Midnight on an Uptown A train. Two available seats. One is in the middle of a family of 11 children who are simultaneously running, spinning, kicking, crying, laughing, and napping. The other is next to three old Jews. One of the Jews is knitting. I think you know where I sat. What happened next was comedy gold.
"Did you hear a dog bark?" says the knitting old biddy to my right.
"A dog?" the bushy-haired, bespectacled gentleman facing her drawls back, in exaggerated Long Island accent.
"I heard a dog bark."
"A dog? On the subway?"
"No, on the platform. He barked."
Clearly, I was accidentally in the middle of an Abbott and Costello routine. They were difficult to overhear, due to the screaming children begging for their mother's attention just a few feet away, but after a while down the train the conversation grew animated:
"I was on the facebook - do you have the facebook?" he turned to his companion, who was very straight-laced compared to his desperate attempts to channel an aging Bob Dylan in hair and dress.
"Yeah, yeah, I have the facebook...I got on the facebook for my work, and it bugs me! Some people, you don't even know them, they think you want to be their friend."
"Me too! I make friends with one person - BOOM! Twenty-one more people want to be my friend! They say they know me! I don't know them!"
"And then they send you all those emails!" moaned my still-knitting bench neighbor. "I try to get rid of them, but they still come! And then you have to email 61 people telling them you don't want their emails...it's annoying!"
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the meaning of the word kvetch.