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I had one of those city weekends where at one point I’m doing cool New York stuff like taking my kids to the peaceful, calming glass garden at NYU Medical Center (Thank you Mommy Poppins for the idea) where my girls discover tropical birds, plants and a koi pond.

And then at another point, 4 year-old Dylan and I are stuck endlessly underground waiting for our subway, the L train, amongst the chaotic, less than calming crowds.

Those subway stations could really use a koi pond.

After 25 minutes it occurs to me that hey, maybe the L train isn’t actually running. So Dylan and I make our way back upstairs.

We, of course, pass about 421 signs clearly explaining that the L train is indeed not running from Union Square to 8th Ave. I am convinced that all those signs were JUST put up. Or very cleverly hidden. Or I’m just not that smart.

Then I ask the friendly Metropolitan Transportation Authority folks for a full $2 refund. So we can put it towards a nice, dependable cab ride.

I mean, we waited for a LONG time. And we still need to get home. And don’t even get me riled up about those invisible signs.

“I want my two dollars!”

They hand me a bus pass.

Oh, and that quote was “Better Off Dead.” John Cusack. 1985. You’re welcome.

Anyway, Dylan is ecstatic over this new public transportation opportunity. So we board the bus.

And as the bus labors slowly across town, I notice the woman in front of me eating an enormous hunk of cheese.  I will never understand how people can enjoy eating anything on mass transit.

It must go something like this…. I’m so looking forward to this delicious, gorgeous wedge of cheese but first I’m going to get on the bus so I can eat it while some guy’s arse is in my face and another woman is shoving her purse into my side and the guy to the right of me has his legs spread so wide that I can hardly fit on my own seat.

And then during my fromage pondering, I smell some one’s Chinese food.

Oh gross. For gosh sakes, does someone really need to be eating their moo goo gai pan on their way to 8th ave? It just stinks up the whole bus.

So incredibly self-centered. You can’t wait 15 minutes until you’re home? Well, this is the crosstown bus. So maybe 30 minutes. But still.  How about a little respect for your fellow New Yorkers?

And then I realize I’m just smelling Thai food, leftover from lunch, in my own bag.


Scratch that previous tirade.

36 Responses to i want my two dollars

  • calikim says:

    HA!! You are too much. But I do feel your pain. I’ve been on buses going through China Town in SF where it is filled with sweet little Chinese ladies whom have just done their grocery shopping. Smelling their duck or whatever other delicacies they have in those Styrofoam containers can be vomit inducing I must say. Gag!!!

  • Jennifer H says:

    Somewhere, on another blog far away, someone’s ranting about that Thai food on the bus. Guaran-friggin-teed.

    Okay, maybe not. You just made me laugh, though.

  • kristen says:

    my husband always teased me for using the L train, for the exact reason you’ve just described. but when it’s running brilliantly, it really is the best subway line.

  • Cathy says:

    One time my friend and I were on the el in chicago and lost track of our stop and ended in a bad part of town. We knew this b/c a guy sitting by us was eating Chinese food with a pocket knife–pretty scary.

  • tracey says:

    Would you believe I have only ridden on a public bus (not counting the big yellow school buses) 2 times? And a cab only 2 times? (one of those times was about 15 years ago. The other was 2 years ago.)And that I have NEVER ridden on a subway or Chicago’s elevated train?

    I know. I am such a Suburbanite.

  • Merrily says:

    was she actually touching her cheese or eating it from the wrapper? did she have Purell? is she crazy? and by the way – whatever happened to the old school adage ‘did you bring enough for everyone???’ oh, me thinks I am going to gag…

  • wa says:

    We’ve been saying “I want my two dollars” around here for weeks–ever since the weird kid next door learned how to ride his bike.

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    The ‘SHOW’ is better on the Greyhound.  Not only is everyone eating or drinking booze, but someone is always having sex in the back.  I’ve taken it to Tuscaloosa, Ala. and Key West, Fla., not to mention other parts of the USA.  (No, it’s not me in the back seat). 

  • ewe_are_here says:

    Stinky food that people bring to eat is even even worse on airplanes… because you’re absolutely trapped… and they never seem to, um, process said stinky food in a non-smelly way.

  • Marinka says:

    I was on the cross town bus, too, this weekend, and I heard the bus driver mention 10,000 times that the L isn’t running, so she’s picking up more passengers.

    I don’t understand how people can eat on the bus. And not share.

  • ErinB says:

    I really appreciate my car right now.

    I can picture that kid racing down the ski slope chasing him “I want my 2 dollars!”  love it!  

  • JESSICA BERN says:

    My favorite thing to do when I lived in NY was to ride the bus downtown in the winter time and read that rag “the New York Post”. Yes, I hate Rupert Murdoch and yes, it kills me to give him the money but i love that paper. What can I say.

  • If I were on a New York City bus, I’d be eating the cheese hunk. I’m very completely serious. My cheese love cannot be diminished by butt proximity or not enough room on a bench.

    So if you meet me on the bus someday, and I am eating a wedge of cheese, I hope you will give me a chance. I really am quite nice, in spite of the cheese thing. Or maybe <i>because</i> of the cheese thing?

  • OHmommy says:

    You should see what my main mode of transportation smells like….

    the minivan.

    Ugh.  There are so many compartments for food to hide out in.  And the minivan’s cleaning crew is on strike a lot.

  • Portia says:

    Once again Kelc…you have me laughing out loud girl!  I have had the same experience with the L train at Union Square…only difference was that it was at midnight….as for the cheese incident, I liken that to the Sex And The City coconut that Carrie saw her fellow jury duty mate pull out of his suitcase….WEIRD!

  • patois says:

    Having just written “cheese hunk” I’m now imagining some hunky guy made out of cheese. Now, I really do like cheese. Really do. But not on a man. How the heck can I get that image out of my mind?

  • Diane says:

    I’m afraid we will soon be in the generational limbo when no one will identify with either the $2 movie quote OR the idea of a paperboy having to collect his own or her own subscription dues. It’s like telling your kids about growing up without computers or CD’s or DVDs or God-forbid, the microwave oven. Thanks for your words – humor is a life saver!

  • Oz says:

    So, a few days ago I ranted at my husband about how our ENTIRE HOUSE smelled and it was HIS FAULT.   We have this particularly strong-smelling candle that was driving me and my sensitive pregnant nose nuts.  Obviously I am the person who purchased the candle. 

    I would’ve been happy to have the Thai food, on the bus or anywhere.  Yum.

  • Anna Lefler says:

    I, for one, have never approved of public cheese-eating, particularly in wedge form.

    Okay, now I’m distracted by the “liquified banana” comment above me.  WTF?

    ~ A.

kelcey kintner