So I was going to visit Yonkers yesterday for the first time, and what’s more, I would be entitled to buy a round-trip train ticket for the senior-citizen rate of only $11.50 from Grand Central Station. Really, besides Medicare and half-price Metrocard admission to the subways, that’s more or less the only good thing about getting old. (How do you know you’re getting old? When a pregnant woman seated on the crowded subway unsolicited jumps up to offer you her seat, and then when you say, “That’s all right,” she insists with “No, really, please, I’m getting off in ten more stops,” and gingerly vacates her seat for you. A few rounds of this and soon you get the picture.)
Anyway, when I got to the ticket booth in Grand Central, I asked the clerk for a round- trip ticket to Yonkers. I pulled out my $11.50, and he says, “That’ll be $17.50.”
“What? $17.50?” I replied. “I thought it was supposed to be $11.50 for senior citizens.”
“Well why didn’t you say so in the first place,” says the cranky clerk. “You just said you wanted a round trip ticket. You should have said you wanted a senior-citizen round trip ticket.”
“Well,” I replied heatedly, caught off guard, “I thought you could tell by looking at me.”
And just then I hear a voice behind me on the ticket line piping up:
“Yep, I sure could.”
Only in New York, kids, only in New York.