Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Been There, Seen That

Okay, technically this was a New York Times story that might not have merited front page status. But it was a summer Saturday, and really, how many pieces can we read about that unending war, huh? Anyways, Women Have Seen It All on Subway, Unwillingly was right there below the fold, and the gist of the story was that virtually every woman in New York has gotten flashed in the subways at one point or another. And I, being part of that demographic* (*there is no need to make rude remarks about the size of my chest here, thank you), very much concur with the article's thesis.

Reader* (*Mom), this is my story:

Several years ago I worked on a sitcom that filmed at Kaufman-Astoria Studios in lovely downtown Astoria, Queens. Though many of you decry the crappy state of sitcoms, feeling that a computer could generate funnier lines of dialogue in binary code than most TV writers come up with, let me assure you that it's not for lack of hours spent trying. In fact, we'd often sit in the writers' room from 10 AM to 2 AM (five days in a row) in order to produce 22 minutes of television. So, okay, the point of this was that we were in the midst of one of those horrendously late night work weeks.

I think I'd been at the studio till 3:30 or 4:00 the previous night, and so we're told we don't have to come in till 11:00 the next morning. After a few hours of sleep, I hop on the G train around 10:00 AM the following day, well past the rush hour crowd (especially for those doing a reverse commute into Queens). But I'm so exhausted, I don't realize/don't care that I'm the only person on the train except for a homeless guy who's sleeping at the other end of the car.

I take out my New York Times (ironically enough) and start reading the Metro section--something properly lurid, if memory serves--and I just zone out my surroundings. Well, I start to zone back in when I feel the top of my paper start to rustle. Slowly I look to see what's causing this and sure enough, I'm now eyeball to eyeball with the homeless guy's gigantic member. He's placed it on the top of my newspaper as if he's offering it as a hand towel. What do I do? What do I do in the face of a potentially mental flasher?

I start to laugh. Something about the fact that this guy was presenting his penis to me swaddled in the New York Times just struck me as very funny. I mean the New York Post, sure. But the Times? Seemed a little fancy.

Well, apparently my girlish giggle elicited from the man the type of response he was trying to get from me. His eyes widened, his face turned red and he ran out of the subway car in shock as soon as the doors opened.

So though Saturday's NYT story seemed to suggest that subway flashing was just a fact of life here in Gotham, and really there was nothing to do about it, I'd like to offer my experience as a counterpoint. Ladies, since the subway system here is pretty much like theater in motion, I suggest next time you get flashed, you just sit back, giggle and enjoy the show!

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