Tourists. Seriously. I know it’s a played-to-death subject, but can anyone tell me why so few of them understand Appropriate Subway Behavior? They’re always the ones moseying into the car so leisurely, talking too loud, standing in blockade formation around the pole and doorways, forgoing holding ON to the pole in favor of spectacular pratfalls when the train lurches out of the station…

…and messing with crazy people.

Witness: This morning I board the downtown express at 42nd and–because I am eerily observant and perceptive, which is why Maud and I will eventually start a PI firm–notice a Legitimately Insane Person sitting on the bench by the door. I stay away from him. He has an enormous backpack and a stack of books next to him on the seat and is rather furiously writing on a diner placemat. Enter a family from some small town in Iowa or the Dutch equivalent of some small town in Iowa.

They ask him to move his stuff so that they can sit down. He throws down his pen, shoves EVERYTHING on the floor, jumps up, stomps his feet, shouts, then picks everything up and sits back down. They look alarmed for a moment, then sit down next to him, probably thinking, “Oh, that’s NYC, it’s just so quirky.”

Hey, you know what? THAT IS NOT NORMAL SUBWAY RIDERSHIP. Do they not have crazy people where you people come from? They might call it “touched in the head” there.

If New Yorkers have learned anything in recent months, other than the fact that the Jets suck, it’s that asking someone to move their shit on the subway is a surefire way to get yourself killed.

So, I ask visitors to NYC: If you see a man who looks like Harvey Korman (if Harvey Korman were wearing three coats and socks over his shoes) on the subway, just leave him the hell alone. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to sit on the Circle Line tour of the Statue of Liberty.

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