Straphanger Joe is Just Wild About ‘Harry’

Harry Potter Hi-Sign 

I told you it was coming. Metro-North may have a per-pound boycott on the book but the subway can’t stop you from toting your 700+  Harry Potter, Book Seven onto its cars.

harpo.jpg

Day one, last Monday P.M.

F train: There’s nobody on the subway at 5:12 p.m. reading Harry, but a woman looks up from her seat at the book I’m reading and smiles at me. I smile back and hoist my book a little into the air. It’s like two motorcyclists passing each other on the highway, giving each other the thumbs up. It’s the Harry Potter Hi-Sign. 

Day four, Thursday A.M.

F train: I see two men with large books, orange-ish cover, the dust jacket taken off, reading further down in the crowded car. My first Harry Potter sighting. I can’t give them the HP Hi-Sign because we’re too far away and, well, they’re immersed in reading their books, like I should be. 

Day four, Thursday P.M.

F train: A young man comes out of the car in front of me and he’s carrying the orange-covered book sans dust jacket. I try to raise my book at him but drop my yoga bag and lunch box instead, trip, fall against the side of the car and almost miss the train as the door closes on my heel once before I can extricate it.  

Day five, Friday A.M.

Commerce Bank: It’s not the subway but the teller, a young Latina, sees my book and says, “He dies, you know.” I look up at her and say, “You’re serious? You’ve read it?” She laughs and shakes her head. “I heard it’s good though and lots of people get killed off.” I’m no longer smiling.

 

“So you’re going to read it?” I ask. She shakes her head. “No. I never read any of them.” 

 

Day ten, Wednesday A.M. and P.M.

F train: Where are all the Harry Potters? The book sold over 8 million copies in 24 hours here in the U.S. Are they all breaking the rule on Metro-North? Are they crowding the Long Island Railroad (No, not that!). Are they all on the E train riding down the West Side? Are they waiting for the trade paperback version to come out before they haul the reduced poundage to work with them?  

Seriously, folks. Where are all the hi-signs? Did I miss something? 

–Joe Lunievicz 

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