The average New Yorker spends 2.7 to 3.8 hours a day on the subway. We just made those figures up, but they sound right. According to the same unimpeachable source, 92.3% of subway riders use that time for reading, I-poding, Blackberrying and woolgathering. These activities are being driven to extinction by the increasingly loud and nonstop scolding interference of the nanny MTA.
The assault on our minds began with the completely gratuitous announcement, “Thank you for riding the MTA.” Well, what’s the alternative, digging our own tunnels?
Then came a flood of admonitions about suspicious packages, “pregnant persons” and unsolicited advice as to whether a crowded subway is a defense to sexual misconduct.
Most bizarre was the stern warning not to ride on the outside of the train. It had never occurred to us to ride on top of the train, but we’re giving it some thought now that we’ve been informed that the inside is crowded with sex offenders pondering their legal defenses. Not to mention being surrounded by ads showing bedbugs the size of poodles.
Now the subway stations have become a nightmare of nonstop announcements about how many minutes away the train to New Lots Avenue is. What difference does it make? Either the train is here or it isn’t. Our concentration is shot.
Straphangers, arise! Keep suspicious packages to yourself! Display cell phones and other electronic devices! Stand up for pregnant bedbugs! We have nothing to lose but our sanity!