Goodbye Summer, Hello Holidays

I just received word that the cargo ship carrying my BDSM Jesus Dressup magnets has completed its journey across the Pacific Ocean, docked safely at the coast in City Of Industry, California, and its contents are now being loaded onto a truck to begin the long track across these United States to New Jersey, and then NYC. That means they will be here by Monday or Tuesday, so this is your last opportunity to purchase aforementioned magnets at the preorder, discount price of just $9. On the day that that truck arrives at my front step honking its horn, and I am lugging those 20 pound boxes up my staircase, that’s the same day put them back at their normal price of $15 each. There’s already been a few handfuls of these preorders made whose envelopes are postmarked and ready to fly out the door, so consider yourself fairly warned. Now’s the time to buy if BDSM Jesus has been on your or your dom’s wish list. I’m really looking forward to a thriving holiday season with these li’l demons back in stock.

Also, I have about 60 sets of the Star Wars Jesus Dressups left (just under two boxes – 40 per box). The same goes for the Jesus Christ Superstar sets (3 boxes) and the Original Jesus Dressups (2 boxes). Once these run out, that’s it. Especially the latter two, I have no plans in the near or distant future of producing again. There’s too many other versions I want to spend my time and money making, like Batman Jesus! 2015, I hope.

It’s October, and another unique year at the square is coming to a close. There’s been no shortage of Amazing Stranger drama there this year. So much so that I’ve had to take several weeks off just to regroup before throwing myself back into it! But now that I’ve got my head back together again, I’m wishing there were maybe a couple more months of that mayhem left before winter sets in. I’ve been pacifying myself by going through hundreds, probably thousands, of photos I’ve taken over the last decade and uploading my favorites to Reddit with dates & details. Most of these images have never before been published, so if you’re into the Union Square/NYC experience, these images will most likely fill that empty spot Humans Of New York can not. Which is also my point.

I’m sick of being an obscure reference. I have confidence enough in the content I’m churning out to have it seen by more than just a couple thousand views on Youtube! Some people are telling me I need to monotize my account (which I believe includes opening them up to bothersom ads), which in turn gets them into the YouTube promotion rotation. Others are demanding I get on Instagram (but I still only have a flip-phone) or the dozen other places there are for me to post my junk. I am happy to say though that the folks over at No Your City have made it clear they’re there for me. And more than a few different Amazing Strangers projects have been discussed, including the Union Square documentary of Union Square.

What else, what else? The production of a Jesus Dressup app is presently a mystery to me. I will let you know when I find out more.
I’m completely available for art projects. For Christ’s sake, hit me up!


Where I’ve Been

Since I seem to not be able to give you folks updates on any other section of the site, I’ll give it here.

First of all, I’m relieved to announce that the order for BDSM Jesus Dressup has been placed, and it’s expected to be here by October. I cut it so close raising the funds for these, but the BDSM Jesus has been the fastest selling version for me so far, and it’s the one the stores have been nagging me to get as soon as possible! My hope is that I can get over this Mohammed Dressup magnets mistake (I should have gotten the BDSM JDU ones done last year instead), then after the holidays, which I hope go well, invest in the Batman version next. Then, perhaps by next summer I’ll be able to get more of the Star Wars made (because those will be gone by Christmas), and get everything back to where I was a year ago. It’s been a struggle getting caught up since being forced to move in January. That took such a serious bite out of my budget, my energy, and inspiration. I’m really hoping to turn things around this Christmas.

The new BDSM version has been tweaked and slightly updated. I redrew Jesus’ submissive nurse outfit, and replaced his pig mask with a sheep’s because of the whole “Lamb Of God” thing. Short of that however, everyone who I asked seemed to think it couldn’t be improved upon. So if it ain’t broke, yadda yadda yadda. Have a look at the sample sets that arrived as of 8/13/14! (Product is in stock as of 10/10/14!)

I’m not fond of selling sets in advance, but in an effort to catch up from previously mentioned setbacks I’ve decided to offer a discounted price for anyone willing to wait for shipment until October (possibly November). When they do arrive they’ll be priced at 15 bucks a pop. But if you know you want it, and you’re willing to wait, you can get them now for just $9 (no quantity limit) plus shipping. I wouldn’t even post this offer if I didn’t get so many emails asking where, when, and how to get them. Now I have an answer.

