I stepped onto the nearly-empty last car of the train, sat down in one of the first seats, and immediately regretted my choice: the young man behind me was talking on a cell phone. But even though he was talking in a loud cell phone voice, he did at least seem to be wrapping up his conversation.
“Excuse me,” I heard a woman behind me and across the aisle say after he hung up. “You aren’t from this area, are you?”
“No,” he told her. It was a safe question on her part: from the conversation he was having, it had been clear he was in town to visit friends.
“Well, they recently passed a law about using cell phones on the Metro. It’s actually a $25 ticket.”
“Oh, I didn’t know.” He sounded very apologetic.
“A lot of people who aren’t from here don’t. It just passed and they don’t have signs up on all the trains.”
I bit my lip and tried not to laugh, as the young man apologized and the woman assured him that it was all right, that she was just trying to help him out. I wanted to turn around and look at them. Because of where I was seated I couldn’t even glimpse their reflections in the windows, but the man across the aisle from me was also suppressing laughter.
Last year for Christmas Brian gave me a book of lies to tell children. I’m thinking there ought to be one of fun lies to tell tourists.