M.T.A. Late Notes

By: Karen Ritter

“Delayed Train? Skeptical Boss? MTA Will Give Passengers a Late Note” — The New York Times, December 9, 2013

Dear Anita Stone-O’Gratin,

Your husband, Peter O’Gratin, wants you to know that his failure to show up for your 25th anniversary dinner was through no fault of his own. It is the #1 train’s fault. Peter claims that he stood on the Sheridan Square subway platform for 33 long minutes (although our records show a delay of only six). Peter further avers that when the train finally pulled up, he was “knocked back onto the platform by a surging crowd,” whereupon he “fell over and twisted his ankle.” Fearing another delay, Peter hobbled OUT of the station, purchased two dozen long-stemmed roses and reputedly re-entered the transit system at Union Square, where he was digitally and repeatedly commanded to slide his MetroCard again “at this turnstile” (resulting in another delay: 45 seconds), only to be told that his fare was INSUFFICIENT. Taking this as a sign that the roses would not be enough to quell your anger, Peter exited the station, this time with the intention of buying you a 24-carat diamond pendant in a platinum setting! Unfortunately, by the time Peter and his “swollen ankle” reached street level, your dinner slot for Le Bernardin had elapsed.

Honestly, Anita, the MTA doesn’t know what it would do if it were in your shoes. Peter’s story sounds pretty fishy. (Why not just hail a cab?) We can, however, vouch for the small delay on the Seventh Avenue line, which may have created a domino effect detrimental to the celebration of this important milestone in your marriage. (Your “Silver,” are we right?) We apologize for any inconvenience and hope you can patch things up!

xoxoxoxo, the MTA

Dear Dr. Lemon:

This is to excuse Jane Highbottom from her upcoming colonoscopy scheduled for Friday, May 23rd. Miss Highbottom regrets canceling again and asked us to tell you that it is not because she dreads the prep and can’t possibly get that much vile-tasting liquid down her throat and out her behind. Nor is she the least bit alarmed at the prospect of you sticking a mile-long tube up her posterior and looking through it while she lies there unconscious. Rather, anticipated congestion on the BMT line prevents her from keeping this appointment. Certainly a man in your profession can sympathize with Miss Highbottom’s concerns about overcrowding. If only something could be prescribed to clear up our tracks, purging us of the thousands of strap-hangers clogging our lines during rush hour.

Respectfully yours, the MTA

Dear Mrs. Wolman (Jason’s mom):

We are writing to explain why your son, Jason Wolman, didn’t call you last Sunday: track circuit failure on the IND. Jason was planning on phoning that night but was afraid of waking you by the time he finally got back to Park Slope. (As if you ever sleep!) He wants you to know that he must have been standing on the platform for 80 minutes — a slight exaggeration; by our calculations, it couldn’t have been more than 45 — and that his cell doesn’t work underground. (We reminded your son that the F goes above ground in Brooklyn.)

At this point, the MTA is having trouble deciding whether Jason is right (and that “he really intended to call”) — or you are (and that “he never thinks about you”). In either case, we sincerely hope you won’t stick your head in the oven.

All our love, the MTA

P. S. At least you can’t say we never write.

Dear lookin4luv:

The MTA is pleased to confirm studmuffinn69’s explanation for not showing up last Thursday night at the Oyster Bar, leaving you stranded in Grand Central Station for hours on end. In an effort to serve our customers better, we’re also passing along studmuffinn69’s assurances that he did NOT scope out the place, find you 80 pounds heavier than your picture indicated and falling off your barstool. His no-show was solely due to crossed signals on the IRT. Studmuffinn69 is not feeding you a line (not about the Lexington Avenue Line, anyway) and asks that you stop badmouthing him on okcupid and fetish.com.


Dear Mr. Giblets, CSW

We write this in strict confidence to protect the rights of your patient, Caroline Wiggins, as well as the MTA from any legal action that might be initiated from the aforementioned. Caroline has asked us to corroborate her reason for being late to her therapy session on April 29th: “a sick passenger” on the #2 train conveying her from Grand Army Plaza to Columbus Circle.

Our records indicate no such sick passenger — except possibly your patient. Of course, you are more qualified to make that determination (although we couldn’t help but notice that you’re not an actual MD). The MTA strongly recommends that you continue asking Caroline to face her real reasons for being late (i.e., resistance to the therapeutic process, unresolved issues with her father, incomplete transference). And to stop displacing her own problems — inability to show up on time and stick to a simple, straightforward schedule — onto the Metropolitan Transit Authority. (Frankly, she sounds incurable.)

Good Luck! — The MTA


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