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9 Ball Girl
04-10-2003, 01:59 PM
BTW I purchased two tokens yesterday to save for posterity....

This article from NYTimes.com
Token Suckers....
you can't make this stuff up

A Disgusting Practice Vanishes With the Token

April 8, 2003
By RANDY KENNEDY

In five days, when the last New York City subway token
slides through the slot of the last booth to sell them, few
people will notice and fewer will care. There will be no
official ceremony to mark the passing. If there is music in
the background, it will not be taps; it will be the
bleating song that turnstiles sing to valid MetroCards.

But off in a corner, hidden in the shadows where things
begin to smell bad, at least a few observers will notice
and care quite a lot. They belong to a sad and desperate
breed of criminal that has been in decline for a long time,
one that will soon become as irrelevant as bootleggers and
horse thieves.

Officially, the crime is classified as theft of Transit
Authority property. But among transit police officers it is
more accurately and less delicately known as token sucking.
Unfortunately for everyone involved, it is exactly what it
sounds like.

The criminal carefully jams the token slot with a matchbook
or a gum wrapper and waits for a would-be rider to plunk a
token down. The token plunker bangs against the locked
turnstile and walks away in frustration. Then from the
shadows, the token sucker appears like a vampire, quickly
sealing his lips over the token slot, inhaling powerfully
and producing his prize: a $1.50 token, hard earned and
obviously badly needed.

Even among officers who had seen it all, it was widely
considered the most disgusting nonviolent crime ever to
visit the subway.

"It gave you the willies," said Brendan J. McGarry, a
veteran transit police officer. "We've had cases every so
often, these guys would end up choking and swallowing the
tokens. Then what do you do? You've got to wait for the
evidence to come out?"

In truth, most token suckers usually had enough evidence
already in their pockets to warrant locking them up - some
of the most dedicated were able to extract more than $50
worth of tokens a day. And deterrence, when dealing with
someone willing to clamp his mouth to one of the most
public surfaces in all of New York City, was next to
impossible.

"These guys were on their last legs," Officer McGarry said.
"If they were going to jail, it was just an inconvenience
for them." (In an interview with a reporter for The Los
Angeles Times in the early 1990's, one token sucker
acknowledged the depths of his desperation. "Hard times
makes you do it," he explained, adding: "Anyways, I've
kissed women that's worse.")

Eddie Cassar, a retired transit officer, recalled making
his first token-sucker arrests in the late 1970's, and by
the time he retired in 1982, there was already a dedicated
corps of inhalers, mostly teenagers and homeless men,
working the station at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue. By
1989, with the rise of the crack trade, token sucking
reached almost unbelievable proportions.

During a typical summer week, repair crews were sent on
1,779 calls to fix turnstiles in a system that had 2,897
turnstiles in all. More than 60 percent of the calls
involved paper stuffed into the token slots. (A related
subway crime involved people who disabled the turnstiles
and charged riders cut-rate fees to enter through the
gates, to which they had stolen keys. These criminals,
somewhat higher on the social ladder than token suckers,
were known affectionately as trolls.)

Occasionally, methods other than incarceration were
employed to dissuade the suckers. Token booth clerks were
known to sprinkle chili powder into the token slots most
often jammed. Some officers resorted to spraying a small
amount of Mace around the regular slots and keeping an eye
out for the usual suspects. The ones with bright red lips
were then arrested.

By the time the MetroCard was introduced in the mid-1990's,
token suckers could sense the beginning of the end. But
Officer McGarry said that even the introduction of advanced
new turnstiles did little more than thin their ranks. By
the late 1990's, he said, he was on a first-name basis with
many of the sad token holdouts, who would probably never
adapt to MetroCard crimes.

"It was almost like having some kind of rapport with these
guys," he said. There was one tall, thin homeless man, he
said, who was even pleasant about the whole process. "He'd
say, `Hi, Mac,' when I caught him. And I'd say `Hi' back,
and he'd just walk up to me like a poodle, and I'd tell him
to turn around and put his arms behind his back."

Lately, he said, he spots only three old-time token suckers
around the Midtown area and only one who is still known to
be at it occasionally. But Officer McGarry can't even
remember the last time he locked the man up. In the end, he
said, technology may have killed the token sucker. But the
crime itself did a pretty good job.

