Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Beer Boys

183 The Beer Boys

The Beer Boys are both boys and girls. They ride the Long Island Railroad in the small hours of the morning and sometimes on weekends.

They are loud and rude and drunk and lots of fun and their days are numbered.

When an especially obnoxious underage drinker sits next to you on a train, telling him that you want him to move does nothing.

But here’s how to get rid of him (or her.) Instead of politely saying “could you please sit somewhere else?” which is useless, say this: “I had a whole pepperoni pizza and a 12 pack of Bud for dinner and I’m not feeling so well...” generally gets them out of the seat pretty quickly.

The Long Island Railroad is trying to stop drinking on its trains. This is a new thing. People have been drinking on Long Island Railroad trains for 160 years.

The fist thing they did was eliminate the “bar cars.” It’s impossible to buy a drink on a moving train anymore. Now they want to do two things: (1) get the bar carts off the platforms in Penn Station, Flatbush and Jamaica and (3) crack down on the drinking kids on the 4:05 am to Penn.

The drinking kids on the 4:05 were mostly young women “beer boys.” They smoked, they undressed. They sang. Mostly they laughed and staggered. This train was full of cops on their way to work. The cops did not stop the beer boy girls. The conductors didn’t, either. Usually, they either left the train or fell asleep before Jamaica. It was a ritual. Thursday mornings, mostly. Could never figure out why.

The 1:40 am eastbound local was much worse. It only had two cars. They were always smoke filled and louder than the crowd at Yankee Stadium after a seventh game World Series win.

The conductor didn’t even TRY to take tickets. Free ride on the LIRR. Those of us with monthlies subsidized the beer boys. Sometimes we got beer in return. After all, when you get on with a Bud suitcase and two friends, you just can’t finish the whole thing.

There’s this one guy who runs a bar car on track 18 at Penn Station. No one knows his name. He doesn’t know yours, either. But he knows what you drink if you’re a regular.

Come down the stairs to the platform at a certain time each day and No Name would have your “usual” all ready for you by the time you hit the last couple of steps. Guess he’ll be out of work soon.

Eliminating bar cars and drinking on platforms and trains is as Un-LIRR as running on time and clean.

The death of a culture.

They should install bag holders on the backs of the seats like they have in airplanes.

The beer boys will have to find something else to keep them busy on the early morning and weekend trains.

Got a match?

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2007 WJR

1 comment:

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