Friday, March 5, 2010

An Apology

I'd like to apologize to a woman who was riding the Harlem Line 5:59 peaker last night. Here's why...

Chapter 1: Sockit Tumi

I bought a new briefcase yesterday, a sleek black Tumi briefcase, probably made out of recycled six packs and old goodyear radials, which makes it indestructable, which is cool because i dont want to have to drop another $250 on a briefcase for at least 5 more years, or until the effing recession ends, whichever comes first. And this new briefcase is much smaller and narrower than my old briefcase, because I'm such an obsessive compulsive a-hole that I firmly believe every extra ounce of weight and wind resistance I lug around makes me a less efficient commuter. I like to travel light. No coat in winter, no umbrella for rain, no books, no food, no newspapers, no effing extra weight. If i thought it would help to go with a full on Michael Phelps body shave "smoothie", I'd do that, if it meant knocking 20 seconds off my crosstown walk (plus I bet the missus wouldn't mind either. holla!). So now I have a bag with a really nice "profile", as the affected bag people would say, but i still have the same amount of crap to carry as I used to, so its packed tighter than a rush hour F train...

Chapter 2: The Rotten Apple

Last week my 14 year old daughter's Macbook laptop up and died. It didnt even have the ram to muster up a good old fashion screen freeze or spinning effing rainbow wheel. It just wouldn't turn on. I can't really blame it. After three years of sharpie marker tags, nail polished keys, glitter stickers, drops, spills, kicks,and sleepovers, I suspect it just said eff it and shut down for good. Which left it up to me to figure out how to get the three years worth of music, photos, journal entries and video chat screen grabs off of our dearly departed Mac in order to preserve the precious digital memories of my daughters transition from innocent child to hormonal effing devil. So I did what any smart dad would do, I took it into my IT department and asked them to work their magic, which they did...

Chapter 3: Ooooh. That's Gonna Leave a Mark

Time to bring home the laptop, but because I am now a streamlined commuting airfoil, there's no room in my fancy new bag to store it, so I have to carry it, and when I get on the 5:59 peaker heading home, I decide that the best place to store the laptop is on the overhead rack. Are you starting to figure it out now? Thaaats right, as I was getting ready to get off at my stop, I reached up to get the laptop, and that fat little 13" white plastic brick slipped right through the 3" spaced bars of the overhead rack and landed on the head of the sleeping woman in front of me. Suddenly awake and very surprised, she let out an audible gasp, something like "aahhhh! What the..." and she doubled over in pain in her seat. I picked up the laptop, which had slid down behind her, which meant i had to reach down in the vicinity of her ass and grab the thing, which no doubt added a whole new level of humiliation and confusion to an already awkward situation, and then I tried my best to apologize. Round about my 5th or 6th "holy shit, are you OK?" she finally sat upright, and in her lap, much to my horror was an open copy of the book "What to Expect When Your Expecting". That's right, I just dropped a 5 pound plastic cinder block onto the head of a pregnant woman. One express ticket to hell please. Whats that? No, I don't believe I'll need a return ticket. Pretty sure I'll be staying.

So with really nothing else to do but say I was sorry over and over and over, I braced for the inevitable. I mean, I've seen people get into fist fights on trains over phone calls and spilled coffee. What would a pregnant woman with a concussion and an angry mob on her side do? She stopped for a second and took a breath. "It's OK." she said. "Really. I'll be fine. I know it was an accident and I'm sure you didn't mean to do that." and then she touched my hand which was resting on the back of her seat and in a voice that could only belong to an angel she said "Really. Dont worry about it".

So lady, if you're out there somewhere reading this, I just want you to know two things. One is that I am truly truly sorry for what I did and if I ever see you again on the train, I will gladly let you drop the heavy object of your choice on my head as payback. At the very least, leave your email on the blog and I'll send you some flowers or a bottle or something. Oh, and the other thing I wanted to say was you will almost certainly be the world's most awesome mom.


  1. Wow, what a story. Sounds like a case for the ethics guy in the NYTimes magazine though - did you leave her your info? What
    if it does turn out to be a concussion? [she might not know right
    Glad I'm not her or you.

  2. Fabulous story. Really. Nice people can never, ever be overrated. She wants you not to feel too guilty, though. Don't forget that.

  3. Reminds me a bit of a story I once heard about a wrecking ball rolling down Ridge Road.

    Hope you are well, John.