Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Cigarette Samaritan

I'm not one for speaking up in public. It is one of the things that I hate most in life, but I find that I am compelled to do it sometimes. There's always that person on the train who's fly is down, they dropped something, their pocket book is leaking and they stand their oblivious to the world; while, commuters like me stare and hope that somebody else speaks up to inform them. The worst is when a fly is down. I was on my way to Yankee Stadium one time and for half the train ride a young man stood right in front of my face with the barn door open. I always hope that someone will speak up before me, because once you inform the victim, they feel slightly embarrassed. Another reason why I don't speak up, is because usually I am THAT person and no one ever tells me.

This morning on the Path, as I quickly grabbed a seat, a young man sat down and his brand new pack of Parliaments fell out of his pocket. At the same time that the cigarettes fell on the ground, another person walked by. So at first I really didn't know who dropped the stoags, but it was pretty obvious when I noticed the man sitting down had a pack of gum sticking out too. Those who were sitting next to me looked down and noticed the pack, but went back to reading their paper and listening to their id="SPELLING_ERROR_2">iPods. Me, I stared at the pack on the ground, cringing at the fact that I knew I was going to have to speak up.

Now, I never speak up right away, because I wait. I'm also trying to transform into a true New Yorker by not giving a rat's ass about other people's problems. Someone could be stabbed on the train and oblivious to their wound while I will just stare.

"Is anyone going to tell that guy he's bleeding? No? OK--Sir..."

I try to evoke my special powers by staring into the person's eyes, hoping that I can mentally make them look down so that I don't have to speak up. I tried this last Saturday, when I noticed that a girl's pocketbook was leaking. Then when I pointed it out to her, she gave me a nasty look and said, "thanks." In which I called her a bitch once I got off the train, and then vowed never to point something out to a stranger ever again.

This morning was torture as I tried to remember that vow. I tried reading my neighbor's paper, but my eyes kept reverting back to the white and blue pack on the ground. I was glaring so hard, I'm surprised the pack didn't spontaneously combust. Thoughts were racing through my head like rockets.

"Should I tell him now?"

"I'll wait till I'm walking off the train."

"Should I pick the pack up and give it to him? But, what if they aren't his? Should I keep the pack of ciggs? Should I just throw them on the ground."

"Should I snap and point at the ground."

"What if he's a closet smoker and is trying to hide it?"

I was fixated on this small dilemma, while the guy just whistled as he read the paper. As we got closer to my station, a standing passenger moved into the train and kicked the pack of cigarettes. At that point I knew I had to say something. Someone was going to step and crush them. What a waste of ten bucks. At that point I stood up, and as I felt the train was starting to stop I started to speak up.

"Sirrrrr.....Sirr" I slipped as the train finally breaked. So I sounded like I had a stutter. "I think you dropped your pack of cigarettes."

And then what happened next was unbelievable. A guy sitting next to stoag man said:

"Yes, sir, those are yours."

My eyes almost popped out of my head. Who did this other rider think he was?!? It was me who saved the day and here he was trying to steal my glory! Jerk!



Dwyer said...

Wow, I can't believe that other guy tried to steal your thunder after YOU'RE the one who told the cigarette man in the first place. Hah, that's a typical NYC situation for ya!

Kerri said...

I know! That's something you would do! Haha, jk.

Patrick said...

I wanted to blog
but instead I decided to jog
through the fog
when I fell on a log.

Kerri said...

bloggin' for joggin'. I guess some people jog to the train when they're late--that's part of commuting.

Patrick said...

Patrick said...

click dis

Richard said...

You should have said "Yeah...that's what I said smart-guy!"

Kerri said...

Haha, maybe next time :-).