The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for March 16th, 2017

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It’s National Artichoke Heart Day, in these United States. 

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One does not want to deceive you, lords and ladies. A humble narrator often thinks about subjects both arcane and nebulous. A recent bit of pondering involved finding a way to hide things in plain sight, although my thoughts did not venture into the realm of nefarious or dubiously legal character. In Hollywood movies, there is a concept called the “Macguffin” – which is an object of desire that drives the protagonists and plot of an action movie. It’s the Lost Ark of the Covenant, the Maltese Falcon, the jewel called the Pink Panther. The Macguffin itself is less important than the events and characters surrounding it, of course. Where would you hide a Macguffin in modern day NYC?

I’m thinking the fleet of green Boro taxis would work. 

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Manhattan and its fleet of yellow cabs are relatively contained. Close the bridges and tunnels, monitor the shorelines, and you’ve created a closed box to search systematically in. The infinity of Brooklyn? The vast tracts of Queens and Staten Island, or the “attached to the continent” borough of the boogie down Bronx? Now you’ve got an intractable problem in finding the Macguffin, with open borders to other counties. The Boro cabs are largely individually owned, and do not return at set intervals to a central location in the manner of the yellow taxi fleets, which complicates locating them. Further, they are dispersed geographically, unlike the yellows.  

The green cabs, due to their meters and other electronic components are able to be found on a GPS map, of course. Saying that, there’s a lot of turf to cover and you’ve only got so many cops. Additionally, once you shut the engine off and park the thing, it’s just another one of the hundreds of thousands of vehicles in NYC.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Nefarious purposes notwithstanding… let’s say the Macguffin is a box of pastry prized by the gendarmes, and not some dirty bomb or other claptrap. A box of donuts, for arguments sake. Would it be possible for the Cops to catalog the contents of every single cab? 

One can report that, based on apocryphal reports offered by those involved with the trade, narcotics and other illicit goods are commonly moved about the City by taxi and car service rather than by private vehicle. Criminal elements amongst us know everything there is to know about forfeiture laws, and the building of RICO cases by association. The favored methodology for moving “weight” is not to have a known gang member carry the stuff (a kilo of Macguffins), but rather to find an innocuous courier whom the cops will not notice nor suspect. In my old neighborhood in Brooklyn, it was common for the mob guys to employ Orthodox Jews as paid couriers for cash and dope for exactly this reason. They blended into the background, just like the Boro Cabs. 

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As a note – something about living in Trump’s America has been causing my conspiratorial theorizing to go into overdrive. Hasn’t been this attuned to the hidden and obscured since the late 1980’s. Paranoid wonderings and obscure connections just seem to blossom these days. A box of donuts isn’t just a box of donuts anymore, instead it’s likely something sinister and laden with more than just too much sugar and fat. We live in a bigly country, and donuts are great again. 

I wonder if I could move a box of donuts through the City, undetected, using nothing but green cabs. 


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Written by Mitch Waxman

March 16, 2017 at 2:22 pm

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