“Furry fandom,” Wikipedia says, refers to “fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics.” Often, though, it’s just a disgruntled person in a fuzzy suit. Such in the case in Times Square, the Daily News reports today, where an Elmo impostor is harassing tourists for money, cursing and smelling bad. In his defense, it’s probably hot in that suit.
The News sets the scene:
“Five dollars! Five dollars!” the dirty impostor shouted as he swiped at a tourist’s camera with his dirty red paw. “No five dollars, no picture of Elmo.”
“It’s a free country. Don’t touch me,” said Amanda Kelly-Knox, 36, as she angrily steered her baby stroller away.
“Ok, give Elmo two dollars. Two dollars for Elmo picture,” the character unsuccessfully counteroffered to the fleeing mom.
It wasn’t going to happen for the guy, who left the mother disturbed:
“I’m just disgusted. The thing is, I don’t mind giving a dollar, but that furry red thing was too aggressive. I think it swore at me. I wasn’t going to let my daughter anywhere near it,” said Kelly-Knox.
“I also think it kind of smelled,” she added.
Though he could not be identified, the character told the tabloid, “It’s called making a living,” before the NYPD made him clear the street. But the ensuing dog pile on the poor dude almost makes us feel bad for him:
A man dressed up as Batman, who also refused to reveal his true identity, said the pseudo-Elmo is sullying the names of the other friendly Times Square characters.
“That Elmo isn’t age-appropriate. He swears and curses. Times Square was better when he was gone,” the caped crusader said. “He gives a bad name to all character actors. Someone calls 911 on Elmo, and they clear us all off the street.
Assuming he’s not on a part of any, ahem, government databases, let’s let the man live, eh? The free market will sort this one out.