I take lots of buses in New York. I have always preferred buses to trains and I try to make sure I have a book or a few sale catalogs to read while I go from Point A to Point B. Buses have come a long way since I moved here many years ago, no pun intended. They are heated and cooled as the weather demands, the drivers are about 78% friendly on any given day, and for the most part, buses are quiet. And I always keep my IPod in my bag to drown out neighboring IPods and cellphones.
Along with more comfortable buses, we have more comfortable bus shelters and that’s where I spotted the spuds. I was walking down Broadway and saw two white plastic I “heart” NY bags on the bench at the stop on 116th Street. Well, the NYPD keeps reminding us that if we see something, we should say something, so I took a closer look and found many eyes looking back at me. In the two bags were about 18 fresh, Idaho potatoes. Then, I didn’t know what I was supposed to say.
“911 Operator, what’s your emergency?”
“Yes, ma’am, I’m on Broadway in front of Ollie’s and there’s two bags of potatoes sitting here, waiting for the bus.”
A car pulled up to see what I was looking at and then drove off. It would not have been good to start a gaper’s block over potatoes. And a couple of people walked by, looked in, kept moving. So I took a couple of photos with my phone and walked on. But I couldn’t help wondering the fate of the taters. They blocked one third of the bench so only two people could sit comfortably next to them. And they didn’t seem to belong to anyone so I would imagine they would be sitting there for a while. I can’t imagine someone picking up the two bags and walking away with them because that’s kind of icky. In New York, we shun food that is left sitting on a bench, for so many reasons.
So wither the praties? It’d be nice if they got wherever they were going, but I kind of doubt it, knowing what I know about potatoes and bus shelters. Still, there was a wonderfully whimsical quality to our encounter, like they looked up for just that moment and wondered if I’d take them home and give them a hot bath and a mash. My guess is that some random sanitation worker or bus shelter maintenance guy tossed them.
I love New York.