Fellow riders of the F train may be familiar with the shambling black man who walks from car to car with an electric guitar and a tiny portable amp, who generally always plays "Redemption Song" (or sometimes "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"). Recently I saw him get into a shouting match with a subway panhandler. The guitarist crossed paths with the panhandler as he entered the car, there was some interaction I couldn't interpret, and then the panhandler started shouting, "Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you!" to Redemption Song Man at the top of his lungs (making everyone who had given him money on his pass through our car start questioning their decision, clearly).
R.S.M. loudly replied -- from the other end of the car -- that if Fuck You Panhandler wanted to start something, R.S.M. was ready for him. A lot of "What is your problem?" and "Yeah, you're quiet now! You better not mess with me!" ensued. (The F.Y.P.'s half of the argument consisted pretty much of nothing but "Fuck you!" until he petered out.) Finally a conductor appeared and said, in a placating tone, "Hey, Bob Marley. You know I love you. But you need to let the birds fly. You know what I mean? Let the birds fly." R.S.M. thought he was asking for a request, and said he didn't know that one, and the conductor leaned over and whispered in his ear something apparently to the effect of how R.S.M. should not get into screaming arguments with people and to just let it go, man, let it go. R.S.M. thanked him sincerely and moved on.Posted by Francis at 12:41 PM