Bilge Officer's Log: Stardate 10965.8
Lt. Kurt vonRoeschlaub Reporting

"So how are you getting to Penn Station?" We had just gotten on the 6 heading back to Manhattan after the race. This seemingly innocent question was raised by Yeoman "Abby" Kelly.

"I thought I'd switch to the yellow line at 59th, and then take the 1, 2 or 3 to Penn."

There was much tetching and shaking of heads. Kelly informed me that even saying "yellow line" marked me as a subway newbie. "You should go to 51st and take the E. You don't want to have to change trains twice."

Commander Jory and Lt. Zoraida agreed. My plan was flatly foolish. Even if I was to take the N-R-W subway (see, I know what trains are on the "yellow" line) I should get off two blocks from Penn and walk rather than foolishly changing to the 1-2-3. After a bit of protest I finally gave in, after all they live in NY and I'm from LI. They should know the subway better, right?

The first hint I had that this might not be the case is when we pulled into 145th Street station half an hour later. I asked if I should switch to the express here, and Jory, glancing across the platform and not seeing the train right there, dismissed the idea (with much nodding from the others.) On our way to 51st, the express passed us. And another. The second time I pointed this out and Jory explained, "It's a crap shoot."

Here's a hint: when you are going from 145th to 51st on the local 6, stopping at 56,297 stations along the way, the odds of an express train passing you are not a "crap shoot" unless your dice have nothing but 3 and 4 pip sides.

Captain's note: The "crap shoot" part is not whether or not an express train or two will pass a local 6. Instead, it's whether or not a whiter-than-white boy from Long Island wearing, of all things, a Star Trek emblem on his chest would live long enough (forget about prospering) on a 145th Street subway platform waiting for an express to arrive. You were guided well, Kurt.

Still, I dutifully got off at 51st and walked with Jory and Zoraida to the E line. A Queens-bound train arrived as we went down the escalator to the bowels of Manhattan, so they bid me adieu and I took up my position on the Manhattan side of the platform.

After ten minutes I noticed the pipe next to me was dripping, and on the floor a small stalagmite had formed. "Wow," I thought. "How long has that thing been dripping to make a stalagmite that big?" Little did I know I would find out.

Five minutes later another Queens-bound E train arrived. The hundred or so other people waiting on my side started to shuffle about and get frustrated. Another five minutes and a Queens-bound V train stopped. I noticed the stalagmite had grown visibly. Or maybe I was just sinking into the Earth via erosion.

Ten minutes later, a full 30 minutes after I had first set foot on the platform, a voice came over the intercom. It announced "Attention please. The Manhattan-bound E train is not in service. If you wish to travel cross-town please take the 6 uptown to 59th and use the yellow line (Ha! he really said that!) If you had intended to do this in the first place, but your friends talked you out of it, you are now legally entitled to kick them." (Okay, maybe he didn't say that part.)

So I, and 150 other commuters who probably also trusted their so-called friends, trudged back up the infinite stairway (escalator shut down for your convenience,) and walked back to the 6 where I waited on a very-crowded platform for the next train. Another 10 minutes wasted.

Once I got to the N train, (3-minute wait), crossed town (less than 5 minutes), walked to the 1 (one-fifth the distance from the 6 to the E) and caught a ride to Penn (1-minute wait) it was a simple trip home. Only an hour later than if I had foolishly gone with my original plan.

And hey, maybe by next race the statute of limitations on that kicking will have run out.