When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Passengers In The First Car On The Uptown A ...

... tonight between 59th and 207th, I am SO terribly sorry for laughing like a homeless schizophrenic.

But OH. my gosh. I couldn't get home fast enough to blog the following;

Up over the doors and windows inside the subway trains are advertisements. Dr. Zizmor's skin treatments, Barnes & Nobles' sponsored poems, nightschool endorsements, upcoming television shows, etc. Well tonight I was mindlessly staring at one for a language school. Going from left to right there were four headshots of people who could pass for immigrants (little did the models know when they cheesed for the nice photographer).

First guy, big bright smile, could be Romanian, had under him the following caption; "Malawy hg looasoih" (or something like it) and then THAT foreign phrase had a Spanish subtitle-- "Habla en Ingles"

Second is an Asian woman. Another nice smile. Her caption is in Chinese or Japanese or Korean, or an otherwise alien hieroglyph. But the Spanish subtitle was, "Lea en Ingles"

Third is a darker skinned man with a mustache and a third nice smile. His caption says "Ecrivez en anglais" The Spanish subtitle, "Escribe en Ingles"

Fourth is a tannish woman with full lips and completes the quartet of beautific smiles. Her caption says "Pronuncie el Ingles" Her subtitle says "OR GO BACK" in Sharpee magic marker.

I.

DIED!

In the middle of a crowded train, you hear me? I hollered. I laughed for 148 blocks.

It's not got anything to do with my personal philosophies about immigrants. Yes I get annoyed when my foodservice person makes me repeat myself, or I drive away from McD's with the wrong thing because I was misunderstood, and yes I cuss them out (under my breath, in the safety of my own car). But hey, in the long run, I know we all have to struggle to make it in this country. I say the more the merrier. Come on over and help me take the white man's money. He got too much of it, and power. It's time to break up this good ol' boy network for the last damn time. Let's see how the hell they'll like being called a 'minority' for the next 200 damn years.

Er, hrm.

But I described the poster to you the same way I had read it--sequentially. And up until that last caption the theme was "learn to read and write and eventually speak English" to all the young enterprising non-English speakers reading the sign in their own languages ... just a'going along in my head like an "It's A Small World After All" Disney attraction when --SKEEEK!!!

Sharpee strikes!

Oh my gosh it was just so funny.

3 comments:

Little Wing said...

Hmmmmmmmm......148 blocks was a LONG time to be laughing Alan!

Alan said...

Heh--well, the A train is an express. And every once in a, I was able pull it together.

And then I'd glance up ...

Little Wing said...

lol........I understand!