Reason #4,671 to Cherish the MTA: Stretching When Appropriate Now Outlawed

When "old" New Yorkers remember this city before it was "cleaned up," a nighttime subway ride's often recalled as a Warriors-esque life-threatening transit option. Now it's so safe, people can't even stretch out.

Stretching obviously poses a violently dangerous threat when we take up more than one seat....in empty trains. Or so the faithfully public-serving transit organization known as the MTA would have it.

Thanks to them, some of the most tired and weary of our fair city's workers—busboys, line cooks, janitors, bodega attendants, street sweepers, and many like them—will no longer hold hostage our empty subway cars with their hyper-extended limbs. We're taking care of those deviants, now. By ticketing them.

A Fashion Institute of Technology student and a waiter at a Brooklyn diner were each recently nailed by graveyard-shift transit cops, who hit them with $50 fines for taking up more than one seat on virtually empty trains at around 2:30 a.m. Josh Stevens, of Harlem, a recent transplant from Cincinnati, was stunned when he was slapped with back-to-back summonses at the 96th Street station on Nov. 19 and 20, in what police told him was a quota-driven sting.

Josh Stevens of Harlem, you dirty rat motherfucker, that'll show you, and the rest of the criminals ruining this town. Think you can slip an asscheek over between two seats past New York's finest? Well, guess where they're gonna stick that insubordination: up said asscheek.

And of course the NYPD's not doing this to fill some kind of end-of-year quota, despite what the embarrassed cops busting you said in order to try to humanize the experience of ticketing and/or being ticketed $50 on back-to-back nights for stretching on an empty subway car.

Here, look at their numbers:

An NYPD spokesman denied that cops were cracking down on subway riders taking up more than one seat. Year-to-date figures show that there were 760 such summonses issued in 2008 and 784 issued as of early this month.

Exactly. Numbers. They prove points. And us New Yorkers, we're vigilant. We're not gonna stop with the stretchers. Other people who will soon feel the wrath of the law:

  • Guy whose iPod headphones I can hear playing "Juicy" from across the empty car? That's a night in The Tombs. If you don't know, now you know.

  • Kid going into diabetic shock using an EpiPen? Hands with sharp objects end up in tight handcuffs. Punkass.

  • Crowded 9AM car full of people overheard groaning when their local train decides to go express? We'll wait until you all have summons. Every one of you.

  • Lady asking hostile MTA station agent why her card scanned as "already used" on the first swipe and being upset when she's told NOPE UH-UH SORRY WAIT 15 MINUTES OR BUY A NEW ONE? You will take that attitude from her. And you'll like it. Talk back, see what happens. You'll get your face smashed in. Complain about that.

  • Cute baby who keeps inexplicably staring at me even though I've done nothing to provoke it, eat shit and die. Also, that'll be $75 bones.

  • Oh, what, you wanna commit a "really bad" crime? Try smoking weed sometime. Yeah, just try it. Four of our cops will just rape you in the ass until you end up in the hospital. True story.

  • Finally, if you're seen riding the J/M/Z, you're obviously a criminal, and you're going to rot in jail like the scumbag you are.

This city will one day be clean. And on that day, the few thugs and punks and gangbangers and people who are left among us, who think of stretching and drinking bottled water and maybe even laughing out loud on empty trains, when they see a certain sign in the night, they'll think again. They'll be shaken to the core. Fear will drain their faces of blood, like the villains of comic books who see the BatSignal in the night sky. Except it won't be in the sky, and it won't be at night. It'll be everywhere, at all times, whenever they try to traverse this great urban kingdom. And it looks like this:

Reason #4,671 to Cherish the MTA: Stretching When Appropriate Now Outlawed

Previously: "Also, destroy the MTA."