Originally titled: My Best Story and inspired by @Nikki. The setting is around 2002 or 2003.
  1. I was on Long Island for business and had to stay over a weekend.
  2. Two friends came up to spend the weekend with me so we could explore New York City together. 🗽
  3. We took the train in from Long Island on Saturday. 🚅
    The trains were only running once every hour that day. This is an important detail for later.
  4. I love maps and directions so I was in charge of knowing how to get around the city and about how to get back to the hotel at the end of the day. 🗺
    Also, I'm the bossiest. I take charge.
  5. We spent ALL DAY walking around Manhattan. I was young and too intimidated by the subway system to figure out how it worked. 🚇
    I've since been back and mastered the subway experience.
  6. At some point I bought a suitcase off the street for $20 and then had to carry it with me the rest of the day.
    Like the tourist I was. I still have said suitcase.
  7. By the evening, we were tired. We started meandering downtown in the direction of Penn Station.
  8. Until I looked down at my watch and saw that the next train was leaving in 10 minutes. 🕙
    And you'll remember, from earlier in the story, that the trains only left once every hour.
  9. And we were about 5 blocks away from the train station.
  10. I yelled, "We're going to miss the train!" And took off running, holding my suitcase above my head. 🏃
    My friends reacted quickly and followed suit. They were not carrying large empty suitcases.
  11. We run until we get to the entrance to what I think is Penn Station, where the Long Island Railroad departs from.
  12. We run down the stairs.
  13. It is just a regular subway stop, not Penn Station.
  14. We run up the stairs.
  15. We circle the block, looking for the entrance to Penn Station.
  16. We run down another set of stairs.
  17. I realize that we've just run down the same stairs, into the same subway station, that we had previously run into.
  18. We run back up the stairs.
  19. We half circle the block and find the right set of stairs to take us into Penn Station.
  20. We run down those stairs.
  21. My friends are flying behind me.
  22. We have to run down several sets of stairs until we get to the departures board of the Long Island Railroad.
  23. I'm in the lead.
  24. I stop short in front of the departures board to check for our train.
  25. I pant heavily and say "We missed the train."
  26. Then I pass out.
  27. I wake up seconds later (though it feels like hours) on the floor of Penn Station with an empty suitcase on top of me and my two friends peering at me from above.
  28. Two cops walk over before I can even sit up. 👮👮
  29. I am immediately concerned that they think I'm drunk and that's why I passed out.
    I was a good kid with a healthy fear of the law who rarely drank alcohol, and so didn't know what it looks like to pass out from inebriation and that this did not look like that.
  30. The officers start asking questions.
  31. 👮: "Ma'am, have you had anything to eat today?"
  32. Me (kind of groggy and unaware of my surroundings except that I'm being interrogated by police): "Uhhhh.... I had a hot dog earlier." 🌭
  33. 👮: "That's all you've had to eat today? One hotdog?" 🌭
  34. Me: "No, before that I had another hot dog." 🌭
  35. 👮: "That's all you've had today? 2 hot dogs??" 🌭🌭
  36. Keep in mind this is like 10 pm.
  37. Me: "No, before that I had another hot dog." 🌭
  38. At this point, my friends break in with a coherent explanation of how we'd been running for the train and I had stopped abruptly. 👭
  39. The officers walk away.
  40. I look up at my friends, as I am hit by reality, and say "Guys? I've had four hot dogs today."🌭🌭🌭🌭
    In my defense, this was spread out over the course of the whole day and hot dogs from street vendors only cost $1 then. And I have little self restraint, apparently.
  41. And then we waited 55 minutes in a train station Baskin Robbins for the next train. 😕