And other times, they are set up with a folding table doing random bag searches. New Yorkers, you know the ones, "Backpacks and other large containers are subject to search, if you see something say something" style.
Do, do, do, walking through Penn Station to my train (through the somewhat secret passage that I just recently discovered, more on that later) do, do, do. "Miss, please walk over to the table," said the NYPD (cutie) officer. "Who, me?"
So to the folding table I walked. Looked at the NYPD officers (less cutie, more elderly, but still relatively imposing) smiled, and put my bags on the table. I thought they were going to look through them, but instead two of the three men started wiping my bags with what looked like tiny hand wipes.
The oldest gentleman looked at me and said "Thank you for cooperating, you were selected at random. Do you know what we're searching for?"
In my head I thought "You must be searching for a BOMB since you are wiping my bag CSI style, but I don't want to say a bomb because does that make me look suspicious in my dress pants and Crocs? Also, I don't want to say a bomb, because that is terrifying." So I said "Drugs?"
"Nope," cop man says. "Everyone in New York has drugs. Try again". And I think to myself "GEEZ sir, I am just trying to catch the 5:36 train, I do not want to play the What are you looking for on/in my bag game because it is making me nervous WHY ARE YOU EVEN CHECKING BAGS DO YOU KNOW SOMETHING I DON'T KNOW?" But instead I said "Ummm knives?"
"Nope," cop man says. "Everyone in New York has knives...try again".
To which I replied "Well then, I am doubly behind the New York trend because I have neither drugs nor a knife, so..."
And this point, I just could not take it so I laughed and looked at him with a look that said "Sir, for serious I DO NOT WANT TO SAY A BOMB BECAUSE IT MAKES ME NERVOUS FOR A MYRIAD OF REASONS AND I JUST WANT TO MAKE MY TRAIN!"
"Explosives!" he excaimed. "We are looking for explosives. But it looks like you have nothing explosive, except for your good looks and your charming personality. Have a great evening!"
Thanks, NYPD. You too!