I knew it was going to be an odd night when I got in line at Rite-Aid with the following two people in front of me: A man with a small pony tail buying six umbrellas and a woman who needed change for a five dollar bill.
The woman requested three dollars in quarters (she got two) and two singles (she got three). Why would you need three dollars in quarters at Grand Central? Maybe she was doing was laundry later? How much laundry can you do with two dollars in quarters? I should have asked her. The man’s umbrella extravaganza went off without incident. Maybe he’s got big plans for the umbrellas.
Now, the 6:45p Hudson Line express train to Poughkeepsie is not my normal train. If I had to guess, it must be one of the more crowded Hudson Line trains of the night. It is the first rush-hour express train to the northern part of the line (above Croton-Harmon) not paired with a super express train that skips all of upper Westchester and Putnam stops before hitting Beacon in Dutchess County.
Channeling Johnny Carson:
Johnny: I tell you, this train was so packed.
Audience: How packed was it?
Johnny: This train was so packed the conductor mentioned to another conductor that there was “a pregnant girl sitting on the floor.”
Wait Ed. That’s not a punch line. That’s just terrible.
On top of being crowded, it was the last day for April monthly passes. And, if you are not familiar with how the monthly commutation pass works, on the first day of the new month conductors will let you slide with last month’s pass so you can get into the City and buy a new monthly.
A gentleman behind me – who had already complained about the announcements being too loud – decided to inquire awkwardly about why the May monthly passes were not good for the last day in April. The logic of course is you can use the April monthly on the first day of May why not the opposite. The conductor – a younger woman – shut him down with the, “that’s not how it works” and “that’s a great suggestion, not the first time someone has asked, but the higher ups don’t listen to me.”
He stopped talking and paid for a ticket.
As for the pregnant girl on the floor, the conductor let us know that he found her a seat. But, he had to ask someone to get up.