Modern Humorist

The Manhattan Bridge service changes are too complicated to explain on a poster. They are not complicated enough to inspire a Philip Glass opera but would make for a white-knuckle Law & Order crossover event. They are trashy enough to make a great summer read but not worth buying in hardcover. The only way to explain the service changes is through a series of Spanish-language comic strips wherein the trains are metaphorically represented by young people confronting HIV. The changes took effect July 22, 2001, and are scheduled to end in brutal hand-to-hand combat on March 7, 2009.

BDQ trains have new names and attitudes.

The D is now the new Q and is finally out of the closet. The old Q is now the Q Diamond. The B is now the W but never existed in the first place. W trains have all the characteristics of N trains. They make all local and express N stops on the N line in all boroughs, according to the N schedule, and they are labeled with the letter N. Q Diamond trains that attempt to masquerade as W trains will be demoted to E trains, the “untouchables” of the subway system.

The G train will no longer terminate. It will run from eastern Queens to the earth’s molten core.

The old Q was played by Desmond Llewelyn. Dame Judi Dench is the new M. “Take the A Train” by Duke Ellington becomes “Smooth Operator” by Sade. “Sade” is pronounced “Q Diamond.”

Special K is now Fiber One. Circle K becomes Hy-Vee and terminates at 34th Street.

On weekends, the R train is pronounced “Shar-day.”

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Modern Humorist