At least once a week while riding the subway in New York City, I witness something strange enough to make me wonder if I’m finally having a psychotic break, or if I’ve stumbled onto the set of Men in Black IV. Sometimes, the underground characters I feel like I’m hallucinating actually interact with me, and it is scary.
Here are some of those times, ranked.
7. The time I watched a man eat Trolli gummy worms by dangling them above his wide-open mouth and gulping them down as if he were a baby bird. He then kindly offered some worms to me and other fellow passengers.
6. The time a man playing a bass sang “I Believe I Can Fly” except with improvised lyrics about what I was doing while sitting on the train, i.e. “I’m gonna look in my backpack and see what I can fiiiiind,” then after two bad minutes finally moved on to sing “Superfreak” with lyrics about the train activities of an old businessman.
5. The time I sat down on a relatively empty 3 train next to a bearded man, but found that section of the car smelled bad, so I got up and moved, only to realize the bearded man was giving me a weird look and was Mandy Patinkin, and I had missed my only chance to quietly soak in the glory of Inigo Montoya/Huxley from Elmo in Grouchland, etc., then watched as another girl got on the train and professed her fandom as he nodded wearily.
4. The time I was eating almonds on a very hot subway platform and a stoned man approached and said “Man, makes me think, what if you could have nuts that were an air conditioner?” and then proceeded to outline his plan for inventing said air conditioner nuts.
3. The time when two friends and I got onto the subway and a man holding a pair of pliers started gnashing the pliers at us while yelling “Beautiful ladies, beautiful ladies!”
2. The time Ann Coulter sat directly across from me on the downtown 4 train and the only thing protecting me from her reptilian laser eyebeams were her oversized sunglasses and I spent 15 minutes staring and wondering why Ann Coulter was riding the subway instead of a chariot made from the bones of Park Slope hippie children, and I tried to surreptitiously take a photograph of her to prove this really happened but was scared of retribution and failed.
1. The time a dude lit up a blunt on the 3 train and blew smoke at my head.