December 19, 2004

Stories from the underground

As I was heading home on the subway at about 2:30 this morning, my train paused at the Bergen Street station. We were given the usual vague "This train is being held in the station" announcement, to which my mental response is always, "Apparently." Suddenly a cop strode through our car and roused a fellow who had nodded off in the bank of seats next to mine.

"Off the train, buddy," he said.

The guy was clearly disoriented. He stood up, and sat back down immediately, either having attempted to fake out the cop or having seen that the train was not as his town. The cop came back and absolutely insisted that the guy get off the train. The guy, quite reasonably, pointed out that this was not his stop; Carroll Street, the next stop on the train, was his stop. But the cop was having none of it. Once the guy realized that he was really being forced off the train, the cop told him to please stand against the wall.

"You're giving me a ticket?"

"That's right?"

"What for? What did I do?"

"You were sprawled across three seats in there."

"So you're going to write me a ticket for that."


At this point a second cop appeared and the doors closed. I guess the train was waiting for the cops to find someone to ticket.

Now, mind you, I think people who take up too many seats on the train should get tickets...but not people who take up too many seats at two in the freakin' morning. I mean -- there was no shortage of seats on our train. He quite obviously wasn't a vagrant (the iPod was the tip-off there). Who cares? No, the people who need to be ticketed are the people who stake out massive claims of seat territory during rush hour. These are presumably people who live way out near Coney Island and thus have plenty of space when they get on the train to put down their coffee on the seat next to them and spread their legs real wide and let their big winter coats flop out around them and set the newspaper down by their side while they open up the front section as wide as it will go. And then they are invariably seem absolutely indignant when you ask them to make room for you. Those people are an honest-to-god public nuisance. Let's get some cops on that shit.

Another subway-related situation that I would have been delighted to see some cops breaking up happened as I was getting on the train in the first place, around 7:15 this evening. At the entrance to the subway was a man selling pocket knives. Not huge, but...big enough. Let me tell you, that is something I looove to see when I'm getting on the train: a guy going, "Weapons! Get your weapons here!" Criminy.

Posted by Francis at 03:16 AM | TrackBack

Between this and all the weird candy-eating arrests in D.C.'s subway, public transportation is becoming the newest overly-enforced law hot spot. So, here's a proposal: funnel all the revenue from these tickets back into the public transportation system, and then stop raising the damn rates. Rides are too expensive as it is.

Posted by: jason at December 20, 2004 01:54 PM