Hungry Patrons Ignore Corpse to Wait in Line for Cronuts

This is totally not the Onion and is so New York City.

There’s a prophetic/creepy line in the movie Collateral that begins and ends the movie.  It’s not about NYC (it’s about LA), but it touched on the anonymity of city life and how cold it can be there.

17 million people. This is got to be the fifth biggest economy in the world and nobody knows each other. I read about this guy who gets on the MTA here, dies.  Six hours he’s riding the subway before anybody notices his corpse doing laps around L.A., people on and off sitting next to him. Nobody notices.

In New York City, fans lined up waiting for the Dominique Ansel Bakery to open so they could get some of their famous cronuts.


Oh, and they lined up despite there being a dead body on the park bench in front of the bakery.

From the New York Post:

“I didn’t see anyone leave the line,†said Chinatown resident Molly Young, 29, who happened by the bizarre scene outside the famed Dominique Ansel Bakery on Spring Street. “It didn’t put a dent in anyone’s appetite.â€

Finally, one man left the line to let the bakery know about the “dead guy” outside.  When cops got there, they estimated he had been dead for about ten hours.

Sadly, the lack of response from the crowd is the least surprising part of this article.  The most surprising part is that people are still lining up for cronuts.

A cronut is a cross between a donut and a croissant.  It is flakey, and people swear by eating them fresh–thus the lines.  But people have been lining up since 2013 for these puppies.

According to Wikipedia:

To purchase one of these coveted pastries at the original bakery location in SOHO, Manhattan, people wait in line starting as early as 5:30am to await the store opening at 8:00am EST.

As for no one really reacting to the corpse (aside from that one man), this is due to something called the bystander effect.

From Psychology Today:

The bystander effect occurs when the presence of others discourages an individual from intervening in an emergency situation. Social psychologists Bibb Latané and John Darley popularized the concept following the infamous 1964 Kitty Genovese murder in New York City. Genovese was stabbed to death outside her apartment while bystanders who observed the crime did not step in to assist or call the police. Latané and Darley attributed the bystander effect to the perceived diffusion of responsibility (onlookers are more likely to intervene if there are few or no other witnesses) and social influence (individuals in a group monitor the behavior of those around them to determine how to act). In Genovese’s case, each onlooker concluded from their neighbors’ inaction that their own personal help was not needed.

In other words, people either assume someone else is taking care of the problem, or if no one else is reacting, there is probably a good reason why.

Of course, in this instance, there wasn’t much they could do to help at this point.

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. whoa! That’s nuts! I’ve attempted that line a few times & it’s not pretty. I’m actually heading there tm to pick up my preorder!

  2. btw used your tips for the broadway show lottery and I’m 3 for 3! Still holding out for Hamilton. Not so much luck with that one.

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