So, if you know anything at all about old school jazz, big band or Dixieland, you just might be familiar with a song called “Take The A Train”. Here’s the legendary Duke Ellington featuring Beverly in 1943, telling you all about the quickest way to get to Harlem!
Guess what? Fuck Harlem. Fuck Harlem back then and fuck Harlem now, especially now for the gentrification! But more than that, fuck the A train – or as I like to call it – the Asshole train!
So, what makes me call the A train what I call it? I’ll tell ya! So, before I moved to New Jersey at the end of August 2015, I’d take an express bus into Manhattan. From there I’d take either the 4 or 5 express trains to get to my job in the heart of Carribean Brooklyn, Crown Heights. If I remember anything about that ride the clientele totally changed the closer we got to Brooklyn and beyond, since I’d have to get off at Franklin Ave and then transfer to the Shuttle from there to get to my job. Crowding wasn’t that big of a deal; of course, it’d get a bit more packed as I’d head back toward Manhattan to go home on the bus. Needless to say I didn’t really feel like I was on my way home until I was on that bus.
After I moved to Jersey everything obviously changed and I needed to find a new route. Oh, I did all right. The train needed? That much sung about and once glorified A train. When I began using my new route to get to work I left so early that the train seemed to arrive exactly when I got to the platform. Convenient, right? Well, things do change.
I started leaving for work a little latter because I was struggling to get up in the morning and suddenly the train was becoming more and more unreliable for time. And every time I do catch it, it is ALWAYS jam packed with people literally FORCING THEMSELVES ON TO THE TRAIN regardless of how full it is. There have been times were I’d straight up wait for another train or take the C train because these people are some dumb motherfuckers!
Ever since taking this train I’ve come across some of THE dumbest, rudest motherfuckers I’ve ever seen on ANY train. I’ve been on the underground septa trains in Philly and even those people didn’t crush each other to get on the train! Oh, and did I mention that some of these people are so fucking rude?
Just yesterday, I was on my way to Port Authority on the train. Someone comes on the train at 34th St, a stop away from mine. I was playing Angry Birds Pop on my phone, a tad bent over as most of us tend to be when this ghetto looking loser had the balls to tell me:
“Yo, lean back, you’re in my way!”
“I don’t know who you think you’re talking to like that but say ‘excuse me’ and just maybe I’ll do it!”
“Alright, excuse me”
“Good! And look at that – here’s my stop. Have a good day!”
What the fuck does this asshole think I am, a fucking Fat Joe song?? And just today, like most days when I’m headed home, no matter how many times the conductor tried to close the doors at certain stops, more and more people were seriously forcing themselves into the train, making it extremely difficult for ANYONE to get out. Very safe, right? It was about a few months into my time on the A that I knew what I was really on: The Asshole train.
See, I’m sure things were very different in 1939, the year that fucking song was written, but times change of course and sadly it did so for the worse. Forget the fact that I already hate New York City as a whole and most of the jerkoffs that live in it in general, but the fucking trains are the absolute worst – especially the Asshole Train. What I’m very much looking forward to in a just a matter of weeks is two months away from feeling like a can of sardines, away from junkies, that one jackass kid that always wants to sell candy so he can buy more candy and do something positive – “anybody wanna BUY!” – the stragglers that seemingly wait until the last minute to get on the train as the doors are closing, making anyone feel trapped. That day isn’t coming soon enough. For the rest of you? All aboard the Asshole Train and remember: “Stand clear of the closing doors, please!” But I already know you motherfuckers won’t. Suck it.