Tuesday, August 05, 2008

"The Exclusive Details" or The Week in Review 07/28-08/02

07/28/08 Train 1388:

A middle aged man, stinking of booze, got on the train at Fordham. Jason, my assistant, asked him for his ticket. The guy said he didn't have one. Jason offered to sell him a ticket, but the man said he didn't have any money (he obviously spent it all at the package store.) The man was then told to get off the train in Mt. Vernon (the next stop). The guy laughed and said, "No, I'm going to New Rochelle, and that's where I'm gonna get off."

True to his word, when we reached Mt. Vernon, the man refused to leave the train. I called for police assistance but there were no MTA police in the area (as usual). This forced me to use plan B....acting. Faking a radio call, I stood before the guy and yelled..."We have a non-payment of fare in the second rear car." The man, now nervous, saw that I meant business and got off the train in Pelham.

I don't like to brag, but I hear there's some "Oscar" buzz.

Because railroad workers are so widely dispersed, gossip is critically important to getting the news out. For example, when something happens in New Haven, a conductor might tell an engineer in Stamford. That engineer might tell a car inspector in Grand Central. The car inspector might tell the half-truth to a Harlem Line conductor.....etc.....etc....etc. This continues until the rumor is spread over the greater metropolitan region. It's kind of like that old game "telephone," the final story given, usually bares no resemblance to what really happened, but that doesn't stop the rumor mill from grinding. Having said this...here is what I heard happened on Monday:

It seems a woman conductor asked a passengers to take his feet off the seats. The man ignored her. She asked again. Again, he ignored her. When she asked a third time, the guy stood up and punched her in the head. He then ran off the train and disappeared into the shadows. The bruised and battered conductor is now back to work.

July 23, Train 1500:

A handsome couple boarded the train in Grand Central and sat down in my car. I remembered them from the previous evening's commute, mostly because the guy was a Derek Jeter look-a-like and his girlfriend wore a low cut blouse.

The man showed me his monthly pass, but I was surprised when he asked to buy a ticket for his companion. I was sure they both had passes on the previous evening's commute.
"Excuse me, but didn't you both have passes last night?" I asked.

The woman frowned and said "Last night?...I wasn't on the train last night."

Derek Jeter look-a-like hid his face in his hands, and the woman began to interrogate him:

"Who were you with last night?...Who is she?"

I gave the guy a "sorry about that" shrug, and continued on to the next passenger.


July 23, 2008 Train 1583:

A family with several suitcases boarded the train in New Haven. I helped them lift their luggage into the overhead racks and they thanked me in what I thought was a heavy German accent.

"Are you from Germany?" I asked.

"No, ve're und holiday vrom Austria," they said.

Excited, I began singing "Edelweiss" half expecting them to join me in the chorus.

"Edelweiss-Edelweiss, blessed be my homeland forever."

The family looked at me like I had a third head. The oldest daughter, a Yale Student, stepped forward and explained that Austrians aren't familiar with "The Sound of Music." In fact," she said, "I didn't see the movie till I came to The States."

"Really?" I said. "I thought Edelweiss was the Austrian Danny Boy. You know, one of those nationalistic songs that people sing when they're drunk (whether they know the words or not.)"

They said that one of Von Trapp family members visited Austria recently, and the media made a big deal about it. The excitement was lost on most people though. So few have seen "The Sound of Music."

I guess it's that whole "Nazi" history thing.

08/01/08 Train 1388:

While boarding the train in Grand Central, five mechanics in orange vests walk past me. One of the mechanics asks:

" Where's the lady trapped in the bathroom?"

"What lady trapped in the bathroom?" I answered.

"We got a call that there's a lady trapped in the bathroom."

This was the first I'd heard of it, but I followed the mechanics and we searched all the lavatories. We eventually found a small crowd gathered around the lavatory in the third head car. There we found a woman, dying of embarrassment, trapped in the bathroom. Panicked, she had called 911.

They, in turn, called the railroad.

After a few pushes of the pry bar, the woman was released from her odoriferous prison. If it weren't for cell phones, she might still be there.

08/02/08 Train 6554:

Celebrity Corner:

I was standing in the vestibule waiting for the train to stop in Stratford, when an attractive blond woman stood next to me. She looked familiar, but I figured I had just seen her on the train before. Then it dawned on me...

"You look a lot like that newswoman...Rita Cosby." I said.

"Maybe that's because I am her." She replied.

Rita couldn't have been nicer. I'm not Anna Nicole Smith's "Baby Daddy"(that I know of!) but she still seemed genuinely interested in me. She even asked my name and where I was from. She told me that she was originally from Greenwich, and that she rides the train on a fairly regular basis.

I asked if she was still on Fox,. "Not anymore," she said. "Now I'm on Inside Edition."

She said she has also been doing a lot of writing lately. I told her that I had a blog and asked if she minded that I mention her. She seemed excited and asked me for my blog address. I was happy to give it to her.

When I become famous, I'll be sure to give her the "Exclusive Details" of my life.


Landlady of Fat said...

"Excuse me, but didn't you both have passes last night?" I asked."

BAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That's classic. lol

I've been lurking for a little bit now. No chance you're on the 4:54 from Stamford towards Bridgeport?

If so I'm so gonna be hunting you down. :P

Anonymous said...

I can really relate to your bathroom story because I worked that train with you. What a co winky dink.

I hope Rita reads your blogs because she will really enjoy them!! In fact, wouldn't be surprised to see you on Inside Edition as person of the week or something like that in the near future.

Looks like a possible fatal attraction awaits with tina-cious on the 4:54.


Tony Alva said...

Man, get me a job there Bobby...

Unknown said...

What a week!

I bet that guy never in a million years would figure the conductor would give away his secrets.