Rider Threatens to Sue Hamptons Subway for $34.2 Million
SCENE ON THE SUBWAY
Jerry Seinfeld and Jon Stewart were seen talking to one another on the platform in Southampton. Kim Cattrall was on the platform up in Springs, heading, she said, to pick up her pet dog at the groomer in Water Mill. Wall Street’s Ken Lipper was seen boarding the subway at Shinnecock, bound for Westhampton Beach and some big meeting, he said.
DAMAGED WESTERN HALF OF SUBWAY REOPENS
Last Friday morning, just in time for the upcoming Christmas rush, the western half of the subway system serving Southampton to Westhampton Beach reopened to the public. It had been damaged four weeks ago when our new subway cars, built too tall, ripped the ceiling lights out of all the tunnels. Although little bits of broken glass are still being found here and there, the reopening went well. Fingers crossed.
SUBWAY RIDER THREATENS TO SUE
A man named Fred Pingsley, of Bay Shore, who says he was forced to ride the subway from Amagansett to Montauk last Saturday morning, has hired a lawyer and served notice that he intends to sue the subway system for $34.2 million.
According to Pingsley, he was walking along Main Street in Amagansett minding his own business when at exactly 11:29 a.m., a manager of the subway system, whom he identified as Wallace T. Townsend, grabbed him from behind and carried him against his will down the subway stairs to the turnstile, put in a token, and then threw him onto the train to Montauk. When he protested while all this took place, he was told that the record for the most subway riders for the week was about to be broken and that because the week officially ends at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, they needed one more person to make it happen and he just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
After being shoved onto the train and, while the doors were still open, Pingsley shouted that he’d had just about enough, because now the record had been broken and he should be let go. Townsend said, “Not so fast! You have to come through the next station for it to count, and with that the doors closed and the train took off.
Pingsley said he was able to take the return trip back to Amagansett without further expense on the next westbound subway, but because of the way he was treated and the hour he lost, he is suing.
YARD SALE A SUCCESS
More than 3,000 broken antique light fixtures, each of them quite valuable, were sold at the yard sale at the Montauk yards last Friday. All these light fixtures had been sheared off the underside of the subway tube ceilings by the maiden and disastrous voyage of the double-decker subway cars made in Sweden especially for this subway. Some of the light fixtures were in good condition and some not. All but about 50 sold. The yard sale was supervised by volunteers under the aegis of Mrs. Aspinall, who said that after deducting expenses, more than $55 was raised for charity.
TURKEY GIVEAWAY DISASTER
Our new late-night promotion director Harry Happening, whom we’d hired away from X, formerly known as Twitter, just three months ago, has been fired.
Happening’s first promotion for Hamptons Subway was for Halloween and did not go off exactly as expected. He’d asked kids in costume to walk from Westhampton Station to Montauk beginning at 2 in the morning, expecting them to walk on foot 40 miles to arrive at Montauk at 5 a.m. Only a few did. The rest, about 140 of them, assembled as required at Westhampton, but then were taken up the platform escalators by their parents and driven to Montauk to reappear on the subway platform there. They took the first-place prizes before the bedraggled seven who walked the whole way did. Bad feelings followed.
For Thanksgiving, he ordered that 100 frozen Butterball turkeys be hidden in the tunnels of the subway system at 2 a.m., followed by the folks hoping to find them and take them home allowed to begin at 2:30 a.m. Unfortunately, due to a communication error, what these folks found in the tunnels were 40-pound live turkeys. Of the 155 people who signed up to go down, 154 of them came back bruised and battered by the gobblers. The 155th did subdue his turkey. The farmer, who misunderstood what Mr. Happening had asked him to deliver, went down in the morning to round up what he’d dropped off. So far, he’s bagged just over 40 of them. The rest are still down there somewhere and the trains have to run at a slow 15 miles an hour throughout in order to not harm them. Hopefully, this will be resolved by Monday.
As for Mr. Happening’s latest proposal, scheduled for Christmas night, it was to be “Pin the Tail on Santa Claus.” The script for it was sent around on Monday and with that, our Commissioner Bill Aspinall sprang into action. He tore up the proposal document without even reading it, ordered Mr. Happening, who works at night and sleeps during the day — thought to be a plus for a nighttime worker — brought to his office at noon today where, sleepily, he sat and was told he was fired. And good riddance too. Although we will pay him the rest of his two-year contract, of course.
COMMISSIONER ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
The Hamptons Subway would like to offer its apologies to Fred Pingsley of Bay Shore for the overenthusiastic way he was treated last Saturday morning at the Amagansett station. Although we feel there was not enough done for him to have endured sufficient emotional suffering and financial damage to sue, we nevertheless would have preferred that he’d been treated in a more respectful manner. Our general manager, Wallace T. Townsend, also offers his apologies for the way he behaved, saying that his judgment was impaired by the excitement of his determination to set the new record, and if Mr. Pingsley would like to meet him directly and get a personal apology, he should go to the newsstand on the East Hampton platform, to which Townsend has been reassigned as assistant cashier. Townsend says he would like to buy you, Mr. Pingsley, the magazine of your choice.