Home > Monday Minute > Monday Minute: Can You Spare Some Change? James reveals Ryan’s salary (yes, on the subway)

Monday Minute: Can You Spare Some Change? James reveals Ryan’s salary (yes, on the subway)

Quarter_newIf you’ve ever been on a NYC subway, chances are you’ve been solicited for change before. Over the last 5 years we’ve been hit up by breakdancing teens, prosthelytizing men handing out prayer cards, accordion players, a cappella singing groups, pregnant women, mariachi bands, the occasional scary loud guys, even a 5-piece brass band with trombone and tuba – all while riding the subway.

I bet you think you know where this is going now. James blurts out Ryan’s salary on the subway and someone immediately asks us for money. No, because that would be entirely too predictable.

On the subway home

Me (singing with Adam and Margaret): First, second, third, you seeee, it’s as easy as 1-2-3…

James (covers his ears and starts to weep): Stop that song!

Me: What now? It’s from Elmo’s monster president movie (it’s catchy, look it up).

Margaret: It’s not sad, James. It’s just Elmo!

James: Elmo is a criminal.

Me: Seriously?

James: You should not sing that song!

Me: Oh, James. Come here – we’ll sing something different but you’re being weird.

James (lays his head on my shoulder): It’s a really sad song.

Me: It’s not. And you smell. You need a shower.

James: What?!

Me (quietly to myself): Ugh, and we’re out of tearfree shampoo.

James (dramatically): We’re out of shampoo?

Me: Well, just about. We probably have enough for one more shower, though. Lucky you! I’ll have to get some more soon.

James: I hope you can get some.

Me: I think I’ll manage.

James: I hope you can save enough money for shampoo so I can be sparkling clean again.

Me: Well, this time I’ll squeeze out the rest of the bottle, then I’ll order some more.

James: How long will it take you to save up all of your coins?

Me: I have enough money now.

James: Wow. That’s great, so I can smell good? Cause how do I smell now?

Me: James, enough.

Woman next to us: Excuse me.

Me: Yes?

Woman (quietly): I couldn’t help but overhear and I see you have your hands full (gestures to my kids). Do you need some help?

Me: Um, what?

Woman: A few dollars or a number to call?

Me: A number? Oh…. oh dear, no! My son has special needs and is just talking. We don’t need money.

Geez, do my kids look that bad? Hmmm…. Adam’s filthy, asleep sans shoes. Or pants.

James (to the lady): Yeah, my dad makes one…..hundred…..dollars.

Me: James, shhhhhhhhhhh.

James: Every year.

Woman (stares at me): You’re sure…

Me (awkwardly to James): No, he makes a lot more than $100 a year James. (to woman) Sorry about that. Really, we’re fine. The kids are just dirty from the park (why am I explaining myself here?).

James: Yeah, my special need is a bath. And then ipod. Right, mom?

Me: Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

James: Yeah, my dad makes four million dollars!

(Woman arches an eyebrow at me)

Me (weakly): Ha, ha. Do you think I’d be sitting here if my husband made that much money?

(Woman politely smiles, turns back around)


The truth is, yes, I probably would.

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