Amber and I took a stroll to the Starbucks a few blocks away from our apartment and afterwards, like clockwork, we dropped by the Barnes and Noble. After twenty or so minutes of quiet book perusing , Amber walked up to me and said, "Seth, I think there are secret service people all around us." I looked up from my biography of Clint Eastwood to see several men wearing suits and all of them had one of those little swirly ear-deals hanging off one of their earlobes.
Now, Amber and I are pretty curious people, and sometimes, when you are surrounded by secret service guys, curiosity is not the best attribute to have. After we had identified each secret service dude like we were bird watchers, we decided to wander upstairs to see if there were any signs about a visiting author or some big political stud, since the Lincoln Center Barnes and Noble is a popular spot to promote new books. But as we rose on the escalator above the bookline of the second floor... nothing going on.
As we turned around to go back downstairs, Amber turned around and said, "Oh crap, there's another one." And of course, like a doofus, I turned around and looked and then tried not to act like I had identified him. In less than 5 minutes, we were public enemy number one.
By this time most folks would cut their losses and leave the store, being trailed by dangerous men and all, but of course, we had to know who the heck all the hubbub was about. So we plunged back into the book section where there was the greatest density of the Agents. It only took a few minutes to figure out who all the security guys were protecting. It was obviously the Arabic dude casually handing books to a servant standing next to him holding a stack of books. Yaaaaawn.
So whoopidie doo. After the disappointment, we decided to stay but because hey, that was a good book I put down for nothing and I wanted to get back into it. But by that time, we had been acting so suspicious that every move we made seemed to elicit a chain reaction of finger-to-the-ear-bud movements from the Agent Smith and his cronies. At one point I almost stopped reading and said, "Listen people. I don't know who this character over here is and I don't care. But me and the wife here would like to read and browse in peace without feeling like we are going to be physically damaged every time we take a sip of our latte. So just chill out with the ear buds and the trailing. Thank you, and welcome to America."
But I didn't, and after a few more minutes we decided to leave. Because if that guy who we didn't recognize had soooooo many bodyguards, that must mean he's got a bunch of people who want him dead. And we didn't really want to be in on that party.