A man dressed as the character was one of three impersonators arrested last week for allegedly harassing tourists for tips after posing for photos on Hollywood Boulevard.
That actually happened to me and my friend earlier this year. There was major traffic on Hollywood Blvd. Jerry was driving, so Helen, who’s from NY, and I jumped out of the car, camera in hand, and walked over to the Kodak Theater. We took a snapped a couple pictures near the building and when we saw Jerry pull over, we headed back towards the car. As we were about to jump in, we saw Elmo walking our way. He was dressed in the most ghetto Elmo outfit I had seen. Wait, that was the first and only Elmo costume I’d ever seen, but it was really ghetto. He basically had an Elmo head with a red turtleneck, red sweats, and a black plastic belt.
Before I knew it, he was giving my friend a side hug. I had my other friend’s camera in my hand so being instinctively Asian, I took a picture. All this happened in a matter of seconds, since the car was momentarily stopped in traffic just so that we can get back in. Once I took the picture, we quickly said thanks, and opened the door to get into the car, but he had his palm out asking for a donation. I told him I didn’t have anything and he said, “C’mon, that’s how we make a living, you know.” I looked at his outstretched hand and glanced at his other hand, which held a wad of cash. Oops, I hadn’t even thought about having to donate for taking a picture. He just crept up on my friend and I snapped away. I just apologized and told him all I had was my chapstick and my cell phone, which was true. I hopped in the car and we drove off. Too weird.