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I'm an NYC-based director, and this is an outlet for my various musings about theater and about the city of New York. Sometimes the subjects run together, sometimes they are entirely separate, but between the two they comprise the most fitful, most intense, most trying love affair of my few years. They fill my head, my heart, my mouth every hour of every day; they could fill a book.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

My Favorite Urban Legend UPDATE

This happened a few months ago, and somehow slipped through the cracks, but I feel it's still significant enough to mention:

The dead-dog urban legend has once again been spotted!

That's right. A while back, I talked about a story involving a dead dog and the subway that I've heard repeatedly in my years in the city. And, while every time I hear it, the teller swears they know, or have a friend who knows, the person to whom it happened, the story keeps popping up in places and times and within circles of people who are wholly unconnected. Who is this girl who was mugged for her dead dog? I'd like to meet her? Where did this story start?

Well, no answers yet, but a short while after posting my obsession with the urban legend, a friend of mine texted me to tell me excitedly that someone had just told her the story. I immediately messaged her back: Who told her the story? Did he claim to know the girl it happened to? Who told it to him? But the trail went pretty immediately cold, "Um, he's British," she replied, "I don't think he completely gets what I'm asking."

All right. So, the mystery continues.

Oh hey, but in the meantime - here's another subway story. Not nearly as incredible, but nonetheless pretty hilarious. I'm pretty sure it's true, too, as it was told to me as a first-hand account by an old Starbucks co-worker.

Anyway, according to my friend, she was on the subway one morning when she saw a man on the platform frantically dashing toward the train, trying to make it on board before it pulled away. Well, the doors started closing and it was clear he wasn't going to make it, so, in desperation he hurled his briefcase towards train. So what happens? The briefcase lands inside the car, the doors close, and the train pulls away, leaving the man standing on the platform - not only late, but stranded and without his briefcase, which I'm guessing played an important role in wherever he was going in such a hurry.

In the words of my colleague, "What did he think was going to happen? His briefcase was gonna land in exactly the right spot to keep the doors from closing, buying him just enough time to make it to the train?" I guess if that HAD happened, THEN it would be the stuff of urban legend. But as it stands, that image - that stupendously bold desperate act, followed immediately by the realization, 'Wow. That was just... colossally stupid.' - is just really funny. "I mean," said my friend, "Who did he think he was, 007?"

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