In New York you often get a subway conductor or bus driver with a big personality, funny or cranky or philosophical. You know this because the conductor or bus driver has a microphone, and knows how to use it. He or she will broadcast personality along with the information about stops and transfers and so on. When I was working in Manhattan and using the subway many times a day, I had conductors who started Elvis Presley singalongs, who did impressions (and good ones) of various actors and presidents, who did a fashion-show like commentary on the people on the platform.
I’ve mentioned Overheard in New York before. I try not to post about it too often, but these I’ve got to share because I laughed until I got a stitch in my side. All overheard on the subway:
Overheard by Silvy:
Conductor: This is Fifth Avenue. Transfer here for… Aw, hell, there ain’t no transfer here. Get in the damn train.
–E train from JFK, around 5th Ave
Overheard by: ntrprnr
Conductor: Okay everyone, we’re going to evacuate the train now. Just stay calm. This isn’t the Titanic. I repeat, this is not the Titanic.
–Acela, to NYC
Overheard by: The Titanic was on-time
Conductor: Board the train so the doors can close. [Girls slowly shuffle around doors.] You must physically board the train to ride. The platform does not move.
Overheard by: NCtransplantGirl
Conductor, very politely: Ladies and gentlemen, please stand clear of the closing doors so this train can leave the station. Thank you. [Later, not as politely] Sir, maybe the fact that you have to hold on to the outside of the car to stay inside is a sign that you should wait for the next train!
–Crowded Bronx-bound 6 train
And one more, not on the train:
Suit on cell phone: No, I’m just saying that you are being very unresponsive… Unresponsive! Do you know what unresponsive means? … Hello?
This last one is so good that I am tempted to take it as my motto. I wonder if I could get it translated into Latin.