Friday, March 20, 2009

"New York as we know it will no longer exist tomorrow."

"It'll be the 1970s all over again. People will get mean. The streets won't be safe -- there'll be graffiti everywhere. And the movies will only cost $3."
-Tracy Jordan, 30 Rock

I find myself quoting an awful lot of NBC Thursday nights around this blog. Which means either NBC is secretly spying on me for sitcom fodder or I watch too much TV. I'm fairly positive it's the former.

This actually happened a few weeks ago - but it was just before my mom and aunt sent their baby boys out to visit for a week (Yeah! Collin and Aaron were here and I didn't even tell you about it! An update is coming soon...) and I didn't want them revoking spring break privileges on account of my freak Subway encounters. (Let us all pause to remember the Pantsless Subway Ride 2009.)

We had friends from the office coming over to our place for dinner, so in an uncommon 6:00 on the dot departure from work, we hopped on the Subway bound for home. We were missing one key ingredient for dinner, so the plan was for Noah to get off the train at 59th so I could keep heading toward home and have the rest of dinner ready.

The trains were running a little late and it seemed people were a bit testy overall. It doesn't help when you wait an uncommonly long time for a train just for a jam-packed one to show up, so 12 too many people try cramming through each door and it's all armpits in faces and uncomfortable bum touching. Add in a lady doling out passive-aggressive comments about the man five people away she doesn't think slid down far enough and you could say tension in the ol' tube was running high.

We rode two stops in this uncomfortable manner, at which point Noah disembarked in search of higher ground. And peanut sauce from Whole Foods.

Noah was gone and I was doing my best not to guess what the stranger whose face was 3.5 inches from mine ate for lunch. Minutes passed and the train still hadn't moved. Finally we heard, "security... police attention to the uptown-bound D as in delta train. Security..."

An audible groan rose from the crowd as people reshifted bags and briefcases in antsy anticipation.

The announcement sounded again just as an uptown C train rumbled onto the track across the platform. I quickly weighed my options - run over to the local and have to stop every six blocks until home? Wait out the security threat? I debated for a moment until the voice sounded again, "ladies and gentlemen, due to an investigation on this train, the uptown-bound D train will be stopped momentarily. We apologize for the inconvenience."

Well, I've used the word "momentarily" enough to know we weren't leaving anytime soon. I held my bag against me and slipped out the doors of the D train bound for the slower train across the platform. A few others followed suit, and I found myself on the same train with Miss Passive-Aggressive. This time, speculating loudly about what had happened - something about mace and the conductor and who knows what else.

In a moment reminiscent of routine traffic stops in sleepy Logan, UT - no fewer than 10 police officers stormed down the stairs and spread out along the platform. I was half absorbing, half zoning out when four officers - two at each door - stepped on to my car and said, "Sir. Get off the train."

Nobody moved or even acted like they'd heard the cops.

So they repeated themselves. "sir - I mean it. Get off the train immediately." With that, all four officers converged on the man standing next to me! They shoved him out the door and into the wall of the staircase. As they cuffed him, the overhead voice chimed in with a similar momentarily stopped routine about the uptown C train and I thought to myself, "I'm never getting home. It's like he doesn't even care I have dinner guests tonight..."

I ventured out of train number two, steering seriously clear of the commotion (if shrapnel has taught us anything, it is this) and hustled up the stairs to the 1 train, hoping the scene hadn't affected those trains. I hopped off at the last possible 1 stop that made much sense (though, in hindsight - there were several more stops that made much more sense, but evidently standing next to a man apprehended by the authorities clouded my judgement in simpler things) and ended up hauling booty toward home.

One painfully slow local train, twenty blocks of full-on running in my coat and scarf, and one bratty teen yelling "OMG - Run Forrest!" as I hauled by - I finally arrived home where Noah had beat me to it. How does that happen?!

7 comments:

Ashley said...

Best. Story. Ever. Hope you don't mind I told almost everyone in my world before you got to :)

Cliff, Kendal and Stone said...

I am a broken record, but I will say it again... I love reading your blog. I often read it to my husband, and we always have a good laugh. So, thanks.

PS--Heading to the Carolinas soon. Wish you were coming! But I will eat a Dean and Delucas brownie in your honor.

Natalie said...

Oh my goodness!!! How do you have experiences like this? My life is so boring!

Jen said...

Oh Allison, you've done it again! Awesome! (Glad you're safe, BTW!)

lauren said...

your posts help my day go by faster. for real. you have no idea. though i do miss you a lot. and wish i was there with you.

Claire said...

I LOVE IT. I mean, I don't. But wow, such a fabulously typical New York situation! I'll admit I've never had the person RIGHT NEXT TO ME arrested though!

The real question is, was dinner ready when your friends got there?

sorensenpower said...

There it is ladies and gentlemen! Allison Riley just said two serious things, then a joke.