Perhaps because silliness is part of my job, I was ordered by President Mary to participate in something we got from one of our mailing lists – Freeze Tag on Wall Street. That’s it, no cover charge, no solicitations – just a bunch of yuppie strangers hanging out on a chilly Sunday afternoon, playing childhood games.
And so after art class at The League, I, armed with my sketchbooks and Mary’s hideous beer goggles that she dared me to wear in public (heck, I’ll try anything once), rushed to Wall Street and patiently waited for complete strangers to have a little fun while hearing the following words in my head:
“Please God, don’t let me regret this.”
A few seconds into the game and we were stopped by the cops. Matt Levy, who has organized this game for four years in a row now, vainly argued for our right to play, but apparently we were risking homeland security through freeze tag. Undeterred, still enthusiastic, and wanting to stick it to The Man, we continued the game a few blocks away.
While playing, it became immediately clear to us why adults don’t do this anymore: Freeze tag is exhausting. Towards the end, when it became too tiring for one person, we ended up playing “blob tag” – as the “It” catches you, you link hands and tag another person, until the last one who isn’t part of the “blob” wins. As the “blob” grew to six people, we screamed, “Mitosis!” and divided into two groups to catch the remaining runners. We had hot apple cider to toast the day.
Tourists would stop and stare, a couple of reporters were taking pictures, and a group of brazen breakdancers were a few steps away and encouraging us to join their gig instead, but we didn’t care. We were happy and silly and probably too old to be playing freeze tag in the snow, but for that one beautiful day in New York City, all was right with the world**.
But yes, thank God, we weren’t arrested.
** Until we see nutty photos of ourselves in The New York Sun.