Monday, April 14, 2008

Weekend Update: Get John Clifford on the Phone!


11:30 - Approach Penn Station. Get cut off by over zealous weekend traveler with Swiss Army branded suitcase. Consider running ahead of him out of spite. Know that Larry will likely kill you if you do so. Immature public displays are a no-no, however justified.

11:35 - Approach ticket machine. Recognize frequently drunk neighbor from down the hall. Consider it borderline creepy that you've bumped into her here at the train station. Move to another machine.

11:37 - Computer illiterate idiot at second machine forces you back to the first. Luckily, neighbor has moved on.

11:38 - Pick up newspapers for long ride to Long Beach.

11:40 - Hear track announcement. Stare in amazement at HUGE crowd rushing the stairs.

11:45 - Find seat. Realize that you are totally fucked within ten seconds. Girl sitting in front of Larry is obviously high on drugs, laughing hysterically at everything the man next to her has to say.

Everything the man says is met with, "Oh my Gawd! I know!" or "I was just thinking the same thing!" Everything is also hysterically funny to this girl. The volume of her voice is un-fucking-bearable, and you just know she's taking this train all the way to Long Beach - an hour ride.

Where is John Clifford when you need him?

11:50 - The man takes to reading his newspaper and the girl takes out her cell phone. Hope rises as this may mean an end to their ridiculously loud talking.

11:52 - The girl's cell phone is turned off and the man's newspaper goes down in tandem. Intermission is over. Shouting match continues, unchecked.

11:55 - Turn on iPod to drown out the constant barrage of shrieks and squeals. iPod deemed futile effort. Stand up and walk to other end of car to find another seat. Train is completely filled. Return, defeated, for more abuse.

12:10 - Turn off iPod and eavesdrop, taking notes for blog posting. This is now less about tuning it out, and more about figuring them out. The man is some kind of smug, self-righteous, self-centered (and balding) reporter / journalism student, and the girl is his total kiss-ass, loud-mouthed, oblivious, desperate asshole protege. The man spews out a news item and the crackhead replies, "Oh, yes! I was just going to bring that up!" He gives his opinion on the news item, and she agrees - loudly.

The interaction is reminiscent of two annoying newscasters, forced to create banter to fill airtime. They must fucking die. Peek though gap between headsets to get a better look at the girl. Her eyes are all glassed over. Proof of recent drug use. Pray for fatal overdose.

12:35 - Lose mind, start miming the girl as she talking, making "valley girl" mannerisms and exaggerated mouth movements. Take flack from Larry, who tells you to stop. This is annoying him. Ask him "how the fuck" he can stand it and just tune it out. Stand up and look for seat on other end of the car. Take iPod and storm off, whispering, "Assholes," under breath.

Find serene seating section at other end of car. Take seat at window just as train pulls into Island Park. Wonder if you should call Larry over, but change mind, as he will likely refuse or is annoyed with you. Wonder if maybe Crackhead and the Newsman have left train. Spot the fuckers waiting to cross the street as train pulls out. Wish you could get their attention and moon them, but decide against it as you will also moon the 10 innocent people standing on the same corner. Pray for sudden train derailment to run them over where they stand. Long Beach is within walking distance anyway.

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