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How to play hooky in New York

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On Tuesday Sam and I went to see his doctor. We took the subway but weren’t sure which train. A workman told us then asked where we were from. ‘You’re so lucky,’ he said when I told him we were from London. ‘In this country the individual isn’t allowed to protect himself.’ Presumably that was a reference of some kind to gun control. Perhaps he thought we didn’t have it and he did. In the doctor’s waiting room, the patient before us had thought she should cancel: ‘It didn’t seem the right day to be travelling into Manhattan.’ She’d come from Brooklyn. The doctor’s phone rang while we were with him. He looked at it and left the room. He came back smiling. The call was from his son’s elementary school. Two boys from the neighbouring high school had phoned to say there was a bomb in the building. The police were summoned, the school was evacuated, the children were allowed home. There was no bomb.

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