Not that street violence is a laughing matter––we wholeheartedly condemn it, of course––but the New York Times' account of a trial of a group of lesbians accused of beating and stabbing a sidewalk catcaller is filled with so much polite tip-toeing and euphemism, that we'll admit to cracking a smile once or twice while reading it. By victim Dwayne Buckle's account, he was on a sidewalk in the West Village last summer when a group of women walked by and he offered a "Hi, how're you doing?" One of the passing women testified that she rememembered something closer to "Let me get some of that." Initially confused that Buckle was asking for some of her soda, witness Patreese Johnson was quickly disabused of the notion.
She said she realized her mistake when “he pointed to my lower area between my legs.”
Ms. Johnson said she politely replied, “No thank you, I’m not interested in that.”
At that, she said, Mr. Buckle began calling the women a derogatory word for lesbians and boasted that he could have sex with them — he used a cruder word — and make them straight.
Variations in remembrances of what happened following this only become more pronounced in the Times' account, but Mr. Buckle wound up being stabbed and beaten by someone, allegedly the group that is on trial. A videotape of the incident, however, does show Buckle with his hands around the neck of a woman on the ground beneath him. To forestall charges of glibness on our part, we will relay the observation in the Times that described jurors doubled over in laughter during court proceedings.