Thursday, February 12, 2009

Trapper John

One of the phenomena disappearing from the streets of New York is the "New York character." We still have a handful--like the Birdman, the omnipresent He-Man, and that guy who dresses all in white, and this guy--but they are an endangered species (whatever happened to the Cross Man and Warhol Van Gogh?).

As we become evermore Pupkinless, it's always exciting to find another character, or the traces thereof. In the increasingly flavorless Park Slope, there is still Trapper John--as OTBKB calls him, describing him as "the man who is singlehandedly saving Park Slope from squirrel and racoons."



The Daily News got the story of a Park Slope trapper named Jim back in 1997 and I'm assuming it's the same guy. They described how the "licensed private critterbuster" does his thing. I've never seen him, but I've seen his "Pestmobile," a mid-century ambulance decked out with painted pawprints, anti-skunk and raccoon signage, and notes to potential harassers, like this one below:



There's a second critter mobile in the neighborhood, and while I assume it also belongs to Trapper John, the thought that there could be two urban trappers is sort of exciting. Maybe it's Trapper Jim's. But this brown pickup truck, slathered with pro-hunting and trapping bumper stickers, is not quite as picturesque as the ambulance.



It does come with one amazing piece of folk wisdom: "Kids who hunt, trap, and fish don't mug little old ladies." Maybe, as the city slips back into its bad, old days, Bloomberg should turn a chunk of Times Square into a Bass Pro Shop emporium to cut down on the muggings.


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I heart trapper john and his trap mobile! - BN

EV Grieve said...

Wow. Classic. I was unaware of the existence of Trapper John (somehow)...Glad to know he's out there...

Bob said...

Another one of the last real New York characters is Elegant Elliot Offen of Howard Stern fame. I run into him nearly every Saturday night as he goes for his jog in the 70s up on Second Avenue. Neither the rain, sleet, snow, or bitter cold ever deter him from running in the all-too-revealing skintight singlet and fishnet stockings that comprise his jogging attire. It's never a good idea to stop him for a chat because he is indeed the same psychotic asshole off the air, but it does warm my heart to see the horrified expressions of outrage and disgust on the faces of the yunnies and the UES' moneyed elite as Elliot cuts a path through their throngs, muttering incoherently and puffing away on his cigarette as he keeps up his brisk stride. Anyone eager to see this for themselves need only hang around the corner of 76th and 2nd at about 10pm on a Saturday night.

cat said...

I like squirrels and raccoons! I don't like hunting. I've seen his 'mobile' around but never a person nearby. Does OTBKB know anything about him before making him sound like some Park Slope 'treasure' because I'm not so sure...

Jay said...

They may not mug old ladies; but they frequently kill blacks, gay people, latinos...