Quick Question

by Marinka on July 2, 2012

Hey, quick question for you.

Do you understand how this whole child trafficking thing works?

The actual logistics. Getting kids from point A to point B?

I ask, ha ha, not because I’m interested in child trafficking, but because a few weeks ago I had a birthday party for my turning-11-years-old son and I couldn’t figure out how to transport 12 ten to eleven year old boys a mile in the middle of Manhattan and I thought that maybe I could learn from these criminal masterminds. I mean the child traffickers, not my son’s friends.

Don’t even ask me why I had a party for so many children. I do it every year on the last day of school and every year I think I’m never doing this shit again, but then the next year I do it again, thinking well, they’re older now, and these are the precious moments with my son that I’ll remember forever, except precious moments is in sarcasm font. But whatever, the party was planned, I had to pick up these boys from school and drag them over to the comic book store, where they would have a Magic tournament. And if you don’t know from Magic Tournament, just go ahead and enjoy your life and stop gloating.

So I’m planning this in my head and then suddenly I realize, how the hell am I going to get these boys over to the Magic Tournament place? And after weighing all the options from walking a mile to renting a medium-sized helicopter, I settled for public transportation. Because it’s cheap and fast, like me.

But if there’s one thing I know about NYC’s public transportation and the MetroCard that it requires to gain entry is that you can’t swipe the Metro Card more than four times for a single trip. I don’t know if this is our Mayor’s idea or what fresh hell it is, I think if I want to load up my MetroCard and spend my fortune swiping everyone in NYC through the turnstiles, that’s my right. But thanks to Obamacare, the swipe limit is four. And since there are twelve kids, you see my problem. I’m nothing if not a problem solver, so I decided to buy multiple MetroCards.

Except after I bought two Metro Cards, the MetroCard machine refused to sell me any more. See, this is what happens when you elect a President before seeing his long form birth certificate. Fascism in the subway.

I’m guessing they limited the number of MetroCards you can buy at one time to two because they wanted to make sure to drive me absolutely insane, or prevent people using stolen credit cards as some kind of get rich on MetroCards scheme. Which is insane, because of all the things I’d do with a stolen credit card, buying a MetroCard isn’t in the top 245. What, don’t look at me like you don’t have a list of what you’d do with a stolen credit card, you lying Mother Teresa.

So I did what any normal person would do. I took out a different “Emergency Only” credit card to buy some more MetroCards. I know I only needed one more, but I couldn’t stop. So I bought two. Because that’s the limit.

But the whole experience left me completely exhausted and at that point I hadn’t even picked up the boys yet. And, spoiler alert, things didn’t get more relaxing for me once I did pick them up. Trust me on this.

Which got me thinking. How do the traffickers do it? Do they have some kind of a magic MetroCard? Because I’m thinking you have to be some kind of a criminal mastermind to figure this shit out.

One year ago ...

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Jodi July 2, 2012 at 8:42 am


And, I don’t think they traffic more than one kid at a time. They may be criminals, but they’re not masochists.


Karyn Climans July 2, 2012 at 8:54 am

All moms deserve a medal for the multi-tasking lifestyle they live every day!


Jannie July 2, 2012 at 9:25 am

THIS is why you can’t label yourself in a particular blogging genre (is there such a thing?). Anyone who can combine child trafficking, MetroCards, and Magic Tournaments in one blog cannot be classified! Job well done!


Mexmom July 2, 2012 at 10:18 am

I think they don’t want child trafficking to happen in public transportation so they limit the Metro cards swipes and purchases, well either that or like Jodi said, they do it one kid at a time.


Megan July 2, 2012 at 11:06 am

I feel your pain. A couple of weeks ago we were in Washington, DC and were using the Metro to get around. We bought three cards (one for each of us) and added on more money as needed. You could buy the three cards together, but you could only add on to one card at a time. And when I did that more than twice, my card was rejected and I had to use another card for the flipping $3.

It’s like they don’t even WANT the money.


msLaura July 2, 2012 at 11:42 am

Why didn’t you just walk? Seriously, a mile? We walked 125 2nd and 3rd graders a mile and a half to the local park and back for a party a few weeks back, 12 eleven yos sounds like it would be a breeze, especially in Manhattan. No Metro cards, no expense, and they get to burn off some energy on the way.


