Hamptons Subway Newsletter: Week of October 14–20, 2016

Hamptons Subway bat
Rare black bats are living in the Hamptons Subway tunnels, Photo: Danil Roudenko, Nicolas Fernandez/123RF

Week of October 14–20, 2016
Riders this past week: 23,412
Rider miles this past week: 100,002

Cartoonist Jules Feiffer and his mate Joan Holden were seen heading from East Hampton to Sag Harbor to oversee the renovation of their new home on Shelter Island. Filmmakers D.A. Pennebaker and his wife Chris Hegedus were seen in an empty subway car leaving Noyac for Sag Harbor. Empty, that is, except for this reporter, who they filmed the entire time. How annoying.

Forty-two first graders from the Sagaponack Prep, Music & Art Boarding School came down to the Georgica stop last Saturday to see the tunnels, escalators, platforms, ticket booths and subway trains. They left singing the famous Hamptons Subway Jingle “Watch Out for the Closing Doors, Dear!”

The Hamptons Subway shutdown between 2 and 4 p.m. last Friday had nothing to do with power outages or derailments. It was due to our overenthusiastic new marketing director Henrietta Babencock conducting her first promotion, free hot fudge sundaes handed to every passenger who came through the turnstiles at all the stations beginning at 1 p.m. The subsequent stampede, riot and smearing of fudge and ice cream all over the seats, the walls and everybody’s clothes caused the closure and we just needed the time to clean up. Ms. Babencock did not get the approval of Commissioner Aspinall ahead of time, and so, unfortunately, she was let go. She was, however, allowed to finish the hot fudge sundae she’d awarded herself.

The Hamptons Subway Motorman’s Union has announced that next Saturday during the peak morning rush hour, the members will walk off their jobs. Anyone who’s had experience driving a subway train is asked to please call Mr. Aspinall for immediate employment. Pay is high, benefits are included and the hours are long. We believe the period of employment will be short, however, if Mr. Aspinall has anything to do with it, which he does.

The tunnel between Shinnecock and Southampton has been commandeered as a nesting grounds by a million very rare and endangered black bats beginning this past Friday. They sleep during the day on the walls inside the tunnel, then all silently flutter out at both the Shinnecock and Southampton Stations every night just after the last ray of sun peeps down over the horizon. They are very fast, so we don’t know where they go. But they return just before sunrise every subsequent morning. The bats’ arrival and departure takes about 10 minutes each way, so remain either in the subway cars or up on the street during those minutes until it’s all done. Most of us have the exact hour and minute of sunset and sunrise on our smartphones so it shouldn’t be too hard to avoid the system for these few moments. They do bite, we’re told. And they are very large. Forty pounds, we’re told. We regret the inconvenience.

Hamptons Subway intends to have industrial robots take over most of the operation of our subway trains, maintenance departments and ticket booths within the year. A big casualty of this changeover will be the ending of the “employee of the month” dinner. We expect to have an “employee of the year” dinner in its stead, every April.


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