Amazing Strangers has been lagging, I’m aware. We’re all well aware. We had such a strong spring, and now it’s come to this! I’m not even sure if I ever announced the latest page update. Last month there were two separate, very real threats of violence if certain videos didn’t get removed, and in addition to that, almost every single day for the last month and a half it’s been Volleyball.

Volleyball, volleyball, volleyball. It dominates pretty much everything else at the south end of Union Square. Ask anyone there and they’ll agree. Volleyball eclipses all that’s happening at the park. It’s altered the mojo. Add to that Roman moving away, Wendell & Signs rarely showing, there’s little I can do but sit and wait for something to happen. If the section of my site were called “Amazing Volleyball!” you’d be getting lots and lots of updates! But it’s not. And to me there’s very little that’s amazing about these strangers.

Remember Bob Smith USA? The movie by Neil Abramson about me and 6 other Bob Smiths? Well, earlier this month Neil granted me permission to post the full movie on my YouTube channel. I’m very excited for everyone to be able to see it now. I’m still very proud to’ve been part of that project, and to get that part of my life and the site documented for future generations. I strongly recommend it, and sharing it with your friends.

As for me and my personal life, I just turned 45. I think my vision is finally beginning to fail me. I’ve been single for far FAR too long, and everyone tells me it’s because I’m not on any dating sites. Is that true? Is that the only way now? Is that why everyone’s staring at their phones when they’re crossing the street? Did I lose touch because of my flip phone?
I’m beginning to think that guy who told me to “stop looking and it’ll come to me” gave me shit advice. Time to start peepin’!

A Stranger Sits & Normal Bob Loses It

So yesterday I’m at Union, and I’m sitting with this kid who’s a fan of the site, and he’s cool, and we’re talking. At one point I leave to go to the bathroom, and when I return there’s a couple sitting where I had been sitting. I don’t mind at all and just sit off to the left of them so they’re now sitting in-between me and my friend. There’s a comfortable space between us all.

Then, this guy shows up who’s their friend. He comes right up and sits next to them, which is directly on the step behind my friend. He puts a foot on either side of where my friend’s butt is on the step, leans around and says “You don’t mind if I sit here, do ya? You’re gonna look like my girlfriend! Hahaha!” And the three friends laugh. My friend doesn’t move from his seat, and I see the guy behind him shrugging his shoulders and smirking like, “Haha, I guess he’s not gonna move!”

It was clear that what he was hoping for was to be able to forgo any sort of respectful, “Hey. Would you mind moving over a little so I can sit here?” and instead just hoped his obnoxiousness would make the kid leave and sit somewhere else. When he sat down he didn’t know I was the kid’s friend, so he figured who gives a shit?

A minute goes by and I’m stewing over it all, and I say to my friend, “Hey, can I take your picture? This’ll be good. Trust me, you’re gonna want to remember this moment.”
So I get up and snap a picture.

I’d made myself known, and some more awkwardness is introduced to the situation. The three of them all get quiet and just stare down at their phones, flicking their fingers up and down on their screens. Total quiet. Of course I can’t keep my mouth shut now that I’ve already opened it and say, “Ya like this? It’s the new kind of tourist. They come all the way to New York City just so they can sit with their friends and stare at the phones the whole time.”
My friend is hearing me, but isn’t really saying much. I keep on going because I can’t seem to focus on anything else. “That’s a great move you did to get your seat.” I compliment. And he responds with something along the line of, “You like it? Haha, It’s good, right?”
“Yeah. You need a place to sit, so you just straddle up behind someone, put a foot on either side of ‘em and tell them they’re going to look like your girlfriend if they stay there. That’s a real asshole move!”

They’re all half nervously laughing, and half staring into their phones hoping it’ll all just go away. Of course I can’t let it go since the sitting arrangement hasn’t altered in the tiniest way. I say to my friend (but actually to the whole group), “That’s what happens. People come to the city and think this is how we all treat each other here, so they act rude because they think that’s just what we do.”

