If you’re like me, you might also hate it when you have to stand on the Max train when no seats are available. Already you’re stuck with crowded conditions and maybe you’ve spent a few minutes hunting for a seat or contemplating, in short order, if you want to squeeze next to someone in a crammed car.
I found myself standing on a blue line train one afternoon hopeful that I’d find a seat when I transferred to a yellow line train. I stood next to the door when three adolescent guys entered train. They stood and talked.
It occurred to me that I didn’t know many teenagers, never saw them hanging out anymore and I’d lost touch with what they do and what they’re into. Having been one myself, I was curious about today’s teens and how they deal with these times. At least two of these guys were carrying skateboards and Subway sandwiches, which seemed typical modern gear. One of the boys was wearing a crooked bow tie and on old suit jacket. Probably not the sole representative of teen fashion but I figured he was trying to work it.
They weren’t lost in their phones though, they were talking. I wasn’t eavesdropping. Due to close quarters there was no way I wouldn’t have been able to hear everything they said. One of the guys bogarted the conversation.
He was telling stories of his misspent youth. The first story involved his punching a cop during a demonstration while other officers looked on and some how this was all right, and nothing was done about it because the officer’s riot gear face shield was up. There was another story featuring, you guessed it, more police officers. This one had the kid spraying a fire extinguisher at an officer and miraculously getting away with it. While these stories were entertaining, it hit me that they probably weren’t true. A third story has since become murky to my memory because part of me was thinking this guy was making stuff up to impress the other two guys. As I recall it was another epic tale about another battle with authority.
When the train made a stop the story teller got off while the other two guys remained. This gave me the idea that maybe the two kids didn’t know the other boy as well as I thought. I waited a few minutes and then directed a comment to the guys who stayed on the train. I had a certain amount of confidence that they were aware of the BS that had been coming out of his mouth when I asked them if they knew whether there was a reward out for the guy who had gotten off the train explaining that I could use some money.
My question was met with little acknowledgement and no information about how I could parlay the confessions I’d overheard into any kind of cash. Maybe my comment was another in a series of dumb things said on the train that afternoon but when you’re looking for additional income, it never hurts to ask.
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You haven’t lived until you’ve heard Officer Henry Groupper pronounce the phrase “cash reward.”