We were in Herald Square watching Diana Nyad swim laps during her 48-hour marathon for Hurricane Sandy victims in Herald Square when we spotted a familiar face.
With a shiny bald head, a white shirt, white pants, white sneakers and a big gold earring, the man looked a bit like a ripped Cory Booker — if Cory Booker were a genie — but there was another likeness there: Was this Mr. Clean? We had to ask and find out.
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Metro: Are you Mr. Clean?
Mr. Clean: Yes, I am.
What are you doing here?
I'm swimming later. Diana is such an amazing athlete and when I heard about this and I heard that Hurricane Sandy was out of people's minds after a year, I decided I was going to get it to the forefront of people's minds again and try to do that in any way I can.
Do you wear that earring at home?
Oh yeah, always. It's permanent.
Does your wife expect you to do all of the cleaning?
Oh, I don't have a wife. My first love is cleaning.
Can you give us some cleaning tips?
Just do it every day. Every single day so you don't have to get that dreaded spring cleaning going. Keep it clean every day and you'll be good.
What's your favorite cleaning product?
The Magic Eraser. Everybody loves it. And they love me and I love them.
Do people recognize you?
Yeah — just about every time. I've been Mr. Clean for nine years now.
Do you have to bleach your eyebrows?
That's from stress and from keeping everything clean. I have a very stressful job.
How often do you have to shave your head?
I shave it every day.
That will be convenient for your swim.
Very convenient — I don't have to wear the cap.
So you've been Mr. Clean for nine years?
I'm the seventh Mr. Clean since the brand started in 1958.
Did it change your life?
It did. It happened to come along at the right time. I've always been a fan of Mr. Clean and my mom always used it and it was just something I needed to do.
And what is your real name?
Veritably ... ?
And what do you say when you're trying to pick up ladies?
[laughs] Uh, how clean is your kitchen? I don't know. I try not to — I keep it clean when interacting with people.
Follow Andrea Park on Twitter: @andreapark