There you are, on your usual commute. You have your book, your headphones, your look of utter indifference, you’re set. And oh, how lucky, you even found an end seat on a crowded train. Perhaps this ride will be quick and painless. Then… right before a bridge, tunnel, or that long ride between 72nd and 42nd, a group walks on with a boombox older than they are. The doors close. They put the boombox down right next to you, and yes, you’ve guessed it, it’s Showtime.
Just one time I would love for someone to answer “What time is it?” with “Time for a quiet and undisrupted commute without the possibility of being kicked!” In the same vein, it would also be delightful to see a group of people enter, inquire as to the time with a genuine interest in the answer, and then fall silent upon learning the hour. However, the answer is always the same, it is in fact, Showtime.
The music starts, drowning out your own preferred melodies, forcing your concentration away from the words in your book. The noise, the movement, and the general annoyance of those around have all distracted you from your subway distractions. Still, you look at the page and continue your music despite the fact that your eyes stare at a fixed spot in a special subway-style rage.
Your prime seat has now become the front row, with kicks and spins happening inches from your person and your stuff. You think to yourself, “How did I end up here? What terrible twist of fate has put me at the mercy of Showtime? Why did I not take that Carmel car home? I had the app open, I had my information ready. I was one click away from a luxurious ride home. No one would have asked me what time it is and then answer it themselves! Oh how I wish I would have gotten that Carmel car.” Okay, maybe that’s not your exact train of thought… But I bet it is now!
Despite the overall dislike and great indignation that is Showtime, this blogger has witnessed a performance (a term used very, very loosely), that was so entertaining and engaging that the entire car was focused on Showtime. So it has happened. Unfortunately, that was a one-off occurrence, and cannot be expected from most of the groups that so frequently invade your subway cars.
Still, if you want to avoid the risks and noise of Showtime, Carmel is here for you. There will never be Showtime on your Carmel commute. For, so long as the trains move in this city, there will be the question “What time is it?”