Now the guy says something like, “How do you know what I’m thinking? You’re the only one who seems to have a problem with this. Just let it go, buddy. Just stop talking about it. ” and “Listen. If he had been a girl I would have been nice and asked if it was okay” To which I shouted, “Yeah, but he’s just a guy so fuck him.”
And this shit he just said proves my whole fucking point. He did it to be alpha. Being polite to my friend, in his mind, is a form of submission to another guy. So to show he’s superior, this is how he approached the situation where there isn’t enough room to sit. It’s stupid fucking alpha male bullshit. And I’m seeing myself as a teen being just like this kid and having this stuff done to me all the time. This guy’s there with his friends, the kid is alone and a little smaller, so this is how you’re supposed to treat him.

Then this hippy guy who’s been playing the goddamned flute on the other side of us turns to me and says, “Hey buddy. Just let it go. You’re the one who keeps talking about it. Quit bringing up the past. What’s done is done. Let it go. Just drop it.”

See now, I’m baffled that everyone is treating me like I’m the one who’s the problem, and not this guy.
“How would you like it if I sat right behind you, put a foot on either side of where you’re sitting, right here and here” I point to the space on his sides, “and then leans in and says in your ear – If you stay here you’re going to look like my girlfriend?! and then laugh about it?”

At some point in here Shaggy arrives and asks what’s going on. I describe it all to him. He laughs about it, then tries to get me to leave the situation with him because he sees I’m fuming. I totally refuse to leave and Shaggy walks away, the whole time trying to get me to go with him. Very stubbornly I don’t budge and tell him, “I’m not going anywhere. I’m staying right here. There’s more that needs to be said.” Mind you, still nothing has changed in the seating arrangement this whole time. My friend is still sitting in-between this stranger’s feet.

This hippy guy says something like “I wouldn’t mind. Maybe where these people are from that’s a normal thing to do, to be close to each other” or some shit like that. And the guy sitting behind my friend is saying “Buddy. Just drop it. I didn’t do it to be an asshole. I’m a nice guy. I’m a free-spirit…” [Yadda yadda]. I swear to you he said “I’m a free spirit” to which I responded, “Yeah, you’re all free spirits who just take and take and take.”

At this point his buddy chimes in “Listen. He is my friend and he’s a nice guy with a sense of humor. You’re just misunderstanding…”
And I keep going with my “Yeah, he’s a really great guy who forgoes any sort of courtesy wherever he goes and just sits where he wants. And if someone’s there? Fuck him because he’s a free spirit!”

Let me make it perfectly clear here again that still no change has been made to where this guy’s sitting. His feet are still my friend’s armrests.
Finally there’s some quiet. I shut the hell up for a minute. They all just sit there. The guy at some point quietly moves his feet up so his knees are up against his chest, still quite stubbornly not moving from where he’s sitting – so as not to admit defeat I’m guessing.

I say to my friend, “Would you like to sit over here where there’s space so you don’t have to look like this guy’s girlfriend?” To which they all gasp, including the hippy guy, that I can’t just let it go. My friend does indeed get up and move and sit in the space next to me, and there’s more awkward silence.

Finally after a minute more the guy says to my buddy, “Look. I’m sorry if I disrespected you. I didn’t mean to. Now can we all just mind our own business now and drop it?” And my friend says “It’s cool. No problem.” And I say, “Thank you” and the guy says to me, “I’m not saying this because of you. I’m saying this to your friend!” I tell him, “That’s fine with me. It’s about time. I’m just trying to help you be better people. Be polite. And I appreciate that you apologized.”
They’re all – “Okay. It’s done. You’re cool. We’re cool.” And I wash my hands of the situation and move over to where I’m not facing it any longer.

Don’t get the idea from any of my self-debasing as I tell the story that I regret at all saying anything I said, or standing up for my friend.
They still stuck around and sat there for a while, until one after another, people I know at the Square were coming up just to say hi, or hang out, and they realized I knew a lot of people here. So after about 15 minutes of this they finally got up and left. We all shook hands, and my friend thanked me for sticking up for him. I asked him if he was at all bothered by the guy’s move, and he had a sense of humor about it. He even said he thought about lying back into his lap to pretend he was the guy’s girlfriend.
I, on the other hand, felt like I was in the fucking Twilight Zone being the only person there who saw the guy’s move as being as rude and obnoxious as it was. Hell, I’m still fuming about it the next morning.

