Welcome to America

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Continuing with my expose on just how dangerous it can be to get excessively inebriated on the Subway I would be remiss not to tell the story of a brutal take and run on a man who set himself up so bad it was painful to watch. Out in Jackson Heights, where this blog actually began, this one takes place on the 7 Train. The 7 train and Jackson Heights are synonymous. With Jackson Heights being arguably the most diverse place on Earth, the 7 train is the most diverse train in the New York City System. As ever the great equalizer, on the 7 train white people are the clear minority. Folks from the Latin world  dominate this train. You can’t get on without hearing the Mariachi cats in full uniform hustling by playing guitar and singing traditional tunes.

I was always falling asleep on the 7 Train. I once woke up embarrassed with my head on someone’s shoulder as they graciously allowed me to get my snooze on. I once was so tired I started sleeping open mouth and was drooling. It was my horror to wake up and find a crowded train and two high school girls looking at me with that OMG expression. I have taken great delight and amusement observing people in this position in reverse. This story starts with me sleeping on the train once again, but I was awoken by the beginning of what would become a crushing blow to people who advertise why their beer is the best and also the people who truly believe in the so-called American Dream.

I woke up in a train with about 15 people in it. It was daytime. With the 7 Train being above ground the sun was shining and filling up the car. You could see the blue sky and clouds gently drifting over Queens NY. The weather was nice that day, I didn’t have a jacket on.

Not everybody drinks at night. Some people start drinking for breakfast. Some people have a bizarre drunk all the time schedule that leaves them drunk at those times when everybody else is stone cold sober trooping it out to the day gig routine.

The reason I woke was a man from somewhere in the Latin world was putting on a show inside of the car. He was stumbling around bombed and decided he needed to show the whole world just how prosperous his world had become.

“Look at me! Look at how rich I am!”

And the words I’ll never forget him saying..

“God Bless America!”

This man then made a devastating mistake, one that the kids today would call EPIC.

He fanned out about 10 $100 Dollar Bills in a wave. The Benjamin Franklin’s were all clearly visible. This was indeed a large sum of freshly pressed cash, and over $1,000 dollars. Right there in everyone’s faces.

New York City Subway rule we all know #1: Don’t go and display your cash. Translation: Don’t put yourself on blast. The official: Keep all your money and possessions to yourself, and make sure you have everything when you leave. There are no cameras on these trains, and not EVERYthing gets filmed on your phone.

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What this drunk fellow doesn’t realize in his state of celebration is that there are 2 very street wise gentleman in the car with us who have been observing his every move and making plans. Sinister plans you dig. As we pull to a station and the doors open for folks to enter or exit the train. . . .

Boom. Both thugs leap from their seats towards Mr. Monopoly still parading his very real money out for all to see.

Boom. One thug grabs all the money right out of money bags hands while the other thug grabs him from behind and throws him to the subway floor.

Boom. The two thugs leap through the doors to the platform as they close sealing us all in. They take off running as the train leaves the station.

Having it all go down in a matter of seconds my man on the floor was so drunk he didn’t even know what went down. He was starting to get it though. He forced himself up and stumbled around the train looking like he might find his missing loot. Loot he probably worked hundreds of hours to acquire.

“My money. My beautiful money. Where did it all go?

He slumped into a vacant chair and started to cry. On some level he started to process that he got jacked, that his funds were indeed boosted. Funds liberated. His party was now a funeral procession. All of his cash dreams deferred to a later date.

On the next stop it was time for me to depart and embark on my journey back to my own sanctuary. As I left the train I heard somebody also leaving walk over to him and whisper a brutal finish to this tale of Subway woe.


“Welcome to America.”


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