A popular story about Alfred Hitchcock: if he found himself in a crowded elevator with a companion, he would maintain the usual elevator silence, and then, as they reached their floor and began to leave, he would turn to his friend and say, just loudly enough to be heard, "I never imagined he'd have so much blood in him," or some variation.

Inspired by this, I have cultivated the habit, when leaving the subway car earlier than one of my bandmates (which occurs at least twice weekly), of calling back over my shoulder to him, as the doors close, any of the following:

  • "Next time, we'll wash the goat first!"
  • "Make sure you get those sores checked out!"
  • "Don't forget to feed the, ah... special guest!"
  • "From now on, you have to bring your own bucket!"
  • "Don't worry about the choking, all it takes is practice!"
  • "Remember, it's your turn to clean up the seats afterwards!"
  • "I'm sure all six of us can lift him, probably!"
  • "Good job on that bone scraping!"

...and, one of my favorites...

  • "I'm very confident that God is on our side, and will forgive us!"

You get the idea. Strangely, although the same friend is almost always my target, he has never attempted to exact revenge or pre-empt my inevitable attacks.

Not yet, anyway.