proper amount of pressure

• So, in the South, if you’re in the same aisle in Home Depot as someone else, and you’re walking by, you say “excuse me.” I’ve never quite known why, because it’s not as if your presense is possibly bothering the other person – its just sort of a humble acknowledgment in some way. Things are a little bit different in New York though. When I’m in some super tight aisle, having to maneuver around people – if I say “excuse me,” it becomes awkward – because they assume that they must have some how annoyed me to the point of speaking – and therefore they say “sorry” in a half-way sincere tone, half-way “why did you speak to me, stranger” annoyed tone. And I know what you’re thinking – no, I’m not basing this on a single encounter with a single person that may or may not have been a New Yorker at heart. In fact I’m basing it on like 2-3 encounters… but still… its different. I may continue to say “excuse me” out of politeness, and we’ll see what happens.

• The other day, some Latino kids (a younger brother, maybe 4 yrs old, and older sister, maybe 6 yrs old) were pretending to “drive” the subway, with a complex set of rules, as the N train made its way North. The girl kept shouting them to her brother, apparently he was doing everything incorrectly. Here are the rules:

• You must be in the front-most bench seat (facing inward) of the given traincar, but still facing forward.

• You must apply the gas and brake with the proper amount of pressure as the train seems to be using.

• If the doors open on your side at a station, you have to push a button to allow the passengers to leave.

• The vehicle must only be referred to as a ship.

• If you aren’t paying attention, everyone will die.