In November, Manhattan's freshly refurbished F/M station opened at 23rd Street, its walls bedecked with the most wondrous gift I personally could have asked for: Wall-sized mosaics of stoic Weimaraners wearing human things, courtesy of New York's foremost dog photographer William Wegman. Probably, I never should have gotten my hopes up, that these marvelous arts would be allowed to live unmarred in the subway system; that the public would respect their obvious beauty and just leave them be. Nothing like that has ever happened in the whole history of NYC public transit.

But I love few things more than I love William Wegman's Weimaraners, so I did get my hopes up. And now the inevitable has happened: Someone, according to Twitter, took it upon themselves to caption one of the mosaics, investing not an ounce of imagination in the process. "I suck," read a tiny speech bubble someone—I must assume a 7-to-11-year-old child—scrawled near one dog's snoot.


Let me be clear that I in no way sanction the defacement of pleasant subway sights, a vanishingly rare phenomenon we should probably show some appreciation. But such a paltry afterthought of a sentiment stings like salt in a wound. If someone had written, "My tooth! The sandwich is caught on my tooth!" then I could at least appreciate the familiarity with Wegman's oeuvre. If they had mused about maybe switching to the mock turtleneck, or about how this merlot looks good with the gray (especially in a sea of khaki!), then I could probably summon up a small smirk for a fellow Best in Show fan. I would still be sad, though.

You'll be pleased, I hope, to learn that the MTA got in there with some "specialized genie wipes" and restored dignity to these sporting canine ghosts. But I think we all know that this will happen again, probably at 23rd Street and probably also at the 28th Street 4/6 stop, which also boasts a mosaic that's admittedly lovely even if it's not dogs. I would say this is why we can't have nice things except for that it is entirely within our power to stifle our artistic impulses when it comes to the Wegman mosaics. They are perfect, i.e. outside our ability to improve, so please: just leave them the heck alone.

And know that, if you fail to heed this warning, the transit police may just pop out of a booby trap they set especially for you, a vandalizing vandal, and cart you away to subway prison.