped across your eye? Trust me, you’re not missing much.)

But even a scary older brother couldn’t keep me away from those ferrets forever.

That Christmas Eve, when all of the adults were upstairs partying, I snuck into his makeshift bedroom for a closer look. The “normal” ferret was doing his thing, but if I only had a minute to be one with the ferrets, I wanted to spend it with the freaky yeti version.

I was young enough to consider those red eyes “frightening” at first, but lo and behold, the Albino Ferret of Christmas acted just like any other ferret. It wouldn’t let me pet its head through the cage bars, but it didn’t spit fire at me, either.

Since it was Christmas Eve, I couldn’t stay with the AF of C for long. Really, it was only for a moment. But I’ve remembered that moment for more than twenty years.

I guess albino ferrets just have a special kind of charisma?