"These guys had a lot of various diseases," he said. "You
name it, they had it. You don't last too long in that line
of work."

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/08/nyregion/08TUNN.html?ex=1050857703&ei=1&en=97b3f2894a33b9d3

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Compa

SpiderMan
04-10-2003, 02:17 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote 9 Ball Girl:</font><hr> BTW I purchased two tokens yesterday to save for posterity....

"It gave you the willies," said Brendan J. McGarry, a
veteran transit police officer. "We've had cases every so
often, these guys would end up choking and swallowing the
tokens. Then what do you do? You've got to wait for the
evidence to come out?" <hr /></blockquote>

Hey NBG,

Wonder if those tokens you purchased have been through the entire "chain of evidence"? /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

SpiderMan

9 Ball Girl
04-10-2003, 06:03 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> Hey NBG,

Wonder if those tokens you purchased have been through the entire "chain of evidence"? /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

Ok, like, yuck! Ew! http://www.smilies.org/basesmilies3/Wow1.gif

Rod
04-10-2003, 09:40 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote 9 Ball Girl:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> Hey NBG,

Wonder if those tokens you purchased have been through the entire "chain of evidence"? /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

Ok, like, yuck! Ew! http://www.smilies.org/basesmilies3/Wow1.gif <hr /></blockquote>

Never heard of token suckers. I guess there is more than one type of sucker born every minute! /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif I guess looking at a token takes on a new meaning now, knowing where it could have been. Wash hands after handling. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

TomBrooklyn
04-10-2003, 10:06 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr>I guess there is more than one type of sucker born every minute! <hr /></blockquote>Ha ha.

I've heard that the human mouth has more germs in it than just about any other place in the world. So handling a token might not be bad in comparison to say kissing someone, especially a French kiss, unless, I guess, your kissing a Token Sucker.

fast_eddie_B
04-11-2003, 02:25 AM
<hr /></blockquote>Ha ha.

I've heard that the human mouth has more germs in it than just about any other place in the world. So handling a token is really not that bad in comparison to say kissing someone, especially a French kiss, unless, I guess, your passionately making out with a Token Sucker.
<hr /></blockquote>
Actually I believe the hands contain more germs on an average than your mouth does, so sucking on fingers is really worse then suckin face with a girl, enless of course the girl just washed her hands. I mean think about, do you think your girl would want to suck on your hands after you just come home from the pool hall with all that chalk on it and stuff. Enless you are one of the few guys who actually washes his hands after pool and other stuff which i will not mention.
fast_eddie_B

CarolNYC
04-11-2003, 04:48 AM
Wendy,
Unbelievable! Here comes new job openings-turnstile inspectors!Heres a good one for you-standing outside the Amsterdam last evening, a young man comes up to me and asks for a quarter for a phone call,well,his girlfriend next to him was scratching off a 10 dollar lottery ticket-a ten dollar scratchoff and he needs a quarter-unreal!And if ANYONE visits NY and smokes,DO NOT carry your pack openly because someone,somewhere at sometime will come up to you and say"Can I have a cigarette?" Should you say "No!" they give YOU ATTITUDE as if YOU have a problem,ha ha ha ha
Carol~Good Gracious!

CarolNYC
04-11-2003, 04:54 AM
Wendy, Use your tokens quick-just heard the news-price went up from 1.50 to 2.00!They'll be extinct!
Carol

Wally_in_Cincy
04-11-2003, 06:28 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote CarolNYC:</font><hr>....standing outside the Amsterdam last evening, a young man comes up to me and asks for a quarter for a phone call,........... <hr /></blockquote>

Only a quarter? /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

He was probably a strapping young feller perfectly capable of earning a living.

Interesting. An unintended consequence of the anti-smoking law. More smokers on the sidewalk = more opportunities to get harassed by panhandlers. Bummer.

Wally~~despises panhandlers

CarolNYC
04-11-2003, 06:44 AM
Hi Wally,
How are you? Would you like to know something very interesting and positive? Those large silver ashtray cans outside of poolhalls,restaurants,etc........HAVE NOT BEEN STOLEN!YET!Uh-oh!
Stay well!
Carol:)

Ralph S.
04-11-2003, 08:42 AM
Only in the big city. LOL.

