There was a fight outside of the Christmas display windows at Saks Fifth Avenue when I was there on Saturday night. A fortyish white man with a leather bomber jacket with a round patch sown to the lapel was pointing accusingly at another guy in a baseball hat with a stroller. “You pushed me!” he yelled accusingly at the top of his lungs. The guy with the stroller looked taken aback. “You pushed me in line!”
This was kind of odd, since there were approximately nine hundred thousand people, all pushing each other to varying degrees, trying to get a look at the Saks windows with the animated dioramas inside. Suddenly, a scuffle ensued — the woman accompanying Patch-man grabbed the woman accompanying Stroller-man, held her by the shoulders of her calf-length down coat, and kneed her repeatedly in the shins. Things got a little confused, and a space rapidly cleared around the four. Suddenly, things stopped — a woman in her sixties was yelling loudly “There are children here!”, Stroller man was walking away, and Patch man was touching his lip and looking at his fingers exactly the way a cowboy in a western does. Once again, he pointed at Stroller man — “Well, he’s the asshole who punched me!”
It seems like Patch-man deserved what he got. For the next several minutes, people in the crowd rehashed the event, discussing who was in the right, who was in the wrong, whether Stroller man got in a good shot, and wondering what Patch-woman’s problem was. Police in leather jackets and fur hats scanned the crowd — maybe looking for the scufflers, maybe looking for (it occurred to me belatedly) the pickpockets that had set the fight up as a diversion.