Friday, June 17, 2011

Interview With A Man Who Never Moves Into the Middle of the Train (Bastardo!)

you know 'em. I know 'em. When will these people not exist? Here's the interview:

TAN: So have you ever ridden in the middle of the car?

Stupid Man: No, actually I haven’t. It looks so scary and dangerous.

TAN: There are millions who ride in the middle of the subway car every day. What gives you such reason for pause?

Stupid Man: Well you never heard the story?

TAN: What story?

Stupid Man: The story about the man and daughter who rode in the middle of the subway car.

TAN: Um, no actually. Haven’t heard that story. Please tell us.

Stupid Man: Ok. I will..... but please stop calling me "stupid man."

TAN: Tell your story, or I will destroy you, punk.

Punk: fine...

scene dissolve …

We open inside of a NYC subway car. It is crowded, but there is an even distribution of people throughout the car. We close in on a father and daughter standing and talking in the middle of the car. The father is explaining to his daughter why thinking about others and being respectful is the thing to do. Being considerate. Being a nice person. Being aware. All good. We zoom in and listen in on their conversation:
For example, honey. You know when we cross the street, and how all the cars wait for us to pass? That is because they are being respectful of others. Theoretically. You remember that word, right honey? Thee-o-ret-ick-ally. Well theoretically, those cars could just fly straight at us and run us over and kill us.

Kill us daddy?

Yes, honey. Kill us. But because they are nice and respectful of others. And because we made laws. We get to cross the street safe and sound, and then go home and eat ice cream!!!

I like ice cream! Thee-o-ret-ick-ally.

No, honey. I think you definitely like ice cream.


So it’s the same thing in this car honey. See how there’s an even, equal distribution, you remember that word, right honey? Dis-tre-byoosh-un. So because there’s even distribution of people, everyone has the same amount of personal space, and all is right and just with the world.


For example, all the people in this car could try and stand by the door, so they can get out, say, three seconds faster. This would cause problems. People not being able to get in the train, people not being able to get out. Not as many people using the car. See in this case being respectful also leads to greater efficiency. You remember that world also, right honey?

Yes, daddy. Jesus. I remember all the friggin words already!
Meanwhile, many of the other subway riders overheard the conversation, and there was a buzz coursing through the car as the quote was relayed. "Three seconds faster? Really?" "You think I could get out of here three seconds faster?" "Did he say 'three seconds faster' or did he say 'he's a nekkid bastard'?" "It's three seconds faster dude. if you wait by the door." "Holy shit, not just two seconds. But three?" "You know, I think he might be right. I never thought about it, but yeah. Totally. You can totally see saving three seconds."

The dad was still intent on teaching his daughter and obliviously proposed an experiment with his daughter.
honey, you go walk by the doors. And get out at the next stop. I'll wait a couple beats and follow you out to show you how efficient it is to get out. We'll meet on the platform and for some reason this will underscore the fundamental truth of what I'm telling you. It will resonate within your mind, body, and spirit.

ok daddy. I like res-o-nance.
The girl navigated through the crowd. The other passengers smiled adoringly at the girl excusing her way through the evenly balanced traffic. But they were also still buzzing about "three seconds faster."

When the doors opened, the girl was the first one out of the car.

But then suddenly, the evenly distributed crowd turned into a frenetic mob of assholes and d*ckheads. All of them fighting and clawing for "three seconds faster". They all converged at the entrance. Some of them made it through, some of them did not.

The father, who had placed his faith in these people in order to teach his daughter a lesson about courtesy and respect for others, responded too late. He was unable to make his way through the bottle-necked masses. The doors closed before he could reach the platform. His daughter was left alone on the platform as the subway sped off. The father watched the crowd descend upon the poor little girl and eat her body raw. Tearing through her flesh with their to-this-point-discreetly-hidden talons and fangs. The man shed a tear and cursed the crowd at the doorway. He then swore to the heavens, on his daughter's life, he would never be respectful of others and venture to the middle of the car again.

undissolve scene

Stupid Man/Punk: And that father, TAN, was my grandfather. And he passed that story on to his father, who passed it on to me. And THAT is why I don't move to the middle of the subway car.

TAN: I don't believe you douchebag*. Just move to the center of the car when there's room, and don't be an arse**. Ok? Thanks.

this has been a TAN Public Service Announcement.

*this is a word that demonstrates assimilation. negroes do not use the word "douchebag" when raised in their natural environment.
** that goes for the word "arse" as well.


  1. lara, the FAN5/17/2006

    NOW i get it! sometimes, they even save three AND A QUARTER seconds!!

  2. Sounds like an unused story from Pulp Fiction...

    No one actually says "arse" in the midwest though you would think it natural since we use words like "worsh" to describe cleaning.

  3. I usually move to the middle of the train. Sometimes I don't, if I'm getting off next stop.

  4. Anonymous5/17/2006

    I HATE assholes who hover by the entrance. it makes me cringe thinking about it.

  5. Anonymous5/17/2006

    it's the same in dc...i hate it when they stand so close to the doors that they can't close and the train is delayed...then they look around like "what?" it really that necessary to stand so close to the exit? i have always wondered if these people have some sort of phobia or something...

  6. nice story mr. T (does anyone call you that?)

  7. LOL.. That was hilarious..

    People who hoover at the doors are annoying... Unless it's me that is.

  8. What about door hoverers that consistently move out of the way to let people on and off?

    Hot or not?

  9. I am a door-leaner, but I have mastered the technique: I lean against the door that only opens twice in my 10 stop commute.

    Pure. Fucking. Genius.

  10. Stupid Man5/18/2006

    You self righteous bastards, you don't know me!

  11. I hate the people who are on a crowded platform, so they know that there are people waiting to get on behind them, yet when they board the train they just stop right in the doorway like they're oblivious to the throng of people behind them. It should be legal to stun-gun those people.

  12. I'm a door leaner too - but only if it's not too crowded. If it's crowded, I shove idiots like 'stupid man' out of my way and move to the middle of the train because it just makes sense...

  13. Gotta move to the middle of the car. You're performing a valuable public service here, TAN.

  14. Anonymous5/18/2006

    I've never seen a crowddescend upon a person and tear their flesh. NYC must be rough. maybe giuliani needs to come back.

  15. I just realized something...shouldn't what happened to that poor man's daughter when she stood by the door actually have reinforced in him that standing by the train door is a bad idea?

  16. I got dirty looks for standing in the middle of the car from the people on the benches. Like "Dude, why are you shoving your crotch right in my field of vision," so I was under the impression that the "courteous" tihng to do was standing by the door. Though that made no sense to me. Maybe you all just give dirty looks to guys in shorts and a visor for no reason.

  17. In Atlanta, we don't really prefer to ride MARTA unless we like to urinate or sit next to someone urinating in public.

    We stand close to the doors because with every stop there's the promise of a breath of air that doesn't smell like pee.

  18. I thought everyone in New York had figured out the "move to the center of the car" thing. All I know is, no one in Chicago has. Which really annoys me. Especially when the people close to the door are listening to I-pods. That makes me wonder if I really do need to punch them in the face, just to get their attention.

  19. I ain't read the entire sh*t dude, cuz I can't stand people who have a z list train game. Get on yo "A" game man when you riding that 4/5 at rush hour. Squeeze that @ss in, im tryna get downtown, quick fast and inna hurry.

  20. I found your blog because you're Tilda's blog crush.
    I always make sure to stand in the middle of the subway car. It's easier to get a seat when someone stands up. I'm always self serving, which in turn serves others.

  21. Anonymous5/28/2006

    In London we actually have posters and public service announcements telling people to get into the middle of the car. Seems to work.


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