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Nina In New York: Thank You, Law & Order

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Actor Adam Beach who plays Detective Chester Lake and actor Aidan Quinn (R) who plays Ben Nicholson pose on the set of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" June 13, 2007 in North Bergen, New Jersey.  (Photo by Rob Loud/Getty Images)

Actor Adam Beach who plays Detective Chester Lake and actor Aidan Quinn (R) who plays Ben Nicholson pose on the set of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” June 13, 2007 in North Bergen, New Jersey. (Photo by Rob Loud/Getty Images)

A young professional’s take on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in New York City.
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By Nina Pajak

Thank goodness for Detective Elliot Stabler. And Sam Waterston, Olivia Benson, Jeff Goldblum, Elton from Clueless and the chick who’s married to Bobby Flay. Without their tireless vigilance and selfless dedication to justice, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.

The thing that they’ve allowed me to realize is that people are after me. Criminal-type people. I don’t know who or why, but they’re everywhere, I’m sure of it, and it’s only a matter of time before my number is up. Danger lurks at every corner. I frequently triple-lock my door and check all my closets to make sure no one has broken in hours earlier and hidden himself only to pop out in the dead of night to brutally murder us.

It’s a scary world out there when you’re addicted to the Law & Order franchise. Of course, it’s a scary world out there even when you don’t obsessively watch procedural cop dramas on television. But I only ever feel unsafe in New York when I’m fresh off an SVU marathon. The good news is that they almost always get their man (or woman) and no crime is committed more than once an hour. So that’s reassuring.

But it wasn’t until I started getting all caught up in crime shows that it dawned on me that I’m in peril every time I leave the house. Every normal looking person is a potential murderer! On the other hand, the abnormal looking people are almost always red herrings, so you don’t have to be afraid of them.

I don’t like monster movies or slasher flicks, and I don’t read bloody thrillers. After I watched Friday the 13th, I slept with the lights on for two weeks. Is that fun? That’s not fun for me. This is my version of a horror show. Why get scared by fiction when you can scare the living crap out of yourself by exaggerating the truth with ghastly frequency? I guess I could stick to only the programs that are set in other cities. But honestly, I’m not interested. Crime shows in Los Angeles and Chicago are what they are—fun and entertaining. And I can take them or leave them.

Take that same show and plop it on a set around the corner and I must devour every one, almost as if my life depends on it.

Which, of course, it obviously does.

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Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I’m always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.

Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.

The Nina Archives:

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