There couldn't be a worse time to be Cookie Monster.
Following last week's arrest of 33-year-old Osvaldo Quiroz Lopez, who pushed a two-year-old when the boy's mother didn't tip him fast enough, the popularity of costumed characters in Times Square is at an all-time low. Over the weekend, the New York Post sent a reporter to Times Square in a Winnie the Pooh costume, and Pooh Bear was not well-received by anyone.
The Post's Pooh was given the cold shoulder by other costumed characters, who told the undercover reporter to scram: "The costumed crew — two Elmos, a Cookie Monster and a Mickey and Minnie Mouse — stared down our reporter and spoke among each other in hushed tones, huddling together before dispatching Minnie as a messenger." Minnie told the Pooh to get lost, explaining, “There aren’t enough [tourists] here for all of us. You have to leave, OK?”
You'd think they were fighting for drug corners. In fact, the third and fourth seasons of The Wire instantly come to mind, minus the extreme violence, of course.
The reporter was also accosted by a security guard, who has an uncomfortable gift waiting for Cookie Monster: “I got a cookie for him," the security guard reportedly said. "Gonna jam it up his crack if he touches any more kids. Don’t let me catch you touching any kids.”
A friendly neighborhood Spider-Man eventually showed the reporter how to hustle, and the writer eventually made $45 over the course of seven hours.