Don’t unplug the Buddha. Out of context that seems like something from a Douglas Adams book. It could be part of a conversation at the ‘restaurant at the end of the universe’ but it was simply the instructions on a post-it note behind a Buddha fountain in the corner of a Pilaties & Gyrotonics studio in the East Village in NYC—just a door away from the famous Russian & Turkish Baths on East 10th Street.
I chuckled when I read the note because ‘unplugging Buddha’ seems like a monumental, karmic, crime, but in this context it was simply a way for the management of the studio to stop patrons from unplugging the Buddha fountain so they could recharge their devices.
Context is everything!
“I KILLED it!” can be a exclamation of euphoric celebration after acing an exam, nailing an audition, or simply finishing a draft of a story. It can also be a menacing confession, wrapped in a threat to continue a spree. Or, perhaps, a declaration of victory over a MONSTER!
The sidewalk was narrowed due to construction so I found myself unable to walk around a trio. Stuck behind them for an entire block I overheard another context challenging conversation.
Person 1: You can spot them by the way they dress—always jeans and a Yankees hat.
Person 2: You’d think that undercover cops wouldn’t all dress the same.
Person 3: Like it’s a uniform for the narcotics squad. They telegraph who they are. And what’s with the Yankees hats and jackets?
Person 1: NYPD is keeps Yankees merchandising in business…
Was this the casual conversation of three low level mobsters discussing how to spot the undercover narcotics squad?
They were young women chatting on their way back into the law school building, holding take-out lunches.
Context is everything…