This Is a Public Safety Announcement from the MTA

“Please do not use any kind of vacuuming device to suck up items that may have fallen on the track. Please do not give such devices vulgar nicknames.”

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Photo courtesy of Devin Smith

A reminder to all subway riders from the MTA: if you drop any personal belongings onto the subway tracks, please do not jump into the subway tracks to retrieve them. Your safety is important to us. Stay alert, and thank you for using the MTA.


Please do not offer money to anyone to jump into the subway tracks to retrieve your own dropped items. Thank you for your attention, and ride safely.


Do not construct a makeshift fishing rod out of garbage and gum to “fish” for any dropped belongings on the subway track. If you’ve dropped your phone onto the subway tracks, please do not continue to play Temple Run on it with a long stick with a piece of warm meat at the end of it that simulates a human finger.


Please do not attempt to convince others on the platform that your own dropped items belong to them and that they “really ought to hop on down there to get them.”


Please do not use any kind of vacuuming device to suck up items that may have fallen on the track. Please do not give such devices vulgar nicknames.


Please do not ask other commuters to retrieve dropped belongings from the track in an effort to convince them they would be a “Subway Hero” in doing so. Claiming to be a NY1 reporter live on the scene does not make such attempts less dubious.


Please do not attempt to train subway rats to retrieve items from the subway tracks or to do anything else you consider “your bidding.”


Please do not use grappling hooks and a system of pulleys to lower yourself into the subway tracks to retrieve dropped items. Offering rides on said pulley system, using the slogan “Come thread the needle!” is prohibited.


It is prohibited to push anyone into the subway tracks just so you can ask them to pick up anything of yours that may have fallen onto the tracks.


Please do not push anyone onto the subway tracks so that a “Subway Hero” can rescue them and, in the process, retrieve your dropped items that are on the subway track.


Please do not bring into the subway station dogs, pigeons, monkeys or other higher primates that have been trained to retrieve items you’ve dropped on the tracks and/or to battle the rats that have usurped your former authority over them..


Please be aware that, though not prohibited, attempts to use telekinesis have proven to be ineffective in trying to remove dropped belongings on the track or to re-exert control over the newly self-aware rat population, who are learning to cope with emerging reasoning skills, free will, and a knowledge of their own mortality.


Please be aware that lowering magnets into the subway track in an attempt to retrieve non-metal belongings has proven to be ineffective.


Attention: wearing a cowboy hat does not give you the authority to lasso property that has fallen onto the subway tracks or to capture any of your escaped monkeys who were trained to fight against the insurgent rat colonies.


This is an important announcement from the MTA: please do not try to retrieve belongings that have fallen onto the tracks. All dropped property belongs to the rats, as negotiated in the peace treaty at the Battle of Sixth Avenue and 14th Street.

David Guzman writes sketch comedy and performs improv in New York City. His humor pieces have appeared in McSweeney's Internet Tendency and Splitsider, and he writes a sci-fi/comedy radio show with The Pulp Variety Streamcast. You can see him perform with the team Zealand on Fridays at the Queen's Secret Improv Theatre in Long Island City and you can get at him on Twitter and Tumblr.