NYPD officers were called to an incident in New York's Times Square this morning, after a man rather unnecessarily slammed a taxi cab door, and a child's balloon burst nearby.
People all around dived for cover, hitting the ground, running into shops, and hiding behind cars, as they sought to escape from the terrorist explosion they had conjured in their minds.
This was the 19th anniversary of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks, and people were still on edge.
One woman who was in Lower Manhattan was 'Janet', who shielded her face and refused to give her surname to avoid identification by any terrorists that may have been lurming in the vicinity.
"I was in two minds about whether to come into town today, but you have to take a stand against terrorism, so I braved it."
'Brian' - not his real name - felt the same. He said:
"I work in this area, so I don't have much of a choice, but let me tell you, there hasn't been a single morning during the last nineteen years when I haven't been scared to death for my life, thinking that I'm going to be yet another victim of bloodthirsty terrorists, who wouldn't think twice about cutting my head off."
After dozens of NYPD officers arrested the man who slammed the car door, and surrounded the crying toddler in his pushchair, order was restored, and heartbeats returned to normal.
Whatever 'normal' is.