The subway often appears to be in its sunset years, creaking towards death, no money in its retirement plan, abandoned by the people who are supposed to care for it. For passengers, there is nothing much to do about it outside of enraged tweeting (a valuable service, to be sure). But for the train conductors, who are now required to provide more detailed announcements even when details might not be available, may we recommend some fresh existential talking points? Below, some suggestions for subway conductors who need to fill dead air even when there's no new information to announce:

  • Attention passengers, this is your conductor speaking. Our train is being held at the station. Do not weep; do not wax indignant. Understand.
  • The F train is not running at this time. Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.
  • The next G train is 16 minutes away. To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.
  • Northbound C trains will be returning back to Brooklyn, life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.
  • The 2/3 is now running on the 5 line. One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.
  • We are stopped due to train traffic ahead. We should be moving momentarily. People settle for a level of despair they can tolerate and call it happiness.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, the train has derailed. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
  • We are being held due to an investigation at 14th Street. Whatsoever is contrary to nature is contrary to reason, and whatsoever is contrary to reason is absurd.
  • Ladies and gentlemen: We are being held momentarily by the train’s dispatcher. I want to leave... but my place is nowhere.
  • This train will now run local. Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.
  • We are delayed because of signal problems. Life has no meaning the moment you lose the illusion of being eternal.
  • Ladies and gentlemen: We are delayed because of a sick passenger in a train ahead of us. If you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
  • This train is being held on the tracks. Soon the power will go off. In about 40 minutes you'll be clawing your way out of here. There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope.

And if you're a subway conductor with a seemingly smooth ride, there's always this evergreen announcement that every passenger will find relatable: "Hell is other people."