NEW YORK, N.Y.
– It seems a simple enough proposition. If you want to stand still on one of Manhattan’s subway station mega-escalators, you keep to the right. If you’re in a hurry and need to treat the escalator like a staircase, you can do so on the left. Observe any subway escalator at rush hour, and this pattern seemingly develops of its own accord.
Until, that is, Miranda Giraud exits her train. Giraud, 38, an unemployed mother of three who now lives in Oniontown, N.Y., is on a rather unusual mission – one she claims will “teach” working New Yorkers to slow down and realize that she can “do whatever the fuck I want.”
“That’s what this is all about,” said Ms. Giraud. “I do what I want to do and none of these motherfuckers can say shit to me.”
If you’ve encountered Ms. Giraud or her growing legion of followers, chances are you’ve been unnecessarily delayed on your way up one of Manhattan’s myriad transit system escalators – and you’re certainly not alone in your annoyance.
“This is something we’re seeing more and more of every month,” says New York City Escalator Division spokesman Frank Sperte, “and it’s definitely more of a problem during summer months. People are hot, they’re sweating, they’re trying to get to work, and you basically have these fucking ne’er do wells violating every common sense law on and off the books. It’s fucking disgraceful.”
Problems arise, say some commuters, when few grown men have the “balls” to do anything about it. “I tell these dumb fucks to move out of the way every fucking morning, at least when I’m close enough for them to hear me,” says Vincent Sapienza, an union elevator mechanic who commutes daily from Long Island to his job in the Financial District. “It’s like a bad joke. How do you not fucking know where you’re supposed to stand?”A TROUBLED PAST
Once considered a promising student at Jamaica’s Mary Lewis Academy, Ms. Giraud’s first signs of trouble arose shortly before her sophomore year in high school.
“I don’t like categorizing people or offering dimestore psychological evaluations,” says Sister Patricia Teegarten, a veteran school administrator, “but to us, Miranda seemed to have descended into something resembling narcissistic personality disorder rather rapidly. Not that she was ever nice to anyone or anything, but still.”
Her former classmates concur. “She was just a fucking piece of shit to everyone,” says Vivian Gonzalez, who shared several classes with Ms. Giraud. “It doesn’t surprise me at all that she’s getting all this attention for being so stupid. I see her on the news and her tattoos look so bad and shit, you know?”
After high school, Ms. Giraud’s downward cycle continued with two failed marriages, a felony assault conviction and three children born out-of-wedlock. This systematic failure-at-life, she claims, is her motivation for making everyone around her as miserable as possible at all times. “Fuck everyone,” she said. “This is about me, and I can do whatever the fuck I want.”
“People like her fall into similar patterns of behavior when they use our transit system,” said Mr. Sperte. “It’s definitely not a good thing. When you see someone like this blocking the entire left side of an escalator, they’re likely making excessive noise as well, and when they get off the escalator, there’s a good chance they’ll inexplicably stop, inconveniencing New Yorkers behind them.”THE SOLUTIONLESS PROBLEM
Residents like Ms. Giraud, says Mr. Sapienza, are the rule, rather than the exception. “Short of grabbing these fucking idiots by the back of the collar and hauling them off the fucking escalator,” he said, “there’s nothing we can fucking do about it, and it’s a shame. They’re everywhere.”
The problem, according to Mr. Sperte, is the intimidation factor elicited by these subterranean malcontents. “Here’s the thing,” he said. “You have some stupid, lazy, fat fuck who won’t get out of your way, but the only real means they have to defend themselves against you is to yell at you and hope you get frightened and back down, but let’s be honest here. The average stupid, lazy, fat fuck on the subway does not have the physical wherewithal to engage in an altercation with anyone. They’re simply not in good enough shape. They drink, they smoke, and they eat fucking Taco Bell six times a day. How fucking long do you think they can last in a fight before their hearts explode?”
Mr. Sapienza agrees. “I work with my hands every day, all day long,” he said. “You don’t have a job? You don’t do nothing physical? Get in my way and I’ll slap you in the back of the fucking head. Boom, right in the back of your fucking head. Do something. You can’t.”
None of this, however, seems to register with Ms. Giraud, who pledges to continue doing her part to both delay the flow of progress and irritate every commuter within a hundred yard radius. “This isn’t about those people getting to work,” she said. “It’s about me letting the whole world know that I do whatever the fuck I want to. I already told you that.”