Overheard on the F Train: A Little Misinformation Goes a Long Way

Like that Girls scene, except worse

This, basically. (HBO)

This, basically. (HBO)

Scene: Downtown F train, 9:30 Tuesday night. Crowded car. Two white men in suits, approximately in their late 30s, are holding a discussion with a late-20s white man. The youth is wearing all black with a giant backpack, dreads and a giant bicycle taking up half a row and slamming into our leg every time the train lurches.

Man 1: …See, they call Muslims terrorists, but that’s what the NYPD is, a terrorist organization. That’s why they exist, to terrorize.

Man 2: Well, they are not terrorist terrorists.

Bike Guy: No, they are. They just harass people in order to terrorize New Yorkers. I once got arrested for riding my bike!

Man 2: On the sidewalk?

Bike Guy: I was riding in traffic!

Man 1: And those stop-and-frisks … that’s just a way of keeping us scared! Did you know that every stop-and-frisk last year was done to a black guy? (Ed. note: Not exactly, but we see your point. Sort of.)

Man 2: Uh-huh.

Man 1: And did you know that 53 percent of incarcerated people are black? Or wait, maybe it’s that 53 percent of black people are in prison. I can’t remember. (Ed. note: Neither, though you were closer the first time. But lumping blacks in with all “racial minorities” is kind of a mistake.)

Bike Guy: That’s what’s so messed up.

Man 2 departs from train.


Man 1
: See, that’s why marijuana should just be legal. Most black people are in jail for selling marijuana. (Ed note: Nope, though African-Americans made up 54 percent of all those convicted of first-time drug offenses … in 2007. And not for marijuana, specifically, but it’s hard to keep all those stats in your head for subway conversations!) How is it that you can buy a gun online, but only a couple states are legally able to sell weed? (Ed. note: Sure, fine, we’ll give you that.) If I was running the country, I’d be like, “Weed is legal.”

Bike Guy sits down, starts banging bike directly into our kneecaps. Reeks of alcohol. We consider our options for citizen’s arrest.

Man 1: And also, it’s like, why is gay marriage suddenly such a big deal??

Bike Guy: (Frowning at Observer.) Maybe we shouldn’t be talking about this here. You never know who is listening.