Garrison Keillor took in a Broadway show as Times Square was evacuated
"Prairie Home Companion" host and erstwhile St. Paul bookstore owner Garrison Keillor was nowhere near Lake Wobegon Saturday night.
No sir, he was taking in a Broadway show near Times Square in New York City when the guy he cheerfully refers to as the "Incompetent Bomber" failed in his effort to blow up a car.
"I was at a show on 43rd Street two blocks away, unaware of any threat, and I maintained unawareness for the next several hours, catching a taxi on Sixth Avenue and proceeding to a Chinese restaurant on 65th and packing away some giant prawns and fried wonton in the company of others," he writes in a column today on the New York Times website. "We ate freely and jabbered about all sorts of things, and nobody came running up to ask if we'd heard about the car bomb. People in Williston, North Dakota, probably got the news before I did."
Of course, if the bomb had gone off, things would have been different. We like former NYPD commissioner William Bratton's image: "A massive fireball rolling across the heart of the theater district leaving New Yorkers and tourists dead or burned ..."
But it didn't happen. The bomber failed. The feds nabbed him off a plane at JFK airport bound for Dubai.
"I was expecting you. Are you NYPD or FBI?" he said as the law closed in.
Nothing to see here, people, Keillor says:
"Next Saturday I will be back in Times Square, and I plan to walk around and enjoy the crowds and the lights. I'll walk across 45th Street past the Nissan's parking spot to the Eighth Avenue subway and take it uptown. Call me irresponsible, but I may stop and think of the millions of dollars spent on self-erasing advertising cascading mindlessly overhead. God bless America and now let's go eat."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.