If you're currently suffering the dreadful misfortune of never having read A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, allow me to give you a short moment of salvation, direct from its hallowed pages. Part 2 in a series.
"What's this hanging out your bag?" [says the policeman]
"What do you think it is, stupid? It's a string for my lute." [Ignatius, our hero, answers]
"What's that?" The policeman drew back a little. "Are you local?"
"Is it the part of the police department to harass me when this city is a flagrant vice capital of the civilized world?" Ignatius bellowed over the crowd in front of the store. "This city [New Orleans] is famous for its gamblers, prostitutes, exhibitionists, Antichrists, alcoholics, sodomites, drug addicts, fetishists, onanists, pornographers, frauds, jades, litterbugs, and lesbians, all of whom are only too well protected by graft. If you have a moment, I shall endeavor to discuss the crime problem with you, but don't make the mistake of bothering me."