See more on this story’s page of Amazing Strangers.

Last Day of March Recap

It’s been a long LONG horrible winter, but it seems to finally be ending. And even though it’s been pouring rain all weekend I can’t express enough what a relief even this wet and sunless 50 degree day was. Now, I’m sure any of you who’ve been regulars to the site for more than a couple years have noticed how things have slowed down here. Hate mail has ceased, everyone’s on their phones and the internet’s changed a thousand different ways in just the last 3 years. However that doesn’t mean I’ve gone away. Thankfully the Jesus magnets keep me in business, and it seems they might for the rest of my life. Let’s hope.

Unfortunately BDSM Jesus is completely sold out. The Jesus Christ Superstar set is almost gone (I think I have one or two more boxes of 40 left). And the Star Wars Jesus will surely disappear in 2014. I’d be getting more made immediately if my recent forced move hadn’t depleted all my holiday profits to the red. Believe me, as soon as I get it together I’ll be producing more, and I’d like to have the Batman ones by Christmas 2014, if you want them. Do you though?

“Batman WHAT?!?!” you say?! Yes! Batman Jesus is the latest of my JDU variations. I’m still up for additional costumes to the page if any of you Batman nerds out there have suggestions. Is there something obvious you think I’ve forgotten? Tell me about it! And before I get completely off the topic, if you know of a store in your area that’d possibly carry my product on their shelves, please tell me about that too.

Other updates to the site – This winter I did a lot of drawing to maintain my sanity. So you can check out some of the sexy favorites I did in my portfolio, and everything else worth looking at is on Facebook, for now.

Also, you know that “Other” folder in your Facebook messages? The one you remember every couple years, and then when you do there’s shit there you wish you would’ve seen the year it was sent? Well, today I discovered another one of my hate mailers, Luke, sent an apology which appears to be one of his 12 Step requirements. I was actually touched, and I took off any and all personal information of Luke’s so you can see his email and he can move on. Sorry Luke that I didn’t get it sooner! Facebook really needs to ditch the Other folder. Does anyone really want their mailman guessing which letters are & aren’t important to us?

So a couple weeks ago I posted what I thought was a pretty average video of a guy we’ve all seen at the park swaggin’ around with a headset on for the last year or two. Then a couple days later, in the middle of the night, that video got 120,000 views on it! And now it’s up to 250,000 views, and I’m perplexed! I mean, I saw that it got on Reddit, and some other UK sites, then Gothamist picked it up after that, but in all truth I can’t wrap my head around why it’s such a big deal. I mean, Shaggy and I caught a guy shoplifting at Starbucks, and that video doesn’t even have 5,000 hits! And every time someone tries to explain it to me I STILL can’t fathom the craze! But perhaps you will. See for yourself.

Speaking of which, you know what else has been getting a lot of views seemingly out of nowhere? The Facebook page for Mohammed Dressup! Both Haters & Likers have been hittin’ it up, Liking and commenting on the wall… And that’s about it. No one’s buying the magnets as of yet, but I’ll take what I can get. There could be a point in the semi-near future where I conclude the Mohammed magnets are a complete bust and I’m the bonehead for thinking there’s an ex-Muslim subculture with internet access to appreciate them. Maybe they need a few more decades to see the humor in it all. All is not lost however. One of the few stores that carries them, Wacko on Hollywood Blvd just reordered another batch! So all is not lost. Isn’t “Draw Mohammed Day” coming up here in May? Maybe something can happen then?

As for everything else, the Amazing Strangers will be back at the Square soon enough.
I’m available for freelance work if you have art projects of almost any kind that you’d pay to have done.
Oh, and if you’re really a pro at coding, my dress up games need repairing! Firefox & Google Chrome did something to their browsers last October that deactivated the movable layers feature in my games. If you can figure out a fix besides the “use Safari instead” answer, I’ll pay for your services!

