For the sixth summer, I’ll be spotlighting little aspects of life here that I love. To see previous Valentines, click the Valentine tag at the end of the post.
I always wondered why this guy drags an amplifier around the area every now and then, using it to broadcast his gentle heckling of passersby. It’s not exactly heckling, because it’s heavy on the positivity. I vowed that the next time I spotted him, I’d stop and chat. Sure enough, I ran into him a couple of weeks ago. As I might’ve expected, it was very entertaining.
His name is Rufus Cannon, and when I asked why he does what he does, he replied, “People need joy and happiness!” Is there any better reason? He said he has a YouTube channel (where he also goes by “Nick”…?), and he’s available for hire if, say, you wanted to surprise your spouse after an anniversary dinner at a restaurant with Rufus standing outside, broadcasting your love for him/her.
I asked if I could take his photo, and he happily agreed, also mentioning that a donation would be welcome. I gave him $20, and he went even further over the moon, announcing that now he could buy new batteries. “I love this guy! I love you! I love this guy! I love you!” I told him I loved him, too, and started to walk away, at which point he yelled into his mike about how Gay Pride is this weekend and God loves the gays. Some guy walking by disagreed, so Rufus explained that “God loves gay people! God loves you! God loves everyone!” The guy flipped him off and said called him a faggot, but Rufus has probably heard worse. He asked me if I loved the gays, and I said I was in fact gay, which delighted him even more. All in all, it was one of the more endearing exchanges I’ve had in a while—and a reminder that New York City still has some of that good, old-fashioned funkiness left.