Most Manhattanites get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of their daily commute they barely take the time to look up from their morning paper or mobile device to notice the city’s sights and sounds buzzing around them. They ride the subway every day and usually see the conductors as they pull up to the platform, but it’s safe to say most people have never noticed a certain unusual action every MTA subway conductor must perform as soon as they pull into the station.
Each New York City subway conductor must physically point at a black and white striped board, formally known as the conductor’s indication board, once the train has successfully reached the platform. The conductor’s point is the sole indicator it is now safe to open the doors to let the passengers depart.
But when a pair of pranksters heard about this random fact, they decided to have a little fun with the hardworking conductors by spicing up their monotonous finger-pointing routine.
“As I used the subway I started looking out for it, and they do it at every single station,” Yosef Lerner, one of tricksters who created this clever video, told GoodMorningAmerica.com. “It’s funny that we make them do this robotic thing.”
Lerner, 25, and his friend, Rose Sacktor, 24, both of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, saw the repetitive movement as an opportunity to quite literally stop the conductors in their tracks, ultimately making their day by putting a smile on their face.
“I thought it would be funny to hold up signs about something they’d have no choice but to point at,” said Lerner.
So they did. “Point here if you are dead sexy” was the first of the bunch. Others included “Point here if you are not wearing pants right now,” “Point here if you have seen a passenger naked” and “Point here if NY is the greatest city in the world.”
Soliciting nothing but smiles and laughter, Lerner and Sacktor’s subway experiment was a roaring success.
“I saw it as an opportunity to snap them out of it,” Lerner said of the conductors’ isolating routine. “We wanted to let them know we see you, we know you’re working and we appreciate what you do.”
The pranksters’ YouTube video documenting their time in eight different subway stations has already garnered more than 150,000 views since it was originally uploaded on Oct. 30, and the positive response is prompting the pair to continue their smile-seeking efforts.
“Any way we can help people snap out of their day to day and create an interesting moment for people who would otherwise feel bored and isolated, that’s what we’re going to do,” said Lerner. “Be on the lookout, because we’re planning for that.”