Mental Floss

Daniel Berman Is Our Hero (and yesterday's contest winner)

Jason English
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We tacked a little contest onto yesterday's quiz about public transportation nicknames. We asked for your best (or worst) public transportation story, and as a group, you did not disappoint. But the person who didn't disappoint the most was Daniel Berman, who contributed this epic tale:

My subway story took place in New York City, on the F train. It was morning, I was heading to work in Midtown at HBO, I had my newspaper and container of OJ in tow. All I wanted to do was drink my drink, read my paper, and get to work. As is somewhat common in the NYC subway system, a man came on the train at my second stop and started proclaiming "jesus as the one to turn towards." I am not a christian, but regardless of what this man was peddling, it was a subway"¦ it was morning and it was loud, annoying, distracting, and quite frankly rude. All the passengers, myself included, rolled our eyes and sighed a collective "ugh". right as this man started delivering his "sermon". I had surprised myself, I usually would have sat silently and resented this man internally for the rest of the day. But I thought, if I asked him politely perhaps he will stop his public proselytizing. A religious man, in theory, should be thoughtful of his fellow man. I asked the "loud gentleman" if he wouldn't mind stopping or at the very least lower his voice. He got louder. Before I knew it, I was on my feet standing right next to this man. I announced to the train, the whole of his captive audience, "Everyone, the new DAWN OF THE DEAD just came out and now, I will take it upon myself to read what this newspaper reviewer thought of the film." I started reading this review, the evangelical man got louder, screaming a passage from the Bible. I got louder screaming from The New York Post. I raised my volume. He raised his. It continued to both of us were pretty loud. He is screaming about Jesus from a psalm and I am screeeeaming about zombies from DAWN OF THE DEAD. I finish reading my review all red faced and agitated. I sat down only to look up to see I was getting applauded. I got a STANDING ovation from all the people on the train with me. Standing. It's a great way to start a day.

Daniel wins a copy of The Mental Floss History of the World, which I hope he carries with him in the event of future subway preach-offs. I'll be in touch about your prize.

And let me remind everyone, if you pre-order the book from Amazon before October 27th, we'll throw in 6 FREE MONTHS of mental_floss magazine.

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