Although it was constructed in 1536, the New York subway system boasts an annual maintenance budget of nearly $8, currently stolen, and it does a remarkable job of getting New Yorkers from Point A to an indeterminate location somewhere in the tunnel leading to Point B. It's also very easy for the "out-of-towner" to use, thanks to the logical, easy-to-understand system of naming trains after famous letters and numbers. For directions, all you have to do is peer up through the steaming gloom at the informative signs, which look like this:
|A 5 N 7 8 C 6 AA MID-DOWNTOWN 7⅜|
|EXPRESS LOCAL ONLY LL 67 ♦|
|DDD 4 ♠ 1 K ☆ AAAA 9 ONLY|
|EXCEPT CERTAIN DAYS BB KK 3|
|MIDWAY THROUGH TOWN 1 7 D|
|WALK REAL FAST AAAAAAAAA 56|
|LOCALIZED EXPRESS -6|
If for some reason you are unsure where to go, all you have to do is stand there looking lost, and within seconds a helpful New Yorker will approach to see if you have any "spare" change.
—Dave Barry, "Can New York Save Itself?"