Marinka July 2, 2012 at 11:47 am

WALK? you mean like with feet?!?


annie July 2, 2012 at 11:43 am

so why didn’t you walk??


Marinka July 2, 2012 at 11:48 am

like animals?!


the mama bird diaries
July 3, 2012 at 12:56 pm

I’m with Annie. Why didn’t you walk?!


Mom of A and a July 2, 2012 at 12:05 pm

This whole desire of yours of wanting to have a birthday party with12 tweens makes me feel that there is no hope of your having a career in child trafficking!


Mocha July 2, 2012 at 12:09 pm

They have white vans, don’t you know. With no plates and tiny little handcuffs for the wee ones as they swing around in the back of it while making their getaway. If you need one, I know a guy.


Fairly Odd Mother
July 2, 2012 at 12:16 pm

I think that traffickers either A) hide the kids under their shirts or B) in suitcases. You should’ve tried a very large trunk with wheels. I’m sure that many young boys wouldn’t make too much noise.

And, your reply to the “just walk” comment made me spit-laugh. But, it got me thinking—get one of those preschool leashes that all the kids hold onto and then just walk the boys there next time. Problem solved!


Jennifer July 2, 2012 at 1:18 pm

I’m thinking they just store them in the back of those big trucks. The criminals probably aren’t so interested in transporting them in a healthy manner.

Question: Did you get a long rope and make all of them hold on like they do with the preschoolers? Because that would have been hilarious.


Margie July 2, 2012 at 1:39 pm

@msLaura…HAVE you ever tried walking that many preteens??? The are obnoxious, and stupid at this age. Third graders (and younger) can still be scared into submission by “stranger danger”, or the threat of not getting a prize. Pre-teen boys…ehhh..not so much! I am with you Marinka, get them there as FAST as you can. You are a brave woman to take on a gaggle of that size!


July 2, 2012 at 2:40 pm

You mean, you didn’t get offered one of those huge ass GM’s that all the bloggers have been Tweeting & Instagraming about? Or are you just not into sponsored kids parties (yet)?


Deborah J July 3, 2012 at 12:17 am

Here we have Go Cards…which are registered for use by 1 person.
So, in my world, suburban australia, you would have had to go out on the street and steal another 10 credit cards.
…or buy tickets. Can you not do that?

I’d better stay here, NY sounds confusing.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes July 3, 2012 at 7:51 am

I’ll ask my husband. He is a lawyer, he is bound to have connections…


Carinn @welcometothemotherhood
July 3, 2012 at 9:29 am

I’m seriously concerned about these comments that suggest WALKING. Are these people your friends? I think you need to have a heart to heart with them about some solutions to, you know, them LOSING THEIR MINDS. Shock therapy worked great for that Rory chick on Mad Men. Please help them.


Alexandra July 3, 2012 at 10:39 am

You are the mastermind.


You make me laugh.

So much for ‘quick question..” Best Intro Ever.


Loukia July 3, 2012 at 1:05 pm

I know exactly why you didn’t walk. It’s hard enough trying to keep ONE kid from getting run over in crazy NYC traffic, but 12? BOYS? Impossible!


July 3, 2012 at 2:44 pm

In Texas, we just put them all on the same horse.


July 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm

LOL. No, I would not buy a metrocard either. Though if you want to steal someones credit card for your future metrocard purchases I hear there’s a twitter account that collects credit card numbers ripe for stealing!


The Mommy Therapy
July 3, 2012 at 4:21 pm

I was just watching reruns of Sex and The City, because for some reason it seemed like a good idea with my 6 and 4 year old playing cars nearby, and that russian guy and Carrie had a sled in Central Park. Did you investigate sled options? I bet you can just pile boys in there…some could even ride on the horse. Next year.

I think child traffickers use large converstion vans, isn’t that where all bad things happen to kids?


jamiet3 July 3, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Ok Marinka, your search for your writing style is over. Whatever this was right here- be it humour, mommy, or some new hybrid this is it. I feel a little dizzy and slightly hysterical. Thank you!


July 4, 2012 at 12:26 am

Everyone knows they take the duck tour. It is the best way to go around the city.


anna see July 5, 2012 at 9:58 am

yeah, you are a lot nicer than i am. currently figuring out how to NOT have a bday party for M. would an i-pad be too extravagant a bribe/present?


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