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Battle Below the Ground

Brainstorm! I was taking the subway into work this morning (on-site work, not the usual stay-at-home-in-my-underwear work) when I was reminded of a good idea I had a while back. This one-armed harmonica player carrying a paper coffee cup filled with change entered from the back of the car, playing the same three bars of eerily perky music over and over again. After he passed, a chubby Asian guy hawking batteries and cheap plastic toys approached from the front of the car. No one was happy about any of this, even though some change was thrown in the cup and batteries were purchased.

OK, so here's the idea: subway Face-Off 2000! It would be a video game with two missions. You'd be some classic subway merchant or panhandler — the guy with no legs on the skateboard, the Asian battery guy, the woman with the sandwiches from the homeless shelter, the deranged lunatic, the doo-wop crew, the school-candy seller, the beligerent bum, the Islamic preacher with the incense and the big mouth, the break-dance troupe, the deaf guy with the sign-language cards, the one-armed harmonica player, the mother-son mariachi duo, etc. (I swear to god I have seen all of these, repeatedly) Anyway, you'd be one of these characters, and your mission would be to make it from one end of a ten-car subway to the other. Your goal would be to get as much money as possible from the exasperated or angry commuters and the terrified tourists. Your success would depend upon the desirability of your wares or the effectiveness/pitifulness of your schpiel. Along the way, though, you would also have to dodge the police and avoid pissing off any subway riders who might get in your face. The big challenge, though, would be the Face-Off: You enter a car from one side, and have to battle for dominance of the car with another panhandler/merchant who enters from the other. You naturally would run into a few of these on the whole train, as we all do. The two of you would have to battle to the death, probably with someone getting thrown onto the tracks. You win the battle with no points if you're doing OK but your opponent flees the train at a station.

OK, that’s my idea. You read it here first and I have the documentation, so don't try anything shady. Programmers, call me! Next time, I'll tell you about Poetry slam! and stage Mother showdown!

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