Most afternoons around one o’clock, I take what I call (with respect to The Daily Show) my “Moment of Zen.”

There’s not much to it, really. It’s basically a walk around the block. I head out the uptown exit of 1515 Broadway, walk west to Eighth Avenue, south to 43d Street, pick up lunch at either Green Symphony (health food) or Europa Cafe (not-so healthy food), then walk back to the office via Broadway.

In fact, my big ten minutes out of the office is rarely very Zen at all. True, I’m not staring at my computers or my Blackberry. True, I strap on my iPod, and listen to a song or two. But otherwise, Times Square and its environs are complete madness (especially on Wednesdays, aka matinee day). It’s rare that I don’t find myself rolling my eyes (at best) or wanting to strangle someone (at worst)

I consistently experience one troubling event nearly each and every day. Invariably, some poor tourist stands on the sidewalk, arm raised, idly hailing each and every passing vehicle. And when the third or fourth cab passes, they frown, exasperated.

Aren’t there guidebooks for that sort of thing? Doesn’t it say somewhere, “If the light on top of the cab is on, the cab is available. If the light on top of the cab is off, it’s not available.” Cuz it should be. Like, maybe, on the bridges and tunnels leading into Manhattan.

I feel badly every time I see it. What a pathetic sight. Every time, invariably, I think to myself, ‘You should really explain the whole thing to them.’ And then, invariably, I walk on by, smiling just a tiny bit.

Is that terrible of me?

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