Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The 79th & Broadway Turnstyle Nazi

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At the 79th & Broadway subway stop, passengers are forced to exit the station via a solitary turnstyle. Since people are exiting from all directions of the train, it is pretty much impossible to form a solitary and uniform line. Nevertheless, it still remains clear who arrived to the mass area of exodus before you. This is mainly because they are standing in front of you. If all would respecet this simple logic, the solitary turnstyle would be a much more pleasant place. But alas, this recognition tis not a reality for practitioners of 'turnstyle nazism' - those belonging to a breed of people who are not affected by social regulations as they relate to subway stations and other congested areas with stress-producing exit rituals (Egypt, Cuba, Mexico ...Grand Central Station at rush hour).

Yesterday, I came face to face with such a wench. She exited the train behind me and, not surprisingly, tried to race up in front of those people standing at the beginning of the "line." When this did not work, she tried to slide in through the sides. No one was particularly amused by her erratic behavior, especially not me. I thought to say something vile to her; something threatening, something scary. Maybe something along the lines of "No Cuts, No Butts, No Coconuts...bitch!" But instead, I kept her in my periphery, gauging her every movement and her doing the same in return. This was some serious head to head action!

(Sometimes, in situations like this, I opt to hold my tongue just in case a camera crew is to jump out of the subway car behind me and declare that I am on MTV's Boiling Point and I've won $100! This, of course, is never the case.)

When the teeth of the turnstyle turned to me (err, us, since she was arm to arm with me at this point), I rushed in, anxious to beat the turnstyle nazi at her own game by submitting this unspoken warning. "I will go first since it's my turn, damn you!" (Good shall prevail over evil, whether you like it or not, Nazi!) As it turned out, I was so consumed with her every motion, that I didn't realize some guy had jumped into the turnstyle's open mouth before me. Thusly, I was now stuck in this mini-triangular portal with some curly haired Jewish guy. If you are a visual type, you might imagine this as me riding him piggy back through the turnstyle. This wouldn't have been so bad if my gym bag hadn't got caught in the turnstyle, causing all movement to cease. The Nazi helped push my bag through the turnstyle so the rest of the traffic could flow through as planned/

"Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry. I wasn't paying attention!" I said to him loudly, so that the nazi behind me wouldn't realize that this blunder was an effect of my calculated attempt to stop her in her overbearing tracks. Perhaps this sentence would even make her think that I hadn't even noticed her. Nazis might be rude, but they're not stupid

Him: Don't worry about it.

Me: I just thought you were cute (chuckle, chuckle).

He smiled and chuckled in kind, but the truth was, he just wasn't cute.

The Nazi exited the turnstyle behind us and ran up to the front of the line so that she could climb up the stairs before everyone else did. I guess this just goes to show that some people never learn - even when presented with such eloquently choreographed lessons.

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