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.