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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Commuting 101, Riding the Train, Bus, Subway, Rail, & Metro


By Jason Robicheau

Warning: this list may offend you. Please don't read if you haven't got a sense of humor or can't appreciate angry tirades.

1. The Wedge

We all know this one. You can see them coming a mile away as the train pulls into the stop. They waddle in their muumuu over to the doors and into the train, wheezing and hawing, out of breath. You know exactly where they’re headed; right into the empty seat next to your own. You know those plastic luggage holders in the airport, used to ensure your carry-on meets the overhear requirements? I think we need those for chub-chub’s too. Repeat after me: If the seat don’t fit, you must not sit. It’s awful to experience someone’s rolls pushing against and over-spilling into your seat, compressing you into the next passenger. These McFatties are always the one’s to complain too when they’re charged double-fare for flights. What makes you think the subway should be any different? No one wants you to wedge your disgusting self into a seat that’s made for the normies. Don’t like it? Stand up for 10 minutes, at least that might burn 6 or 7 calories while the rest of us can ride in comfort.

2. The Cell Phone User

As if this person needs any introduction either. Yap, yap yap, all the way into the tunnel, where they suddenly get this perplexed look on themselves, as if they never realized you can’t make calls underneath 50ft. of concrete and pipes. Hello, asshole! Can you hear me now? We don’t want to hear your conversation any more than we want to talk with you. Have something important to discuss? Fine, keep your fucking voice down or get off at the next station. Yeah, the train is noisy … it’s a goddamn subway car! That doesn’t mean you can attempt to talk over it, which you can’t do anyways.

3. The Pushy Old Lady

I get it, you’re old and you feel entitled. You’ve lived on this Earth for millennia and now you want to sit down and rest your tired bones for a few minutes. I appreciate that and will gladly give up my seat to those who are in need. But when you push and shove your way into the front of the subway door entrance, elbows flying like a rugby pro from Manchester, I feel no empathy for you or your precambrian brethren. I love my grandma, but I’d tell her the same thing too. Show some manners or eat a spoonful of castor oil and get lost.

4. Children

Ahh, yes the screaming child. Who doesn’t love those? I’m not a breeder, so I’m sure some parents will cry foul on this one. You know what? I don’t care. Keep your annoying child in their seat, don’t give them liquids that will spill all over other people, and learn to discipline the rugrat. Oh, and leashes work too. I really like those. If all else fails, take a taxi or shove a pacifier in their mouth. Remember that old saying? Children should be seen and not heard.

5. The Bum

“Hey buddy, can you spare some change?” When this happens, you invariably catch a whiff of Listerine or Mad Dog 20/20 on their breath, and your own BAC just went up a notch thanks to them. You occasionally find them sprawled out across the seats on the Orange Line, sound asleep in their moving apartments, resting off the past months binder. Be forewarned, Homo Misellus will usually mark their territory by urinating in the corner of most subway cars or leave their shopping cart of possessions in a nearby place. Thankfully the Homo Sapiens has adapted an acute sense of smell to avoid these areas.

6. The Loud Conductor

When the speaker in the subway car blasts announcements at over 200 dB, human hearing can easily become damaged. I partially blame the MBTA on this one, but the loud-ass conductor shouting at everyone to step away from the platform certainly doesn’t help things much either. I’d like to take a baseball bat to the side of their head as it hangs out their window sometimes because of this. You know it’s bad when you can hear them through your headphones, resonating at the base of the skull. I smell a lawsuit on this one eventually.

7. Monkey in the Middle

Who hasn’t been the unfortunate victim of getting stuck in between two people conversing over you? I ain’t Casper the Fucking Ghost, so stop talking through me and show some respect to a fellow passenger. Perhaps you should swap seats with me so I don’t have to be party to your recap of last night’s team huddle or yesterdays episode of Guiding Light.

8. Mr. Headphones

This guy blares his headphones with a reckless audio level that would scare even the loud train conductor. You’ll hear the cheesy techno-beats through those oversized Bose headphones and wonder how the hell it all sounds so crisp and clear … nah, you’ll just want to rip ‘em off and bash the fucking iPod into his skull to the same beat as that DJ What’s-his-face that’s now stuck in your head for the day’s remainder. Please, for the sake of your fellow passengers (and your hearing) turn down the volume a bit. Mmm-kay?

9. The Tourists

I guess living in Boston you simply need to get used to these people. Hemming and hawing over the buildings, sights, etc. Always taking pictures, wearing those cheap-o Boston sweatshirts, wondering where they can find Cheers. I suppose it could be worse. Being a former citizen of Salem, I think Boston has it easy. Enough said here on tourists. They help support our economy, so I guess they ain’t too bad. Just stay the Hell out of my way and pay attention. People in Boston walk fast and have no patience for idiots. Fucking peepers.

10. The Hoodlums and Punks

One of the marks of adulthood is the transition to one who despises this riffraff. The homeys, hooligans, ghetto filth, and rabble-rousers, all of them are contributing factors to a shitty time using public transportation. These guys are usually characterized by the saggy pants, bad attitudes, 5th grade graffiti, and a look of contempt that requires a slap upside the head. If I ever require the use of a cane, I will be sure to use this for lads such as them.

11. The Drunk Sports Fan

Woo-hoo, go Redsox/Celtics/Bruins/etc. We get it, you love sports and you love booze. Those two don’t always mix well, though. Case in point: The Green Line. Anyone who rides it knows what I’m talking about. These asshats and their testosterone levels and belly full of beer can only lead to a miserable time on the train home. Packed like a sardine can, the train now becomes a roving sport bar … oh, and watch out for the projectile vomit.

12. The Smelly One / Tuna Breath

One word: Toothpaste. Another word: Deodorant. Want some more? Use less perfume and cologne. We don’t need to smell the Drakkar Noir or Axe that you tried to mask your B.O. with when there’s already an assault on the senses everywhere else. Remember, a little dab’ll do ya!

13. The Groper

This one goes out to all the ladies in the house. Although rare for men to get groped, there was this one time a little old Asian lady pulled a cockgrab on me, though for the most part, it’s the women who have to worry. Props to the signs on the MBTA cars and their efforts to nip this one in the bud. I myself have seen a creep or two cop a feel or pull the “oops, I tripped into your tits” trick, and I have only the deepest sympathy for the victims here. Kick the pedo in the balls. We won’t say anything.

14. The Lingering Stare

Some women refer to this guy as the Eye Rapist. But it’s not always about checking you out. Sometimes it’s just some sketchy MoFo grilling you for the entire ride. Maybe he’s got a crazy eye, botched lobotomy, or got the hots for you. Maybe be wants to pick a fight, or thinks you’re his long-lost high school buddy. Frankly, I don’t care. Put on some sunglasses if you like to play amateur sociologist. At least that will bring down the creep-o-meter in our guts.

15. The Suit / Crackberry Addict

This turd in his three-thousand dollar suit should come as no surprise to anyone when he walks into you because he’s too busy typing an email on his Blackbery to notice. The air fills with a sense of superiority when this guy enters the train car. He’s all business, and can generally be a nice guy who keeps to himself … just be sure to stay out of his way or carry a cell phone jammer.