I’m so very very sorry to disturb your commute at 6:45 on this beautiful Thursday morning. New York City, greatest city in the world! And you are all the greatest people that have ever lived, anywhere. Give yourself a round of applause. (Waits.) Ladies and gentlemen, I only require a moment of your time. This is my younger brother. He is six years old and a veteran of the first Gulf War. The VA has cut off his benefits. We have quit our school’s basketball team to go out and make a little spending money for ourselves, especially since our house burned down last week. Jesus bless you.
Anyhow, this is my boombox. BOOM BOOM CHH, BOOM BA-BOOM CCH, BOOM BOOM CHH, BOOM-BA-BOOM BA-BA-BA-BOOM. We’re going to do a brief performance for you. (Louder: ) BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BA-BOOM BOOM. Watch me dance for you. (Dancing.) Now my little brother will dance also for you. (Additional dancing.) Now we will dance together. (Throws little brother against ceiling.) THUD. (Little brother collides with ceiling with a sickening sound, then does a perfect backflip in the air, and lands on his feet without breaking tempo. One or two tourists applaud.)
Thank you. I know what you are thinking. You have seen this brother-brother dancing-ceiling-backflip act before. In fact, most of the people trying to get money from you on the subway seem to be coordinated, seem to be running the same essential scams. Well, it is not true. It is a coincidence that I am one of about thirty thousand “high school students” of dubious age selling candy at high markups out of boxes held together by mailing tape in exactly the same way. I am also selling these DVDs and plastic-wrapped individual double-A batteries.
I want to make one thing clear. When this train stops, I will not get off and walk three blocks to our secret training center. When I do not open the door to that weird abandoned bank on Stuyvesant Avenue, it will not be full of boxes of Starburst, rolls of mailing tape, and water cooler bottles with “United Homeless Organization” written on them in Sharpie. Let me be perfectly clear. There is no network of secret tunnels under Brooklyn. We do not have a private jet docked at a Batman-esque hangar under Ridgewood Reservoir. Anything you can give will be appreciated. Adames is the mayor in our secret underground scam city, BTW, and that city, if it exists, is made entirely of baby formula bottles and stolen copper wiring. Have a nice day.