Sunday, October 05, 2008


We were sitting on a bench across from Cheer's Cafe in Quincy Market. Our companion was a professional pickpocket. Citing journalistic privelege, we will not reveal his identifying characteristics here. He is well known by the constabulary though they have thus far been unable to pin any wrongdoing to his person or reputation. As a source of solid information originating between the Aquarium and Government Center, we would prefer he stay out from behind bars. Regular Bostonians need not worry. His quarry is out-of-towners who don't know how to protect thier wallets.

Unable to reveal our companion's true identity, we will call him Sly Eye for the duration of this report.

Sly Eye turned to your reporter. Both were smoking White Owl brand, grape flavored cigars provided by the scofflaw. Sly Eye asked, apropos of nothing but the surroundings, "Have you ever wondered how much Fanieul Hall weighs?" We had to admit we haven't.

He said, "Look around at these plump tourists. They're fatter than all the pidgeons put together but, unlike the pidgeons, they have something I want. Pidgeons have fleas and mites. Tourists have coin and bills." Sly Eye smacked his lips enjoying the cigar's grape flavor and blew a smoke ring. He said, "All the money in these tourists' pockets weighs more than Fanieul Hall and the Center Market building put together."

Sly Eye makes his living fleecing the inattentive. As he was blowing another smoke ring a beat cop passed our bench. The pickpocket said, "Hello, Chauncy. It's a busy day for a gloomy November."

Chauncy said, "It's a bright day for you if I know you. Just keep it low-key, if you please."

Chauncy looked at your humble reporter, ""You're not following him into the trade are you?"

We protested, perhaps a bit much. "No, no," we exclaimed, "We are just here for the news that is fit to print."

"Get along then," Chauncy said. "You don't want to alarm the tourist traffic."

"Indeed not," replied Sly Eye, and with that he and I parted company to enjoy our cigars on opposite sides of the Sam Adams statue.

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