Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Subway Rides - Move Your Penis!

I could hear the hint of an argument on the other side of the train car I was in this morning. It was extremely packed, which is the reason I never got a glimpse of the people who were a part of the commotion.

On the subway, people have loud voices even when just having a regular conversation. I suspect this is a consequence of blasting iPods at full volume. No one can hear themselves speak anymore so they speak louder. But my eardrums aren't damaged, so it sounds like people are yelling when they are just talking. Which is why when I first heard the heightened voice of a woman I continued reading my book; until her voice got louder.


Somebody say penis? Now that got my attention. It gets me every time.

Too short to see through the crowd, I tried looking in the window to see if I could see anything in the reflection, but the crowd was also too thick there so I just listen as I pretend to read.

The woman’s voice get’s louder and louder as she repeats over and over again, "Move your penis away from my daughter's face! Move your penis away from my daughter's face! My husband told you and now I’m telling you!! Move your penis…"

I hear the man with the offending penis trying to defend himself, but his voice is too muffled for me to make out any words, and the protective mother becomes louder and more hysterical each time she repeats the sentence.

I don’t know who touches whom, but I hear a scuffle as the woman says, “Punch me! I dare you and I’ll press that button and the cops will come and they’ll know you’re a pedophile.”

The button she is threatening to press is the button for the Emergency Brake, and if you are a real New Yorker, you NEVER EVER want this button to be pressed. I am not alone in my thinking as everyone in the train car gets riled up.

“Chiiilllll! Chill-chill-chill! Don’t press the button! Don’t press the button!”

When the button for the Emergency Brake is pressed, it does exactly what it says. It removes control from the person driving the train and forces the train to brake. All of us will be stuck wherever the train brakes for God knows how long.

When we reach 86th Street, the train doors open and the woman is still yelling about penis and threatening to press the button. Clearly she doesn't understand the real reason for the button. She seems to think that no matter where she when she presses the button, the cops will immediately materialize. Even if we are stuck in the tunnel.

A woman sitting close to me yells, “Get off the train! Solve your problems off the train! We all have to go to work!” This is another real New Yorker speaking. She doesn't care about the penis or the child; she just wants to get where she is going.

No one gets off the train at 86th Street and the commotion begins to die down as we move towards 59th Street. Even still, the woman with the loud voice has one more statement to make.

“I gotta take my kids to school. They don’t need your penis in their face.”

I know the situation isn't funny at all if the guy was really being a perv, but with the word ‘penis’ being thrown around in the tone that it was, I found myself biting the inside of my cheeks to maintain a straight face. Seriously, how old am I?

~Louise C.

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