I was heading downtown during rushhour last night and somewhat miraculously had a seat on the train. The usual crowd was trying to push in and this guy started shouting, “Move the f**k in. Move to the center. I’m getting on this train.”
A tax broker type in the middle of the train shouted back, “You’re in the train. Shut up already.”
“Come on and make me.”
“Why are you still shouting? You’re in the train.”
The shouting guy continued unabated. “You want to come over here and make me. Move into the train.”
Tax broker was standing dead center of the train. It’s unclear exactly where shouting guy wanted him to move. The doors were shut and we were moving at this point, so you know, shouting guy didn’t have a case for being angry. Tax broker said, “Just shut up already.”
“You shut up.”
“You shut up.”
The three-year old level of conversation continued for a bit and then shouting guy sayid, “No, you shut up, you devil!”
At which point we pretty much all laughed. Shouting guy nodded, “Yeah! That’s what I’m talking about.”
A woman from another section of the train said, “They’re laughing at you.”
Silence. Shouting guy got off at the next stop.
What makes me really curious is where he came up with “You devil!” I felt like I’d run across a time-traveler from the past who’d been told that to pretend to be a contemporary New Yorker he had to be antagonistic but wasn’t given the full vocabulary list of expletives.