While I was waiting to cross 6th Avenue at 14th Street today I overheard a guy on his cellphone behind me.
"It says Bush is being tried for treason!" I turned around and smiled at him. He was holding a copy of the New York Times.
I knew he was talking about one of the thousands of fake copies of the New York Times circulating town today, given out free, with a headline proclaiming Iraq War Ends. I had read a snippet about it in the real Times. The snippet was brief and reserved.
He looked at me as I smiled and beamed back, his blue eyes bright with joy and excitement. You could just see he was bouncing with the news and wanted to hug everyone. "You know about it?" he asked me excitedly, taking my smile for one of shared happiness. "Did you hear, Bush is a traitor and the war is over!"
I hated to do it to him.
"I'm so sorry," I said, "the paper is fake."
Blank face, still frozen in his smile.
"Fake?" he held it up to show me. It looked just like the Times.
"I know," I said, "it looks real. But look at the date."
I showed him with my finger on the printed page above the helicopters choppering home.
4 July 2009.
"Who did it?" he asked.
"The real Times doesn't know yet," I said.
"Ma," he said into the cellphone, "Ma? It's not true."
I walked on to Union Square.
Read about it here. [11-14-08, update here]
Up Next: the lawsuit.
But just imagine. All the good news. In one day.