Subway Announcements Part Deux

My Uncle Abe was visiting last week and asked me to give him a tour of the city. After spending nine hours waiting for subway cars and 28 seconds exploring all the city has to offer, Uncle Abe got back on his motorcycle, gave me the finger and raced away like an old man who has eaten one too many bran muffins and finds he must get somewhere very fast. Which brings me to the topic of today's blog: New York City subway announcements. My uncle found them baffling and with good reason: they're baffling. And they're not baffling in the same sense that, say, the universe or Regis Philbin's hair is baffling. Subway announcements are baffling in the sense that they don't make any sense. And sometimes they're flat out mean. And CrankyPants hates meanness almost as much as he hates that funny taste you get in your mouth after drinking milk three months past its expiration date. So, to protect his innocent readers, and in case my uncle ever decides to visit our not-so-fair city again and for anyone else foolish enough to come here without access to his/her own private helicopter, I offer the following NYC "Subway to English" dictionary. Print this out and take it with you any time you're trying to get from location X to my lovely apartment where we'll sit in the living room and swap sentimental stories about our childhoods. (For those with long memories: yes, I wrote a blog with this exact topic four years ago. It's a clear sign that my brain is devolving).
--Stand Clear of the Closing Doors. Step away from the doors so we can think (if you believe sub-simians have the capacity for thought, that is) about closing the doors when we wake from our nap. You'll hear this announcement more than any other when you take the subway in NYC. To avoid, consider moving to France or Germany.
--We thank you for your patience. 1) We know you lost your patience with us a long time ago, because we're incompetent. Okay, we're more than incompetent: we know how bad we are at what we do and yet we continue to raise the cost of riding our rickety system, take in billions which we use to send our children on luxurious vacations, and pretend we care when we don't. We're incompetent and proud of it! 2) Fuck you. You will usually hear this jab to the groin after learning that your subway will be delayed and you'll be sharing the car and its contents (including the air) for a large portion of the rest of your life.
--Due to construction, there will be delays along this line. Our union and its many workers (and we use this word with tongue in cheek) want their fair share of the money we're making by bilking you. Therefore, we're sending them out to sit and eat lunch on the tracks and occasionally scare away. You'll often hear this announcement used on tracks in the city -- the G line, for example -- which need the fewest repairs since only about 6 trains run a day. To avoid, never travel in Brooklyn.

--Due to train traffic ahead, we are experiencing delays. 1) See above, our union, etc... 2) See above, Fuck you.
--Due to a sick passenger, there will be a delay. Due to a sick passenger, we are going to sit in this station while real city employees bust their butts to protect the life of one our precious citizens. Imagine if we valued you even a millionth as much... Ha, made you imagine!
--Assaulting an MTA employee is a felony. 1) We know exactly what you're thinking and if we were in your shoes we wouldn't stand for this treatment for a second, but since we're not -- in fact, we have the law on our side -- you'd better not touch us while we smoke pot, chat with other drivers and occasionally (rarely) do our job. 2) Na na na na naaaa!

--Look over there, a rooster! This is an announcement you'll never hear on the New York City subway system, but it's here to make clear the distinction between useful announcements and ours.

Uncle Abe, if you're reading this (and you are) please come back. I promise the helicopter is back from the shop!

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