Week of July 20–26, 2018
Riders this past week: 46,812
Rider miles this past week: 200,001
DOWN IN THE TUBE
English Professor Andrew Botsford of Stony Brook University was seen riding the subway between Southampton and Bridgehampton on Friday, reading a book written by author Roger Rosenblatt, sitting next to him and looking over his shoulder. Vladimir Putin was seen Monday morning getting into a private subway car heading toward Quogue, where he will be staying with Jared Kushner we are told. He ordered the train halted at its first stop so he could shoo Angela Merkel out of his car and onto the platform before allowing the train to proceed.
ONE MILLIONTH CUSTOMER OF 2018
Every year, Hamptons Subway awards a trophy and a watermelon to the one-millionth person coming through the turnstiles for that particular year. That happened on July 14 at 4:15 p.m. this year, the earliest in the year it ever has, which means this year is our best ever. He came through the turnstile at the Bridgehampton station westbound, which set off the usual sirens and flashing lights.
The man is a plumber named Madison McKendrick of Bridgehampton, and he tried to get away when we grabbed him to give him the trophy, the $50 swipe card and the watermelon, but we held on tight and the media was on hand, as was Commissioner Aspinall to make his usual speech and shake his hand, and Traffic Controller Alice Edison to hand him his prizes. It all took about 20 minutes, and when we handed him the microphone he said he was very honored but he was in a lot of pain and really had to get to the hospital, so we shortened the end of the ceremony a bit and sent him on his way.
A half hour later, we learned that he had arrived at the hospital emergency room in cardiac arrest and although they did CPR, he died.
We regret that this happened, and we researched the circumstances of his death to see if it occurred while he was waiting for the train so he would not be eligible to be the one-millionth rider since he hadn’t ridden. But after an investigation, we learned he had been alive when getting off the subway at the Southampton Hospital stop, bent over but nevertheless, and so decided to let him keep the watermelon and the trophy rather than have someone bring those things back so we could select another millionth rider. The swipe card cash, of course, is not transferable.
MAINTENANCE MEN COMPLAIN
Paddy O’Reilly, the former chief of the newly formed Subway Maintenance Union, which goons scattered with baseball bats last spring, filed a complaint with management to the effect that as many as half of the subway track switches, speedometers, radios, closed circuit cameras, subway car headlights and emergency brakes are either damaged or broken, making it almost impossible for the maintenance department to guarantee public safety on the system. Commissioner Aspinall addresses this issue in his weekly newsletter message below.
COMMISSIONER ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
This is just like O’Reilly to write this sort of thing. We’d like to remind him and you that every night on every subway, his maintenance people put a “WORK DONE” tag on the brakeman’s lever, which we take to mean “everything is all hunky dory.” We’d also like to remind him that the subway system was built in 1927, replacement parts have not been obtainable since 1948, and the gentleman who knew how to restore or refabricate these switches, gauges and dials retired last year at age 107. And O’Reilly knows this.