Monday, August 28, 2006

How to entertain yourself on Metro when you've finished the Sudoku

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.


Ar-Jew-Tino said...

That is a great ruse; I only wish I had thought of it first.

What was the name of that book? I would love to read it since the scenes in Calvin and Hobbes when Calvin's dad lied to him about Xmas always cracked me up.

eva said...

Duly noted along with NEVER stand on the left side of the escalator. I even got mistaken for a knowledgable local on Saturday night. It made me very happy. :)

Elizabeth said...

It's called "Great Lies to Tell Small Kids," by Andy Riley. Hightlights include:

Keep a chicken nugget in a shoe box, leave it some water and corn,, and soon it will grow into a live chicken.

If you ring the number of a house where you used to live, you can talk to the past version of yourself.

If you grab the edge of your chair and pull as hard as you can, you'll lift yourself into the air.

If you spin round really fast and then stop your face will skid round to the back of your head.

And my personal favorite:
Wine makes mummy clever.

ultramk said...

my favorite is this one:

You catch enchiladas by picking them up behind the head and holding them underwater until they don't kick anymore.

Sweet said...

Brilliant. I wish I had been there to witness it myself!

Washington Cube said...

Congrats on your mention in DC Blogs:

Dennis! said...

I'm pretty sure this entry was picked up in the dead tree version of the Express too. Congrats. This story is excellent.

When I was a kid, my parents used to tell me that if I swallowed a watermelon seed, eventually a watermelon would grow in my stomach. I would look like I was pregnant because those things are huge. I think they only came clean after I began freaking out about it and started to pick the seeds out by hand to prevent them from ever getting to my mouth.