The Map Thief

by Frank Riccobono

In college, I met someone with a stolen NYC subway map on his apartment wall. I started thinking, what sort of person steals a map?



(Music plays like the beginning of a news broadcast.  HUDSON and MAGGIE are sitting at a news desk)

HUDSON:  Good evening.  I'm Hudson Smith.

MAGGIE: And I’m Maggie Rinaldi.  New York City is still reeling as the dread Map Thief strikes again.  So far over four thousand maps have gone missing across the city.  We take you now to Claire Fairfax on the scene at Times Square for more information.

CLAIRE: It’s being called the largest cartographic crime since 1997 when two masked men tried to steal the World Fair Globe to protect it from aliens after seeing the film Men in Black, and it all began right here one week ago when every subway map in Times Square vanished.  Tourist travel ground to a halt as newcomers to the city had no way of knowing which trains to take.  Soon travel resumed as tourists put aside their stubbornness and began to rely on the kindness of New Yorkers to provide directions, but this only made matters worse as most New Yorkers either intentionally or accidentally gave out wrong directions.  Before long, every subway map in the city had been taken.  Now even the subway operators have lost track of where they are supposed to be going.

(At this point LT. WILSON walks by.  CLAIRE counters him/her to try to get a comment.)

CLAIRE: Lt. Wilson, are the police anywhere closer to catching the Map Thief?

LT. WILSON:  Well, this morning we were very close.  You see, we’ve been tracking his or her activities.  Every time the thief struck we put a dot on our map to mark the location.  We really thought we were on to something.

CLAIRE: Did the lead not pan out.

LT. WILSON: We’ll never know.  When we came back from our lunch break, our map was gone.

CLAIRE: Well, there you have it.  The search continues on, but there is a silver lining to this cloud.  GPS device manufacturers are reporting that sales in and around New York City have never been better.  Back to you Maggie.

MAGGIE: Well one thing’s for sure.  Our kids will always tell the legend of this Map Thief.

HUDSON: We’ll let you know if we learn any more key facts.  And now to Tom Brinks with your weekly forecast.

TOM: (standing in front of an empty green screen) Uhhhh...

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