The fact that I still have any visitors to my site some 13 years later means a lot to me.
Your continued interest keeps it going. Now excuse me while I get ready to watch the latest episode of Cosmos.

Normal Bob Smith


It’s been forever since I’ve updated, or have even done anything productive on the site. I have a good excuse though. A couple months ago I got word that the building I live in was sold, and everyone had to be out by January 15th. It was quite an interruption to any holiday spirit I might have had. It’s the place I’d been living for more than 7 years, and I had accumulated quite the stockpile of Jesus & Mohammed magnets. So the job ahead flashed before my eyes and all creativity ceased to be.

Anyhow, I’m completely moved into my new residence as of this week, and 2 tons of magnets (not an exaggeration) have been put into storage. Jesus God, I just did the math on that and I’m having trouble believing it myself. But I finally feel like I have a stable home base again. I’ve realized through this whole ordeal that having to move is my number one anxiety producing fear, beating out Death by a landslide. It goes hand in hand with my fear of landlords.

Oh Christ, and I can’t tell you how much it stings being on the butt-end of NYC’s inside joke about “Hipsters being gentrified out of Bushwick by the incoming Generation Tween.” This is so very real. Some sort of trickling leak in the damn ruptured in 2013, and the flood seems to be dressed in outfits their parents got them for Christmas. I’m not talking about young wanna-be artists & hipsters. Looking poor & “not able to afford” is OUT! I think Occupy may have drained the life out of that fashion statement. What I’m talking about now is streams of young professionals hoisting bushels of shopping bags, with electronics coming out of every hole in their head trying to replicate something they’ve seen on “Girls” or “Sex In The City” or whatever the hit NYC based sitcom is at the moment. I haven’t got my thumb on it precisely yet, but if you’re next to me on the JMZ I’ve no problem pointing it out in great abundance. It’s really an embarrassment.

The holidays have completely depleted my stock of BDSM Jesus Dressup magnets. Those are SOLD OUT! While the Original version, Star Wars & Jesus Christ Superstar are all tied for 2nd. Those will be gone by Summer I predict, so be warned! I did however stumble across a couple boxes of the old 2006 version of Final Justice which have always been my favorite. So to celebrate self-love I’ve added those to the store until they’re gone too.

I know there’s an Amazing Strangers “Year In Review” owed to you. It is in the works. Shaggy has already given his rant on film. Now all that’s left is editing. I’m on it. [Click here for video] For the life of me I’m trying to figure out where the next creative burst is going to relieve itself on the site. I have some ideas, but only time will tell. Other than all that everything else has been fine. Magnet sales are always abundant through the holidays, and freelance jobs have been consistent and keeping me busy otherwise.

Thank you to all of you who continue to keep me in business despite my performance levels! You have not gone unnoticed.
Normal Bob

Quarter Guy Mysteries Revealed

A few days ago Amazing Strangers got a shout-out on Buzzfeed for my coverage on some “Celebs who’re only famous in NYC,” including Wendell & Quarter Guy. As far as I know this is the first time Quarter Guy has gotten any kind of press coverage outside of my site.

Now, Quarter Guy is easily one of the most mysterious & evasive characters I’ve come across in my Amazing Stranger hunts. No one knows him, he hangs completely alone, and seems genuinely unable to have any sort of normal conversation with anybody. Certainly one of the most obsessive & bizarre characters NYC has to offer. Unlike Wendell for instance, Quarter Guy does none of what he does for show. Nor does he do it for sexual fulfillment like other non-socials I’ve followed, ie: Earth Angel or the Peepers. Quarter Guy seems to stand alone. In Shaggy’s own words, “Quarter Guy is the most authentic New Yorker there is.” – Yet, no one knows anything about him. Until now.

Earlier today I received an email from someone who once knew the Quarter Guy.
Here is what she had to tell.

