R.N.C. EXCLUSIVE: In like Flynn!


If anyone’s been wondering how a street person like our friend Diogenes can be blogging the Republican National Convention, I would draw your attention to the fact that he has occupied his current post outside the 34th Street Station for over five months now. Thus, he is right outside Madison Square Garden and knows it like the hairy palm of his hand.

Yesterday afternoon, the unique possibilities of Diogenes’ position impressed themselves upon the imagination of my buddy Elck, he of the vernacular body – a Manhattan resident and sometime journalist of the gonzo/magical realist school. Elck grabbed pen and notepad and hied himself down to the 34th Street Station, where, by sidling through the crowd like a pickpocket, he was able to approach our convention blogonaut unawares and transcribe a few specimens of his live commentary. Whence this Via Negativa exclusive, permitting the bum to hold forth at somewhat greater length than the pauper’s portion usually allotted him in this blog. Elck claims the following exchange was recorded “almost verbatim.”

The New Out: A Madison Square Garden Exchange

Diogenes: Come right in.

Passerby #1: Huh? You’re outside, how can I “come in” outside?

Diogenes: In that case stay in.

Passerby #1: Don’t you mean stay out?

Diogenes: Nope. The ones inside are the ones out.

Passerby #1: Outside? Wha..?

Diogenes: Out. Of. Their. Minds.

Passerby #1: Oh! You mean in there! (points to the building behind Diogenes). Oh, I get it . . .

Diogenes: Yes. Out there. Out of line. Out on a limb. Out of sorts.

Passerby #1: I’ll stay out here then, I guess.

Diogenes: No, vato. You stay in. It’s dangerous out there. In is in. It’s the new out.

(passerby starts to walk away)

Diogenes: Hey! Spare any change?

When I informed Diogenes about this surreptitious “outerview,” he grew indignant and insisted that I balance it with the following exchange, which he maintains is not only “almost verbatim” but also fair and well-balanced. Whatever.

No Shadows

Diogenes: Good morning, sir. Would you mind stepping a little to the left? You’re blocking my sun.

Passerby #2: Ah! Dr. Diogenes, I presume?

Diogenes: At your disservice.

Passerby #2: Shouldn’t you be busy polishing your tub, or something?

Diogenes: Nah, I ditched the thing. Shopping carts are way more practical. If the Persians are gonna launch a terrorist attack, I’ll need the extra mobility and security that only a modern Safeway cart can provide.

Passerby #2: Ah yes, those impertinent Persians! (chuckling) What’s your take on the convention?

(Diogenes barks and growls like an angry cur)

Passerby #2: Oh, come now! No stories?

Diogenes: Well, O.K. Last night, I sat here holding my big, strong flashlight (mimes obscene gesture). As each gaggle of conventioneers emerged, I shone it full on them like a spotlight, acting like I was Billy Crystal at the Grammies. I had a blast.

Passerby #2: Any honest men?

Diogenes: Honesty is the least of their worries. Two out of three didn’t cast a shadow.

Passerby #2: (laughing nervously, edging away) Well, you take care, now . . .

Diogenes: Thanks. How about some spare change, then?

Passerby #2: (sanctimoniously) Change must come from within, my friend.

Diogenes: Exactly. Now cough up some dough, oh purveyor of facile friendship, or I shall announce to this fine crowd of New Yorkers that you are an undercover Republican.

Passerby #2: No! Wait! I left my wallet inside . . .

Update: Beware of Elck’s own spin. Wheels within wheels. The masked man emerges from the inky shadows . . .

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