Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Subway entertainment

Some things are more embarrassing than they need be.
Subway rides, for example. With children.
Today I wanted to go to Manhattan on the Subway, but Coco didn’t. Madge toughed it out. But every time the train pulled into a station, Coco struggled to break free and kept shouting – and I mean shouting – “No more transion! No more transion!” (Transion, I believe, is a conjunction of transfer and station, which, I guess, most accurately reflects his feelings about the matter.)
By the time we got to our desired stop I was a sweaty mess.
But the situation is still understandable, something everyone can read as painful, but somehow necessary. A toddler balking. And it’s not like walking or taking a bus or cab would be any more helpful once you’re already on the train.
No, what truly gets to me is when the train is empty enough for the poles to be unoccupied and therefore irresistible, but not so empty that there is no audience for Madge’s dance. Head back so the hair swings free, back arched, legs - oh, I can’t get into it. It’s an innocent thing, of course, but...
Here, you try finishing this exchange:
“Stop twirling around the pole, please.”
“Why?”
Hm? What do you say that will be satisfactory and not just authoritarian bull that doesn’t fly anyway.
And trust me, I have said, “Would you take ‘because I said so’?” It doesn’t work.
Good luck on solving the puzzle.

2 comments:

christine (from el) said...

i think this is a prime opportunity to become (or pretend to become) a germophobe. "because it's dirty/because there are germs on it" is a good all-purpose parental excuse. you could even embellish: "because people wipe their noses on it every day," perhaps, or the more subtle "do you KNOW what people do on that thing?..." (in this particular case, the latter might have worked well.)

Goedi said...

Hee, hee. First I thought "el" meant that you live in Chicago and ride the El(evated), but then I realized you work with Julie and probably ride the Subwee (oh, how I wish I knew how to put an accent on the first "e").
Hi, Christine. If I know Madge, I'd say her response would be, "But we hold on to it when the train is crowded. Why not now?"
So, sorry, but you'll have to try again.
I have to reserve your line for when the kids mindlessly rest their mouths on the pole or the seat backs or whatever. And then their tongues explore, as orally fixated people's tend to, I guess. Ick, I know.