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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Good Stuff

The continuing saga of Ken's commute; Homeward bound back on the LIRR, found my spot and once again begin to try to find what peace I can in the journey. It becomes clear soon enough that it's going to be a crowded train. No Problem. A young "kid" - by the looks of it a construction worker, sits diagonal to me. OK. Soon after some guy that obviously had a couple of drinks for lunch, sits next to me, beer in hand. No problem. Then a tall guy eyes the seat across from me. We make room and he takes his seat. Fine. We settle in and in short order the train moves out of Penn station. Before long I begin to nod off. 

I am barely conscious of the sound of something falling, but don't respond to it because, well, I'm nodding off. Eventually, in what seems a delayed reaction, the guy across from me says "I dropped my drink on you." He has a very thick Eastern European accent. Very thick. Turns out, he obviously had a jump on happy hour too; Slurring that accent like he was. He bends over carefully and very slowly picks the cup off of my shoes. Now I have a choice, but seeing as though the damage was already done and he didn't appear to have another drink to spill on me, I shrugged it off saying "It happens, don't worry about it." and then as an afterthought I said "What was that, beer?"

"No, it was the GOOD stuff."

I pause.

"You spilled SCOTCH on my shoes?!?"

A very broad smile slowly develops across his face.

"I said it was GOOD stuff. Vodka. Polish Vodka. Wyborowa Vodka." With emphasis on the very Polish sounding proper noun.

"That sounds like a tragedy, my friend."

He let out a heavy sigh, and mournfully agreed; "It was."

What a great conversation we had that followed. The two drunk guys and myself. The kid was soaking it all in. In the end the kid said that they were great stories, and that he wished he had something to contribute. We all agreed that he was too young to have any, but I told him, "Twenty years or so from now, when some guy spills very good vodka on your feet, just shrug it off. It's no big deal."

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