Normal Bob,
Came across a post on Facebook that included the Quarter Guy. Link took me to your page. I know this guy. Or should I say I knew him when I was younger. His name is Kim Williams. He graduated the H.S. of Art and Design between 1983-85. I believe he was a year ahead of me. Was friends with him back then, we where even in a band after H.S. very briefly. He played drums. Lost touch with him shortly after that. We all did stuff back in the day, but everyone pretty much knew their limits. Kim just kinda faded away, then I started hearing stories about him or a guy that looked like him around Union Square. I lived uptown in the 90s, and then briefly in the LES around 2000. I remember seeing him, but he didn’t recognize me. The guy I knew was pretty much gone.Not sure why I’m writing this, maybe just to put a name to the face and just to say he wasn’t always like this. The guy I remembered was funny, a good drummer, and a decent person. Maybe it was drugs, maybe mental issues, maybe somewhere in between, or maybe he said fuck all this rat race bullshit, and mentally checked out on his own terms.
Whoa. This is not at all what I was expecting. When you see the videos of him, is there any of that personality in the guy you once knew?When you say you “did stuff” back in the day, I’m not sure if you’re talking drugs, or just regular things like you went out for pizza and movies stuff. Can you clarify?If you had to estimate about when he started going around for quarters when would you guess?
Thank you for contacting me.
Normal Bob
Recreational drugs. No needles or anything crazy. Don’t want to start rumors. I just watched a videos, sorry to troll. It’s just blowing my mind. The girl in the video is a classmate or ours. I can’t remember her name, but I know the face. I’m surprised he recognized her, but when I saw him so many years ago he seemed really messed up. That was roughly 14 years ago though. I’m guessing he didn’t want to talk to you in front of her.He was a really talented, guy art wise and music wise. Maybe he didn’t want to put it out in front of her that he pan handles. That would be my guess, if I was on the street and ran into someone from the past. Or maybe not? I don’t know. Like I said before, maybe it’s mental, drugs, or maybe just dropped out hippie style?

To read more about the Quarter Guy you can visit his page on my site, or type “quarter guy normal bob” into YouTube search and try and figure it out for yourself.

Half Ton Tower of Mohammed

To many this might seem pretty trivial, but this last week a big thing happened. I got Mohammed Dressup for sale in a physical store. And not just any store, but a store on Hollywood Blvd. One that’s been selling loads of my Jesus magnets for years.

I still have my obvious doubts as to how much they’ll actually sell. I’ve never thought there’d be any sort of mainstream interest in the general population to post Mohammed’s image on ones fridge door for a game of dressup. But I don’t think I’m going too far out on a limb stating that this may very well be the first Prophet Mohammed toy item to sit on a store shelf, like, ever. Am I being too bold?

The store is SoapPlant/Wacko, Hollywood CA, and maybe they’re just putting them out there as a “Who gives a fuck. If they sell they sell. If they don’t, then done” shot in the dark. But for me it’s huge. I hope that giving them a shout out for this isn’t sabotage of some sort. It’s hard for me to keep my cool in this case. It’s a big deal.

I’ve been kicking myself for ordering 2,000 of these motherfuckers earlier this year. I should have gone for 500, or 1,000 at MOST. Knowing what I know about the industry, and what I’d been rebutting on my hate mail pages for the last decade, I should’ve been more cautious. I’ve been saying since the first “I dare you to do Mohammed” email that they’re a tough sell. No one with a credit card gives a fuck about The Prophet, except for the shock-value. But no, here I go again getting all excited over another one of my drawings, spend too much money, and get myself in a predicament where 3 months later I’ve got literally a half ton of product (.5 lb per set) at my doorstep, the tower of which presently stands at the foot of my bed.

It started around 2005 or 06 when I posted the first playable Mohammed Dressup game online that included a burka, an Abu Garb blanket strung up with wires, Uncle Sam, and even a burning plane for him to crash! You’ve seen it. From the beginning of that one, I felt somewhere deep inside, despite the positive feedback, it wasn’t right. It was something I was not. It gave the wrong message somehow, and the feedback was confirming this. So I archived it and set out to try again last winter (2012/13).

The key to this thing, making this Mohammed joke, is it’s not THAT obvious. It does’t have to be chopping off his head with a butcher knife. The success of this image is that he’s beautiful. So beautiful in fact, that anyone not vowed to the Quran would clearly see he’s at least metrosexual. An image so flattering that objecting to it in any way, especially with threat of death, makes the point.

