It was Saturday afternoon in Park Slope when I heard a man shout, “Hey, you!”

I ignored him. Only New York rookies and tourists would actually look around to see who it was. Eye contact = trouble.

He called out again, “Hey! You with the dog.”

No doubt about it – he was talking to me. I looked up to see a black man leaning out the window of a third-story brownstone. “Yeah?”

“Who did Obama (insert sound of screeching bus brakes)?”

“Say what?”

He cupped his hands around his mouth. “I said, Who did Obama pick for vice president? It’s the sabbath and I can’t watch t.v.”

My mind went blank as it always does during the most inopportune moments: introducing two friends, recalling one of the 500 PINs I seem to have these days, running down a list of 5 items I need at the bodega, remembering why I went into the bedroom to begin with (despite the fact that I only have a three room apartment).

“It begins with a B! B..Ba, no. Bee, no…”

“Biden!” He shouted. “Joe Biden! JoeBama!”

We laughed – me on the sidewalk and he leaning out of the third story. I felt like breaking into the Name Game: Bama, Bama, Joe Bama, Banana Fanna Joe Fama, Fe Fi Fo Fama, JoeBama.

The next morning the headline of the Post was exactly that: JoeBama. You never know who’s listening in New York.

* Even though this didn’t take place on the subway (it’s part of my “Only in New York…” series), but why not?


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