The long winter months always make me forget the horde of Fire Islanders who descend on the 7:15 train every Monday between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Like the clover in my yard, they seem to have blossomed in special numbers this spring. This is a typical, unedited conversation:
Guy: "Are you going to New York?"
Guy: (pause) "How do you get to New York?"
Me: "The train will be here in three minutes. You just get on it and it goes to Penn Station."
Guy: "I only have an off-peak ticket. Is there an ATM here?"
Me: "No, just a ticket machine."
Guy: "Well, I only have seven dollars."
His only saving grace was that he didn't have a crappy-yap dog as a seatmate. But then I got to work today, felt reaaaaally lousy, and went home early. I got to Babylon and changed over to the Speonk train. This guy was standing there looking lost. As soon as the train doors closed, he announced to no one in particular:
Guy 2: "This train goes to Amityville, right?"
Everyone: "No, this is the train out east. Amityville's the other direction."
Guy 2: "Shit I gotta get off this train!"