Cute Girl Satisfyingly Throws Scumbag Out of Union Square Park

My friend Bobby Crawford, a.k.a. Shaggy, is a skateboarder who surfs the streets of downtown Manhattan. He doesn’t own a computer, but he accesses Twitter through his phone and sends out a prolific stream of updates about the characters he encounters on his adventures. Today he tweeted a good one. According to Shaggy and numerous other witnesses, a homeless Union Square regular nicknamed Signs (because he does a sign stunt, as Shaggy describes in this entertaining essay) has been particularly belligerent this year, threatening and scaring people who refuse to give him money and generally being a scumbag’s scumbag. Last night, Signs got what was coming to him in the most rewarding way imaginable. A cute girl named Lee had enough of the harassment and kicked his ass out of his own park. Of course there’s video.

I wouldn’t normally highlight a guy having a bad day, but this is one of those rare cases where not only does a jerk get his comeuppance, but it happens in such a gratifying way that it’s almost theatrical. The worst fear of a guy like Signs, who gets off on intimidating people, is for one of his victims to call him on his bluff, since he’s really not that physically tough, just psycho enough to make people believe he’ll do real violence.

The worst version of that scenario would be for that fed-up victim to be of the fairer sex, since he’s just as famous for bothering women as men, and probably even scarier from their perspective. Add to that a high-quality video of the whole thing, shareable in this day and age with potentially millions of people, and you’ve got a perfect storm of Hell Yeah!

The video was shot – and very nicely edited – by Normal Bob Smith, a friend of Shaggy who has for years kept a very entertaining blog that chronicles downtown life in general and the Amazing Strangers who frequent Union Square Park (which happens to be BlackBook‘s front yard) in particular. Normal Bob added a helpful video history and subtitles so The Signs Gets Bounced Story (in theaters this fall) can be appreciated even by those who have never encountered him.

As for the protagonist of this story, an attractive young lady named Lee, I think she did a good job on several levels. (Nice going, Lee!) First of all, she summoned the courage to stand up to Signs in the first place, which is not easy when one look in his eyes will convince you that he’d try pretty much anything. I’ve seen it myself. Second, once she realized that despite his threats, Signs would ultimately back down, she didn’t beat him up violently, punching him in the nose as she easily could have. Instead, she put him in a half nelson and gently held him on the ground just long enough for Signs to realize that he was whooped good.

Then, when Signs got up and squeezed her belly, she realized that she had no choice but to put the icing on the cake and kick Signs out of the park. She didn’t even talk that much trash, instead simply pointing out – without dropping F-bombs – that a bully had fallen. I don’t recommend anybody confront a person like Signs, but if you must, do it like that.

Yes, this is a miniscule story in a big world where far worse crimes than Signs’ harassment happen every day, but it’s also a pretty enjoyable tale of coolness triumphing over dickishness. And since so many of the real scumbags of the world will live out their days happy and rich without ever answering for their crimes, I suggest you enjoy it. It might be the only satisfaction you get for a while.

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