Here is a prime candidate for immediate cloning: John Clifford, a 6'4, quick-tempered former police officer and a lawyer whose greatest pleasure in life seems to be riding the Long Island Rail Road and aggressively screaming at jerks who are talking too loud on their cell phones. Clifford was just found not guilty of charges stemming from his latest enforcement action, when he cussed out an obnoxious cell phone user he described as "a 19-year-old nitwit waking up one girlfriend after another." But this isn't even close to being the first time he's had to regulate on some yapping nitwits on the train:
Clifford, who retired as a police sergeant after 10 years on the job, said Tuesday he had been arrested eight times after being accused of throwing coffee, spewing expletives and getting in the faces of people whom he considered loud and rude on the commuter line. This was the only case that wasn't dismissed.
"It took a lawyer and an old ex-police sergeant to stand up to it (public rudeness)," Clifford, of Long Beach, said as he left court. He said that unless lawmakers and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority do something, the lack of public civility will persist.
Asked what he regretted about his behavior, Clifford replied, "Nothing."
If only there were a John Clifford on every train car. He even has that superhero type of name. It's hard to tell from the descriptions whether Clifford is a brave hero who stands up to jerks who bully others with their loud, grating conversations, or if he himself is an angry crank with a hair trigger who is truly a public menace. Since he prowls the LIRR, we're going to go with "Hero."