Week of July 1–6, 2016
Riders this past week: 24,912
Rider miles this past week: 150,100
DOWN IN THE TUBE
Jack Lenor Larsen was seen on the Hamptons Subway heading from East Hampton to Amagansett carrying a vase.
Riders at the Southampton Station might have been surprised to notice that the down escalator from the street was out of service last Thursday afternoon. They’d have to take the stairs. The reason was that sometime around 2 p.m. a rider left a piece of used blue chewing gum attached to the one of the treads on that stairs. An alert subway manager, seeing it, tried to get it off with his hands before it disappeared into the gears of the escalator at the bottom to go up and around again. But he failed. The manager got a paint scraper, a screw driver, some yellow police tape and an assistant and returned. He put tape across the top of the escalator so no one would use it, got down on his hands and knees so that when the gum arrived, he could signal the assistant at the bottom to run quickly up and get to work on the gum as it moved on down, but it still would not come up before it disappeared. This went on, with more workmen, for over an hour. It was troublesome gum. Many subway riders, curious, gathered there to cheer them on and make suggestions. Finally, at 3:14 p.m., when the gum again disappeared into the workings at the bottom, the whole escalator slowed and then came to a grinding, noisy halt. With that, mechanics were called in and they shut the escalator off, opened it up and found that the gum had gotten attached to a rubber wheel and then caught in a metal spring in there. Both would have to be replaced. When that was finally done and the gum removed with a blowtorch, the escalator was started up again, and the crowd cheered.
As you know, this weekend the full crew of “pushers” arrives to herd people onto the trains. These 22 people are college students paid minimum wage to wear boxing gloves, chest protectors and helmets while they do the work. But last Friday at 10 a.m., a commotion took place on the crowded East Hampton platform that turned out to have been caused by Jessie Harrison, an Antioch senior who mistakenly came to work a week early. Pushing several people around, she made the mistake of pushing one of them, a billionaire’s wife who will remain nameless, causing her to fall. Her husband, angry that the Subway system had allowed a pusher to begin work a week early—everyone knows they start on the July 4 weekend—sued the subway system for $100 million on Monday, but when told that Jessie’s employment had not begun and so the subway could take no responsibility for her action, they changed the person accused to Jessie. Jessie then threw herself on the mercy of the court, this was on Wednesday, saying she was just a philosophy major, had no money and owed over $70,000 in college loans, and with that, the plaintiffs withdrew the suit, met with her, accepted her apology, and then paid off her loan. It was a fine thing these people did.
COMMISSIONER ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
I’m confident we will not be experiencing the sorts of problems this 4th of July weekend that we’ve had in past. You have my assurance on this. Any problems, call me on my private line where I’m staying at Little Dix Bay in Virgin Gorda for the weekend.