Tagger by Don Groble
Tagger is on a busy subway train. It's full, the afternoon commute out of the city, with weary, end of the day commuters minding their own business. From the opposite end of the car, a clearly deranged fellow stands up and announces, "I hate Jews! I hate'em, and if I meet one, I'll kill'em! So whad'er you folks gonna do about it? Huh?" He is met with stony silence, the mood of the crowd is now visibly tense. Tagger, who is not Jewish, thinks for a moment, compelled to respond, he replies, "How about tell you to sit down and shut up!" The deranged fellow responds, "Oh yeah, well, I'll kill you first!" and charges through crowd toward Tagger. Tagger feels the color leave his face, he's scared now, braces his body. The train is approaching the next station. The sound of women's screams and gasps are heard. As the train hits the brakes, a short stocky, well built man stands up behind the passing charging fellow, grabs him by the back of his collar and his belt loops, lifts him off the ground, and as the doors open at the station, throws him bodily off the train. He lands in a heap on the platform, in shock. As he lifts himself to go back at the train, the doors of the train close, and the train moves forward. He shakes his fist at tagger through the windows of the door. Tagger thanks the short man, relieved. The crowd applauds. Tagger paints the scene of the fellow as he is being tossed.