Now Playing: Sinner's Crossroads w/Kevin Nutt (wfmu.org)
I?m sure that there are more than a billion subway stories underground. Here are a few quick ones of my own.
One. Sunshine on my face.
It?s one of the only things that makes the train ride bearable. If it?s a really sunny day, I sit facing the sun. It?s usually shining right on my face when I board the train. I close my eyes and absorb as much of it as I can before the train goes underground. I like to think that God is smiling on me when that happens. And I need as much of that as I can get during the work week.
Two. MTA?s got jokes.
Sometimes I think that the train conductors do things just to mess with people and at other times I just KNOW it. I?m in the Union Square station waiting on an uptown number five when a four pulls in. People board only to hear that there are heavy delays on the express line and to take the local across the track. Damn near the whole entire train empties out and crosses over to the local?except for a few wise souls who either chose to stick it out on the number four or already knew that somebody would change their mind.
Not even two minutes later, an announcement is made from the number four that the delays have cleared and the train will soon depart. Everybody hops out of the local and makes a mad dash across the track. And somewhere within that number four train, a conductor was laughing to themselves, saying, ?Dance, puppets, DANCE??
Three. Def Comedy Tram.
I tried to stay in a foul mood on the way uptown, but this cat asking for change on the train wouldn?t let me. He cracked every last one of us up, shootin? off one-liners and telling jokes along the ride.
?I told my friend I just came back from the Island. He asked me if I had a good time. I said, ?Hell no, I didn?t have a good time.? He said, ?Really? With all those beautiful bikini-clad women on the beach?? I said, ?There ain?t no beach or any women on the island I was at!? He said, ?What island did you go to?? I said, ?RIKERS ISLAND???
About half the subway car burst into laughter. God bless that brother. He wasn?t trying to hurt nobody, wasn?t being rude or anything like that. All he wanted was to put a smile on people?s faces and get some pocket change in return. Brother man got my dollars; he deserved them. Right before he left the car, he wished us all a good night and gave his final punch line?the one that I will always remember him for:
?If anybody needs a job, I want you all to know that I?m hiring. I need somebody to work the number two train!?