A Little Advice

r.j. kushner
3 min readMar 1, 2023
Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

Hey, pal, let me give you a little advice. I can tell you’re new to the subway. Let me help you out.

You see that ugly freak sitting over there and copying all my movements? That’s my twin brother Moe. He thinks he’s real funny but he’s not. Everybody who laughs at him is really just pitying him. Right now he’s doing his “I’m not copying you” bit. It’s real boring, just ignore it. And don’t bother saying, “Cut it out, Moe!” because then he’ll just say, “Cut it out, Moe!” too and it’ll give him the upper hand.

My advice? Stay away from Moe and don’t fall for his antics. Anyways.

That over there is where it tells you what stop you’re at. Usually a voice comes over the loudspeaker and says it, too. Sometimes Moe will imitate the voice and make it say something like, “Smell my farts” or “Next stop: My farts.” Then the whole train car will laugh, but remember, it’s not because Moe is funny, it’s just pity. Moe makes people nervous and nobody likes him. Anyways.

This here is the grabby pole. When there are no empty seats people will stand and hang on to it so they don’t fall over when the train moves. Sometimes Moe will grab it and yell “Magic Mike!” and then dance around. People clap and laugh and tell Moe he should “do standup comedy.” But if you try to yell something like, “Magic Mike? Why don’t you make yourself disappear then!!” people will just be quiet and walk away and not say nothing. That’s the kind of joke that only smart people will understand. Want my advice? Don’t try to cater to the dummies who are too scared to tell Moe he’s not funny. Better just to be quiet and let Moe make a fool of himself on his own. Anyways.

Doin’ OK? You’re looking over there. Look over here, I’m talking to you. OK, where was I. Hm. Right.

Over there in the red scarf is Veronica. She takes the train to go to her job. She’s basically the love of my life. Here’s a little piece of advice, bud: Don’t ever tell Moe who the love of your life is. He will go out of his way to make you look like a meatball in front of them. One time I was reading the newspaper and he pulled out a rubber ducky and put it on my head. Right on my head! I snatched it off real quick but Veronica had already seen it. I don’t even know where he got a rubber ducky! We don’t have any of those at home!! Anyways.

Quit sliding, will ya? I’m trying to give you a piece of advice here and you’re sliding away. You want me to have to shout my advice across the train, huh?

OK. Anyways. What else. Oh yeah. Don’t tell big groups of tough guys they look like the cast of “Fast and Furious Zero.” They won’t think it’s funny and they’ll make a big circle around you and crack their knuckles. I was lucky when this happened to me, though, because just then stupid Moe jumped into his “I’m-not-copying-you” routine and repeated what I’d said. So all the tough guys turned around and beat the crap out of Moe instead of me.

I asked Moe about it later in the hospital. I said, “Moe, why’d you do it? Did you do it to save me?” And Moe looked up at me through his bandages and said, “Moe, why’d you do it? Did you do it to save me?”

So, you really want to make it out here, pal? You want to master the subway? Take my advice. Figure out who your Moe is. Then spend the rest of your life staying away from their nonsense. Because they’ll bring you nothing but grief. Anyways. This is my stop.

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r.j. kushner

Dubbed by the New York Times as “all out of free articles this month.”