"Excuse me. Would you take a picture of us? Thank you very much."
This interaction, a staple of any visit to anywhere and a bridge between languages, cultures, and continents since the invention of the personal camera faces extinction.
At the outstretched plastic-rod of a species invasive to this great nation known as "the selfie-stick."
Invented and popularized in southeast Asia this extendable pole latches onto a phone or a point-and-shoot or a Go-pro allowing its user to move his device a previously-unreachable distance away from his body to snap the "ideal selfie."
No more careless strangers leaving you dark or blurry. No more surprises. Your background, the lighting, your good side, your hair, your smile, your pose, you can assure they all look flawless.
The selfie-stick's trampled any resistance from uppity natives. To find a stick in the wild in this country, one need only visit Times Square.
At the apex of the "prove-you-were-there-world," we find a small herd of these "selfie-accentuate-ors" filling up smart-phones with pictures of their owners.
But whatever shame the selfie stick brings users displaying it in public, it seems not to have stopped the embarrassed from buying them.
Per the New York Post, "Selfie-on-a-Stick" just one of the company's that makes these things saw 3,000 percent growth in November alone.