We make holes in teeth!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Rules of Commuting

There are certain rules that the commuter is supposed to adhere to. When I say "supposed to" I mean by definition of me. I make the rules. Anyone who rides on a train, bus, or subway will agree with my rules. They are few and very simple:

  1. Shut the fuck up.
  2. Walk in a straight line.

That's it. The 2 obvious violations of these rules are when people talk, and walk sideways. The talking one is obvious. When a train full of people is trudging towards the city (I would love to use the word "rocketing" here but the train almost never operates in such a manner), and the vast majority is either reading or sleeping, it should be pretty obvious to most people that common courtesy would dictate you shut your big fucking pie hole.

And for the most part this happens. But when you get a car full of 100 or more people, all it takes is one moron to ruin it for everyone. You might think that it takes 2 to tango, but it is certainly possible to talk on a train without disturbing everyone in a 30 foot radius. That's why you often seem to hear people talking to themselves on a train. The conversation partner has a freaking clue how to verbally communicate without letting the whole goddamn car know what you ate for dinner last night. Here's a clue: we don't care.

There are exceptions. The holidays, with the endless streams of kids, will be impossible to get around. How can you tell a kid to sit and stay quiet for an hour? You can't, so you either deal with it or wear headphones. If you want to read, chances are you're going to need a lot of concentration to get past the din of post-holiday-show children as you go home. Holiday children never take the 6:55 into the city. So only going home is a problem.

The other issue is walking, and this is why native New Yorkers hate everyone else. I'm not a native New Yorker, but I understand how to walk. All it takes is a week to see that you should walk the way you're facing, and look before you walk. The holiday season is the worst for this, especially at Penn Station when the vast majority of people seem to think that the way to walk is to look left, then blindly walk right. You may think I'm making this up. But spend 10 minutes in Penn Station near the holidays and you'll soon see what I mean.

But this is something that happens all the time in the subways - you just see it more in the holiday season. People will walk on the platform, then stop, blindly ignoring the fact that any number of people were following them. Here's a newsflash: The world doesn't revolve around you, asshole.

That's the core issue here, which is the same core issue of so many of the problems in society. While I could give 2 shits for the most part, these are 2 things that irk me on a nearly daily basis. Today, 2 women who ride the train every day sat near me and blathered away for most of the ride. Luckily, the book I was reading (Rabbit, Run) was engrossing enough to keep their incessant noise at bay. But that's not always the case.

Anyway, if you commute, and you read this, and you don't know rules of commuting, you should learn them. Now.


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