My train had just left Penn and was heading back to reality, back to where things made sense to me, where I felt a form of comfort. Yes, I'm talking about New Jersey. Deal with it. I assure you there are far worse places to be...
Having said that, I will admit that we do have some crazies knocking around. For instance, on this particular day, I was enjoying the company of comedian Jimmy Pardo's Never Not Funny podcast (if you haven't listened, do so) when I heard a commotion initiated by one of those stated crazies. Within seconds something I'd normally see on YouTube began developing in front of my very eyes.
If you've ever taken a ride from New York Penn to Jersey (from madness to sanity) then you'll remember a few things:
1. NJ Transit trains are too crowded. Just when you thought you couldn't get closer to that overworked, overweight, over-sickly accountant -- you could.
2. The trains are insanely comfortable to anyone who has never experienced what "comfort" is.
3. The train ventures under the Hudson to get through to Jersey, which is done so by tunnel. A fine adventure for most.
So, there I was, enjoying the company of Pardo and co-host Matt Belknap when I heard the increasing sound of roars and disagreements behind me. Apparently, because of the immense volume of people in our car, the doors separating each one were unable to close. Fine by me, and everyone aboard, except the one who believed a deadly disease was coming our way as a result of the "diseased-ridden death air being released into our lungs inside the tunnel," -- as he put it.
In his mind, something needed to be done! So naturally, like a Christian on a street corner, he decided to stand and preach the power of insanity to the rest of us, which only escalated the argument, and in turn the hilarity. His attempts to climb over the crowd of commuters fell short -- with every try. Second by second, this guy was nearing himself to the final decision of being thrown off the train by a pack of tired, unruly passengers. Truthfully, I have no idea how he made it out alive. "Close the fucking door!" was shouted time and time again with the flames of anger only rising. But I have to give it to the nut job...he held his ground. The more it seemed people disagreed, slamming him verbally, the little sickness-scared worrier remained steady in his fight to shut the doors and save us all from the plague of tunnel-itis. Lucky for him, he had his medical mask handy. Yes, he put it on.
As you might imagine, since this is 2013, whenever something a tad out of the ordinary occurs cameras instantly appear. Such is true in this situation. My guess is if you were to scour the pages of YouTube you'd find something that one of the "paparazzi" -- his words -- filmed on the adventure.
Oh, and when he threatened to sue NJ Transit because he was "embarrassed," our kind, sympathetic transit worker responded with an ever so sincere, "Go ahead. See what happens."
Commuting ... still an adventure.