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Monday, 28 June 2004
the possibility of an iron worm beatdown
Now Playing: Various Artists - Body and Soul Vol. One
Topic: transportation

For those of you that may still need evidence that common sense has been outlawed by present-day society at large, check this out?

Last Monday, my wife parks the car across from the Pelham Parkway subway station and we make a mad dash for the number five train. Within one stop of our travels, we hear this commotion in our subway car. A man starts yelling at a somewhat malodorous individual to go back into the car from whence he came. Almost immediately after, this loud individual presses the emergency call button and says?

?Conductor, there?s a bum on the train that?s stinkin? up the whole car. Get him off.?

At this point, we?re on our way towards the East 180th Street stop. About a minute later, he presses the call button again. ?Are you gonna get him off?? Then he tries to get confirmation from the people around him. ?Nobody wants to smell that s**t. Am I right??

With all the attention he was paying to the bad odor (which, in the grand scheme of things, was a walking, breathing personification of hard times, mind you), he was completely oblivious to the air of aggravation growing around him. You could feel it rising to the surface. The only thing that the rest of us wanted was to get to wherever we had to go on time. And the self-appointed Smelly Bum Patrol was seriously getting in the way of that. Keep reminding yourself that he used the emergency call button for this situation - not because someone was having a heart attack, not because someone fainted, but because someone smelled bad. While it may not be pleasant to be around, smelling bad still isn?t a federal offense. Unfortunately, neither is being rude or stupid.

So we pull into East 180th Street and sit there. Big Brother Buminator hops onto the subway platform and finds the nearest police officer. ?Yeah, he?s over in the next car. Yeah, that car over there. He?s stinkin? up the whole train.? At this point, the natives are beyond restless and muttering obscenities to themselves as the conductor comes over the loudspeakers.

?Attention passengers: we are experiencing delays at this time. We should be moving shortly. We thank you for your patience.?

He would repeat this twice over the next ten minutes. To make matters worse, we see another number five train pull up. We watch people depart and board the train. And we watch this train that was once behind us pull out of the station. Now here comes the icing on the cake: do you think the man who caused all this ruckus actually stuck around when that other train pulled up?

That?s right, boys and girls: he held up our train, he boarded another one, and left the rest of us behind. And I?m sure when Tuesday morning came along, we were all secretly hoping that we?d see him. I haven?t seen him since, actually. I?m starting to wonder if he takes an earlier train most of the time or if the wrath of last Monday caught up with him and I just don?t know about it. Honestly, I hope the latter isn?t true. Although he was pushy and careless, it?s not within my rights to bring down that kind of judgment. On the off-hand chance that somebody made sure that he would catch a bad one, I?m not saying they should?ve killed him?

But I understand.

Posted by macedonia at 4:36 PM EDT
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