Thursday, July 30, 2009



I think it's time that Verbal Honey puts the spotlight on a subject that is very unique to New York City underdwellers. A topic that permeates life in the city but is not talked about much because of its familiarity. It's high time that New Yorkers stop for a second and admit that what we see in the tunnels underground everyday is not normal. Its time that we highlight our daily interludes with madness and we shall henceforth pen them, "TrainMares"- Frightening Occurences Underground. Your experience could be short, it could be long, it doesn't matter. We have to release the psychotic things we see on the train less we start accepting them as normal. It's for our own good. I will start today's TrainMare with something I saw yesterday.

Yesterday morning my daughter and I trekked to the closest train station to get to her summer camp destination. We left home early so we were able to enjoy a nice summer walk without the rushing. The air was thick yesterday so I was glad I didn't have to rush and end up drenched in sweat. When we made our way down into the subway, we didn't even have to wait. The train met us right on time. We sat down to the refreshing coolness of the AC. I knew this day was going to be a good day. I took part in every underdwellers favorite past time-staring at the posted ads. We've seen all of these ads before but somehow we keep staring, hoping we'll see something new so we won't have to make eye contact with the person sitting across from us.

Anway, it was an ad about the Whoopi Goldberg narrated piece, "Journey to the Stars" at the Museum of Natural History. I turned to tell my daughter that I would like to take her there this Saturday when I heard something knock against the window next to me. We were racing through the blackness of the tunnel so I knew no one could have knocked from the outside, or could they? I looked over to the guy sitting to my right and he just had a blank stare. Just when I was about to turn away, the back of his head hit the window. 'Oh that was the noise!' I thought he must be really sleepy, hitting his head as he dozed off. The bumps from the ride can treat you like a rag doll if you are falling into the trap of sleep. Then the disturbing happened. The same young man to my right hit the back of his head into the window again and again and again. His facial expression did not flinch.

At this point I just wanted to be freed at the next stop. I acted like I wasn't witnessing what I was witnessing, and so did everyone else. You see! If someone got up and said, "What's wrong with you boy?! Why are you beating your head against the window?!", maybe the young man would have snapped back to his senses. But no such luck. I wasn't about to be that brave soul either so as soon as my stop approached, my daughter and I hopped out to the surface. Freedom! Until the next time....

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Harry Potter Getting Hotter?

by Ambrosia

The sixth installment of the Harry Potter series-"The Half Blood Prince" has already grossed over $158 million in less than a week. The biggest blockbuster of the year by far. The highest grossing Harry Potter film to date. The series never lets down its die hard fans. I think the film was written intelligently and keeps in mind the original young fans of the books who are happily growing along with the characters in this 'coming of age' movie. Unusual you may say but not really. Hermoine, Ron and Harry are real to their fans and here in lies the bond that they all share. Big kids, like myself, love Harry Potter too and can relate to the mischief and the dreamed about magic that permeates the films.

What I wasn't too keen on was the story itself. It's translation unto the screen left a couple of holes for me. For example, the infamous Half Blood Prince was revealed at the end but then I had many questions like, Why? When? How? What does this mean?. It felt as though the film was meant mainly for people who have read the books. And no, I have not read "The Half Blood Prince" although it sits in my mini library. I did pull it out after the movie but that was it. Very bad. I'll try again tonight to try to find answers to my questions.

What I loved was the unmatchable, cinematography. Beauty in motion. If you watched the film on mute you would still be mesmerized. Absolutely spellbinding. The director, David Yates, has done it again, masterfully directing the last Potter movie and this one. When you go away from this film you will still be haunted (in a good way) by the images.

Everything is coming together beautifully as the Harry Potter series comes down to its last installment-"The Deathly Hallows". (Sigh) I'm going to miss them.

Monday, July 20, 2009


by Ambrosia

On mass transit today, I witnessed something that took the cake even for mass transit in New York City. A woman entered the bus with a child who was between 6 and 8 months. She placed the baby's stroller half way down the aisle close to me and non chalanty seats herself way up front in the designated handicapped seats. I didn't pay it any mind, thinking that the woman who was seated close to the stroller was with her. Then she started complaining out loud saying that if the stroller rolls on her foot, everyone is going to hear about it, the driver, the MTA, everyone. This woman kept repeating this phrase as some people agreed and snickered.

As the ride went on, people entering the bus kept bumping into the lone stroller. It kept getting knocked around until it found a home right next to me. As more people piled into the bus trying to get around this stroller, they started saying, 'Sorry' to me as they brazenly knocked the stroller about some more. I ignored them and decided to examine the mother who was holding her bouncing baby boy. He was all smiles, quite jovial while she had this blank, almost dead look on her face. She gave off a mixture of anger and despair with despair winning by a mile. She was spaced out. I tried to get her attention to ask her politely if the stroller was hers but she looked in my direction and stared off into space again. Her expression did not move.

