My Lucky Day?

You Dirty Rat

  • Right before leaving for work this morning, a little voice inside my head told me: “Take your camera.” The last time that happened, I ignored it and missed a great shot on the way to work.

To my delight, there was a big inflatable rat in front of the Trump Tower at 8:45 a.m.

Check out the protestor on the right, the guy in the gray plaid jacket. He could be the rat’s brother.

*  *  *

  • Keeping in mind yesterday’s post about my crazy office, this is the text of an e-mail sent by Human Resources today:

Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2012 3:22 p.m.

To: NY Staff

Subject: Food From Meeting Rooms/Fruit Bowl

All employees have to wait until any food that is left over from a meeting room is  brought into the kitchen. All food left in the kitchen is available to staff for their enjoyment on a first come, first-served basis.

Please be courteous and take one piece of fruit per day so your co-workers can have a piece too!

Your cooperation is appreciated.

(I laughed out loud when I read this. It sounds like something written by my third grade teacher. I can just picture the stampede of gobblers scarfing up half-eaten leftovers from the conference room.)

*  *  *

  • At 5:00 p.m., I left work and walked to the subway station to catch the R, a local train. Because I had my book, New York Diaries, I would not mind the longer ride home. Besides, I didn’t feel like walking up blustery 57th Street to catch the F express.

Luckily, the R pulled into the station right way. And, I got a seat! I opened my book.

Right before we pulled into the Queens Plaza stop, I read this wacky journal entry dated May 3, 1847. It was written by Walt Whitman:

People are not half aware of  the benefits of regular bathing—a practice which should be “got into” by every man, woman, and child of the land. The cold bath is best (winter and summer), for healthy persons–with this proviso: not to bathe in it when the body is chilled, but when it has a healthy glow of warmth. This is an important item. At first, and for those to whom bathing is new, tepid water will be best–soon and gradually to be superseded by the water of the natural temperature. Nor is anything absolutely necessary to a bath, except a pitcher of water in one’s room, a sponge and a towel; by using these daily, one will feel better and live longer.

By every man, woman, and child of the land! Can you imagine how people must have reeked in 1847, if they need instructions on bathing?

Before I knew it, the R pulled into Queens Plaza. Across the platform, the E express train sat on the tracks, doors open, waiting for passengers. At the last minute, I ran out of the R and breezed through the doors of the E just as they were closing.

Which meant only more one stop to Jackson Heights — instead of the usual 5 or 6 more stops had I remained on the R.

When the door closed, the stink on the E train acquainted itself with my nostrils. I wanted to gag (or read aloud Walt Whitman’s advice to the offending passengers.) The muggy, close air stank of B.O., despite the A/C.

The guy standing next to me was snorting every few seconds like a horse. What is it with these snorting people? They are everywhere. Have they never heard of Kleenex?  (I had to be grateful. He could have been a spitter or projectile nose-blower).

The guy to the right of me was just plain dirty.

Noxious odors notwithstanding, it was indeed fortunate I followed my instinct and switched trains. Because when I arrived at my stop and climbed the stairs to the station, I saw a group of firefighters with emergency equipment milling around. Out on the street, I overheard an EMT worker utter the word “cardiac.”

Which meant right then, the conductor on the R train was most likely announcing “sick passenger” or “police action” into his microphone to a packed train of people at a standstill in the tunnel.

The last time that happened to me, our extremely crowded rush hour train was stranded in the tunnel for 45 minutes. Talk about misery!

The scene outside the station

Relatively speaking…this was sort of my lucky day.

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