The New York Times’ “Metropolitan Diary” column is supposed to be an “elegant cocktail of the city,” as an editor once described it, composed of slice-of-life New York anecdotes that are typically funny, quirky, or heartwarming. Or all three, if we’re lucky! Today’s entry purports to follow the same rubric, but it doesn’t. Just beneath the surface, it’s a dark and disturbing tale of human selfishness and moral depravity.
The story takes place on a crowded morning A train in Brooklyn. When a seat opens up, an old man with a cane and a pregnant woman both make a move for it. They pause and look at one another, unsure of who should take it.
Finally, as the train started to lurch out of the station, the man with the cane insisted, “Pregnancy beats cane! Pregnancy beats cane!”
The whole train started to laugh and applaud, shrugging and shaking our heads at one another. After a few back-and-forths, the pregnant woman made the man with the cane take the seat, because she was getting off at the next station. But we witnesses didn’t stop laughing until probably around 14th Street.
Ha ha ha, oh life, you are too much. How about instead of laughing like idiots, you lift your lazy asses out your goddamn seats so the old man with a cane or the “rather pregnant” woman can both sit down? They’re not characters performing a skit for your enjoyment, you cackling buffoons, they’re real people who need a seat more than you do. Your day has barely just begun and you’re already too tired to stand in place for a few minutes so that a frail senior citizen and a woman carrying another person inside of her won’t have to exert themselves? Did you all run a marathon last night? Are you all suffering from vertigo? Anyone within view of that incident who remained seated needs to assess what horrible, degenerate monsters they’ve become.