9 Ball Girl
04-11-2003, 08:54 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote CarolNYC:</font><hr> someone,somewhere at sometime will come up to you and say"Can I have a cigarette?" Should you say "No!" they give YOU ATTITUDE as if YOU have a problem,ha ha ha ha
Carol~Good Gracious! <hr /></blockquote>

When I used to smoke and someone would ask me for a cig, I would charge them! And that was back when packs were going for $2.20.!!

9 Ball Girl
04-11-2003, 08:55 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote CarolNYC:</font><hr> Wendy, Use your tokens quick-just heard the news-price went up from 1.50 to 2.00!They'll be extinct!
Carol <hr /></blockquote>

I'm a Metrocard user. I actually bought the tokens as a keepsake. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

9 Ball Girl
04-11-2003, 08:57 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote fast_eddie_B:</font><hr>Actually I believe the hands contain more germs on an average than your mouth does, so sucking on fingers is really worse then suckin face with a girl, enless of course the girl just washed her hands. I mean think about, do you think your girl would want to suck on your hands after you just come home from the pool hall with all that chalk on it and stuff. Enless you are one of the few guys who actually washes his hands after pool and other stuff which i will not mention.
fast_eddie_B <hr /></blockquote>

I'm beginning to think that these "Token Suckers" are the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

TomBrooklyn
04-11-2003, 01:45 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> more opportunities to get harassed by panhandlers. Bummer.<hr /></blockquote>Sometimes, if I saw a panhandler approaching me, before he could say anything, I would say to him "Hey pal, can you spare any change" or "I lost my wallet, can you help me out with a few dollars and I'll mail the money back to you."

This has to be said sincerely with the look of a supplicant. Interestingly, this almost always works like a charm. Some panhandlers move off like you have the plague, others offer sympathy and tell you they know how it is. I've had a few even give me a quarter or two. Don't forget to thank them kindly as you move on.

SpiderMan
04-11-2003, 02:10 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote TomBrooklyn:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> more opportunities to get harassed by panhandlers. Bummer.<hr /></blockquote>Sometimes, if I saw a panhandler approaching me, before he could say anything, I would say to him "Hey pal, can you spare any change" or "I lost my wallet, can you help me out with a few dollars and I'll mail the money back to you."

This has to be said sincerely with the look of a supplicant. Interestingly, this almost always works like a charm. Some panhandlers move off like you have the plague, others offer sympathy and tell you they know how it is. I've had a few even give me a quarter or two. Don't forget to thank them kindly as you move on. <hr /></blockquote>

I was on the bowling team in high school, and for a while we had a plague of panhandlers coming through the bowling alley every evening. They'd approach you, thrust a business card into your hand, then grunt, pant, and gesture until you read it. It said "I am a deaf mute, I support myself by selling this card, please donate, etc".

Finally I got myself one of those cards so that instead of holding out my hand to take theirs, I could wave mine at them and grunt/pant/gesture in self-defense. If they were all really deaf mutes, I suppose I'll go to hell for mocking them.

SpiderMan

9 Ball Girl
04-11-2003, 02:19 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote TomBrooklyn:</font><hr> Sometimes, if I saw a panhandler approaching me, before he could say anything, I would say to him "Hey pal, can you spare any change" or "I lost my wallet, can you help me out with a few dollars and I'll mail the money back to you." <hr /></blockquote>

I had this one panhandler ask me with an attitude for spare change. I told him, "I'm sorry, I don't have my spare wallet." /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr>I was on the bowling team in high school, and for a while we had a plague of panhandlers coming through the bowling alley every evening. They'd approach you, thrust a business card into your hand, then grunt, pant, and gesture until you read it. It said "I am a deaf mute, I support myself by selling this card, please donate, etc".

Finally I got myself one of those cards so that instead of holding out my hand to take theirs, I could wave mine at them and grunt/pant/gesture in self-defense. If they were all really deaf mutes, I suppose I'll go to hell for mocking them. SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

I was on the train with my Mom once. This guy walks in, dark sunglasses, cup in hand, asking for change. He was "blind". Well, as he's "hearing" the change fall in his cup, he says, "Thank you, God Bless You". When he gets to me and my Mom, I dropped the change in and to us he says, "Gracias, que Dios te Bendigas". Now how in the hell did he know we were Hispanic! Blind my a$$... /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif