Good news, squeegee operators: the squeegee man, once the symbols of a collapsed economy and moral decay in New York City, is back. It’s time to break out those filthy jeans and your best lice-covered hoodie and hit the streets, because the good old days (and by that I mean bad old days) are here again. Talking Points Memo reports that the once endangered species is back with a vengeance, here to spread grime on your windshield and key your car if you don’t tip generously enough.
Forget about avoiding them, since squeegee men know to work the areas of the city where traffic bottlenecks, like Times Square and approaches to the Lincoln Tunnel. Forget about avoiding eye contact, since a good squeegee man will feel free to knock on your window (or kick in your door, should you be bold enough to piss them off). Your choices are pretty simple – you can either pay them, or suffer the consequences. Unlike a ticket for toll avoidance, the wrath of the homeless squeegee man is instantaneous.
Back in the days when Rudy Giuliani and Ray Kelly cleaned up New York, squeegee men were hunted to the point of extinction. Now, thanks to record poverty and unemployment (coupled with shrinking police budgets), the time is right for the return of the squeegee men.
In fact, I’m guessing the return of Times Square to it’s once pristine condition, complete with porno theaters, peep show and fake ID joints, isn’t far behind. It’s about time the city got rid of that family riff-raff that’s been spending money and perpetually watching performances of The Lion King on Broadway.
Source: Talking Points Memo