The shipment arrived and the challenge laid itself out before me. At first I could only sell them on the streets. During the course of normal conversation the topic of what I do would come about, and some would buy it off me then and there. One every couple weeks wasn’t going to cut it, obviously, so more needed to be done.

I talked about them in several interviews, but in each case my “Mohammed project” would be dropped out of the final print. This didn’t surprise me. It’s a thick bowl of soup many don’t want to dive into. I wrote some of my own articles. Funny ones, like opposing reasons to buy Mohammed Dressup. But who the fuck is going to respond with their money to a self-promoting blog?

I had an idea for the “Under the Counter” product promotion. It gave reasonable explanations, at least in my mind, as to why stores should consider carrying Mohammed under their counters. It was very sound, but again, it really wasn’t doing the trick. In fact it was probably making them even more paranoid.

If you saw this tower in my bedroom, maybe you’d understand the panic I go to sleep to each night. So when this order for a whole bunch of Jesus magnets, plus 12 Mohammeds arrived, I sighed a great relief.

This could be the end of the story. I’m not expecting the sky to fall, a Jihad, or even mention of it anywhere else but here. Which is why I write about it so thoroughly now.

Mohammed Dressup for sale in Times Square

Back when Mohammed Dressup was just a twinkle in my eye, even then I knew they’d be a tough sell. I’d already experienced first hand the hurdles of Jesus Dressup. Stores probably won’t carry them, any help with promotions is almost impossible, and even other atheists choose to sidestep the topic. They’re a hot potato item to say the least! But goddammit if I was going to let that stop me!

Finding myself now, as a struggling, independent artist with the burden of moving the unmovable, I’ve had to be extremely proactive, and creative. So today I decided to take a trip down the street to the Shopping Mecca of the World – Times Square! It was time to pop my head into some of the most popular game & toy stores and see just how things were done, and what I could do to aid in the sales of my cute little dress up game.

Working my way north on Broadway the first place I came across was Toys R Us. The Times Square Toys R Us is a gargantuan five level mega-store, crammed to the brink of fire code violation with shoppers from all over the world! There’s even a ferris wheel inside towering up to the ceiling. Then, turning the corner towards their puzzles dept, what do I see? My sweet Mohammed magnets on prominent display! There they were immediately adjacent to their Disney & Winnie The Poo puzzle games, I can’t tell you how elated I was! For way too long there’s been such a stigma attached to showing Mohammed The Prophet’s image in any context. Seeing him now, with my own eyes, here next to Poo-bear, I couldn’t help but reflect on the progress we’ve made. The walls we’ve torn down.

With a new spring in my step I made my way towards another part of the store. I was shocked a second time to spot them in their Baby’s R Us section among other games and puzzles. “How far we’ve come!” I thought to myself as I strutted onto the street, to which I directed my attention to the next destination. “How far we’ve come indeed.”

Next on my list, just a couple blocks north on B-way was the Disney Store! “What are the chances,” I thought, “that Disney will have opened up their mind to take a chance on a guy like me?” The Disney Store in Times Square is smaller than you might expect. There’s a long escalator ride up to the main floor, but surprisingly little retail space to browse. I was sure I wouldn’t be so lucky as to score space here.

As I browsed my way through their magical kingdom towards Aladdin’s Castle, my inner genie whispered that another wish might soon be granted. And wouldn’t you know it, there directly under the Jasmine Princess dresses and dolls were even more of my beautiful Prophet’s magnet games on sale… at The Freaking Disney Store! It is a small, small world after all.

Last but not least, I made my way up to M&M’s World, pressing my luck as to just how fortunate I could be in one day. So much candy and toys for little girls and boys, and M&M’s in every direction! But would they make room for the Greatest M of them all? Answer: Yes! There amongst the USA cups and mugs sat a pile of M’s to top all M’s! Even here they were on display front and center where anyone could to snap a picture with their phone and post it on the web. 

I never thought I’d say this, but our War on Terror has opened up the hearts and minds of corporations and the American public alike!  If you would have told me ten years ago that my fridge magnets of the Prophet Mohammed would be on sale at the 3 largest toy stores in Times Square, I would have called you infidel and stoned you to death.

Mohammed Dressup fridge magnets on Sale