frankly speaking

| 02 May 2016 | 02:17


Frank arithmetic, one deal at a time — The coupon’s the thing at Burger King. Check it out. You’ll find the full-size coupon sheets as inserts in newspapers. In bunches on doorsteps of mostly walk-up buildings in Yorkville. And at other such housing in NY. Perhaps in other locations. Interesting marketing going on. Value for sure. I mean where — or how — can you get a burger and two small fries for $3? Or a double cheeseburger for $3.99? Or chicken nuggets for $3? You can’t without a BK coupon. Check it out if your menu choices allow. And don’t think that the BK marketers who make up each meal deal aren’t figuring it out and making changes all the time depending on sales or just plain old math. April coupons included a deal for BK’s frankfurters which were added to the menu in February. Without a coupon, a frank with mustard, onions, relish is $2.49. With a coupon, in April, you got two franks plus two small fries for $5. In May, with a coupon, you got two franks plus a large fries for $4. Saved a buck. Gained a large fries. Lost two small fries. It’s all in the math. If you buy fries a la carte at BK, it’s $1.79 for small fries, $2.29 for medium fries, $2.79 large fries. Oh, fyi, BK franks are grilled. Like at Papaya’s. Not like those dirty water boiled Sabrett franks (I think it’s still Sabrett) which are a dirty little secret for some of us. Prices for franks at BK’s, Papaya’s, street vendors are in the $2-$3 range. All the franks make the grade. But the deal’s at Burger King.

Hybrid bus stops — Some bus stops are for one bus line only. Some bus stops are for several lines. Think the M102, 103 on Lex. Or Q32, M5, M3 along parts of Fifth. At Select bus stops you must pay outside the bus and make sure you keep the receipt for the entire ride. Other bus stops are for local stops only. You pay cash or with a MetroCard. And then you have the bus stop at 92nd and York which is for M31 and M86 buses. The M31 travels York Ave from 92nd to 57th, then turns to go across town. M86 travels York Ave to 86th then turns to go across town. M86 is a Select bus. M31 is for local stops. Ok, so far. Although a bus-only New Yorker, I didn’t know the rules and regs for getting on at a hybrid bus stop. Didn’t know or think through that the M31 and the M86 had different requirements for getting on the bus. If I had to think about it when I wasn’t going to get on the bus, I might realize the difference in how you pay for the privilege of being verbally abused by the bus driver who wouldn’t let a rider on the M31 bus because he paid his fare at the M86 fare box instead of at the M31 box and had a receipt instead of a MetroCard or cash and wanted a transfer. Give me a break. First of all, the fareboxes have large lettered instructions in Spanish and in English on different parts of the box. If you’re hurrying for the bus, you don’t have time to do a walk around the box to find out what to do in the language you understand. And second, the bus driver can just take the receipt, put it in a lockbox and turn it over at the end of the with the rest of the day’s take. Too simple, maybe. But it could avoid agita and angry exchanges.

Soup du bus — Lady with a brown paper bag leaving her job late morning. Gets on bus at First Ave in the 60’s. Bus not crowded. Some open seats at the front of the bus behind the driver’s seat. Lady with the bag sits in the middle seat with a lady with a cane seated right next to her. Cane lady is holding onto the side rail. Bag lady opens the bag and starts eating. First a bite of bread, then a bite of a hard-boiled egg. Then the soup. Hot soup. Then the a spoon. The bus is moving. Bag lady is trying to remove the cover from the plastic soup container. Cane lady wants to know, talking to no one in particular, “What’s wrong” with her, “hot soup on a bus with a spoon yet?” Between shakes and stops along the bus route, soup lady discards the spoon in the brown bag and begins sipping the soup. Making efforts not to splatter. Another rider chimes in, “There’s no eating on the bus.” “Not so. Not so, she can eat. The law changed.” “Soup?” screamed the cane lady. “Listen,” she said to the rider with the bad news, “This is not your business. I’m sitting here, not you. You want her to eat soup on the bus, go buy her lunch. Keep her away from me.” So there — a New York solution.

Enforcers — Traffic officer gets on the bus. Riders getting on the bus. Doors about to close. Sound of someone running toward the bus shouting, “Don’t go, don’t go.” The someone gets on the bus. Doesn’t pay a fare and walks toward the traffic officer reaching for her elbows. “Wait a minute,” warns the driver. “Leave your hands off her.” Running man assures the driver that he’s not going to be riding the bus. He just wants the traffic officer to do her job and ticket the car parked at the hydrant around the corner. That’s all. Traffic officer stayed. Running man left the bus. And the ride goes on.