Apparently at this point, some new bus rider, ignorant to the owner of the stroller started to complain about me. The original boisterous woman explained very loudly, "That's not her stroller. That's hers. And if that stroller runs over my toe, they're going to hear from me...!" I peered outside the window as the bus pulled up to a very busy stop and saw a bunch of people waiting to come in. I forsaw a very disruptive situation as this new herd of people would simultaneously meet, "The Stroller". I got up to get the mom's attention and asked her if the stroller was hers again. She actually noticed me this time as I stood and just nodded twice so lifelessly it was pitiful. Then I tried to drag it to her quickly before the impatient people from outside who were already pushing each other to get in first, started pouring in. The stroller, which was an expensive, high quality one, was on some super breaks because I couldn't move it.
I decided to lift it up and as I did and started to go over to the mother with my bag falling off my shoulder and my phone (as I spoke to Epiphany) falling from between my shoulder and my cheek, the first person to enter the bus, a diva-like young lady, simply stood there between me and my destination, giving me this look as to say, 'How dare you stand in my way with your stroller." If looks could kill.

Anyway, I could feel anticipation shoot forth from everyone behind me who became acquainted with "The Stroller". The whole bus got quiet. This girl would not move. She seemed to prefer to just stand there, staring at me. I then said, "Excuse me", then lo and behold, she got the point and moved out of the way.
I said to the mom, "I don't know where you want me to put this stroller exactly, but I'll put it here for you." With that I placed the stroller in front of her. There was no thank you but somehow I wasn't expecting it. Like I said, the mother was unfortunately spaced out as her happy baby smiled and bounced around her lap.

The next stop was hers. I watched her place the baby boy in the stroller. She walked out of the bus like a zombie floating on a cloud. Instead of lifting the stroller to get down the stair, she pushed it and it inclined so steeply, I thought the baby might fall out. I saw a woman's face crumple up in fear. I could see her mouth, "Oh my God". Then as if nothing happened, the mother continued to push the baby in its infamous stroller down the street. I was mortified. Epiphany suggested I call the cops. When I got out at my stop about 5 minutes later, I approached an officer in a parked car and he told me that nothing can be done. Her whereabouts are a mystery and there is not enough information to attempt to find her. I just hope that I don't hear any stories on the news involving an innocent baby being hurt by its mom. Although I know worst stories than this happen everyday, as I was reminded by another friend of mine, it just hurts to see potential for child neglect in front of you. I prayed for the innocent baby boy and for the mother as well. We don't know what she is going through.

Human nature sucks sometimes. I don't know who was worse, the boisterous woman, the people pushing the stroller with anger, the people pushing each other to get into the bus, the diva girl or the woman who obviously needed help but no one could see through their dense glasses. Another day on New York City mass transit.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Ugly Sibling

The Psychological profile of a scorned sister.
by Epiphany

What makes the relationship between brothers and sisters go awry? I mean to the point of malicious behavior and unending controlling maneuvers to gain the confidence and trust of one over another. I know you are thinking it could be lots of things, money, jealousy, and just plain lack of love or their apparent misconception of little love, maybe even stealing a lover. 

Example: Sister (A) contacts sister (B) halfway around the world to complain about the brother (C) that lives next door. She (A) starts, "Oh he treats me so bad and puts his wife before me. He doesn't help me with money nor does he treat me with respect". She continues the whining on and on and on, "no one believes how bad it is and how much I could use the assistance, boo hoo... hoo". 

Sister (B) absorbs everything (A) says and tries desperately to comfort her to the point of agreeing with how bad the brother (C) is. Moreover, brothers (D) and (E) try very hard to stay out. (B) calls (C) but gets no answer. (B) calls back (A) and says they are not home because I tried calling. (A) how happens to live next door relates that they are at home, she can see the car next door and cannot figure out why they will not pick-up the phone. Now (B) thinks they see her number on the caller ID and does not want to answer. All hell breaks loose and this just prove they are bad people. (A) and (B) confirm their theories.

It is the little things like this in life that makes you wanna go...hmmm?! Why would something so trivial as a person not picking up a phone become a case for discussion? Well, when it bothers a person enough that they too feel scorned so much they then vent to a third party and so on. Of course, the best advice would be to say, "don't judge your brother, perhaps he was sleeping or in the shower and didn't hear the phone or  he just was not feeling well enough to chat. It happens sometimes and is quite understandable. But the real question on every one's mind outside of this example is what has happened to this family to cause an underlying riff in the bonds and interactions of so called religious and loving siblings?

Probably something silly. But at this point in life (they are half a century and more each) bygones should be left as bygones. Has any of these people seen the news lately. The hate, the unrest, the tragedies, the sudden deaths. Don't they realize that there are more important things in life than petty squabbles among siblings. I am not saying that some one's feelings should not be taken into considered. I am saying that pride and self victimization can cause people to cut off one thing or person or situation - for nothing. I think we have to look at the bigger picture and hopefully individuals, especially in advance ages, can remember that when they cast the first stone, maybe they should apologize for breaking the window.

Grow up people, life is short.

The characters in this story are not real, but a fictional adaptation of a similar issues.