Loathe as I am to have two consecutive posts on the subject of umbrellas, particularly as I’m still recovering from the emotional trauma of walking around the city with an “I *heart* New York” billboard above my head, I couldn’t let something that happened to me this morning pass without comment.
Heading to work on the subway, I was forced to stand all the way into the city for the 67th consecutive morning running (a new record for the F train, and no doubt a proud achievement for Mayor Bloomberg). No real problem in standing though, especially given that I was with The Special One, chatting about some of the big issues that face the world today – such as whether to have chicken or burritos for dinner, or whose turn it would be to clear up the piles of cat vomit that would no doubt have materialized by the time we got home ten hours later.
As I stood hanging on to the metal pole for grim death as we hurtled through station after station, I felt a sharp whack to my arm. Looking to my right, I saw that a grumpy old man, who had been sitting in the window seat nearest to me, had decided to get up to get off the train, and had used his umbrella to thwack the underside of my arm out of his path as he made his way to the door.
Now, maybe I’m just a bit old-fashioned, but I always find that a simple ‘excuse me’ does the trick on occasions like this. Maybe a brief clearing of the throat, or even a slightly terse “do you mind moving your arm”, if you’ve got out of bed the wrong way that morning. But as a general rule, I don’t resort to minor physical violence in any attempt to get off a train, nor do I choose a weapon from about my person to launch a minor attack. (Admittedly I sometimes feel like administering a swift swing of my bag to the family jewels of people playing their iPod at mind-alteringly loud volumes, but we all have our bete-noires.)
I wouldn’t have minded so much if he was racing to get off the train, but a) he was at least 70 and his racing days were long since over, and b) he didn’t even get off the train at the stop in question, instead standing steadfastly ignoring the dagger stares I was giving him from twenty yards away.
Next time he tries it, I’m going to have numchukas at the ready. You might mess with the Brit Out Of Water once, but you don’t try it twice.