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Subway Etiquette Lesson 1

June 12th, 2007

Subway Etiquette Lesson 1

Alright, so, here's the deal. Every so often I'm going to give some Subway Etiquette Tips. There is no official source for these, just my own head. But let's be clear, I am correct about all of these things, so you should listen up, and listen good.

I had initially planned this series of posts (and presumably this series will never end) to start outside of the subway cars and work my way inside slowly, much like your average straphanger during rush hour. But, my ride home on the subway last night was so bad, in terms of stupid shit being done all around me, that I had to bring it up. Also, let me clarify, today's tips are based on a crowded, rush-hour train. There will be separate lessons for empty trains.

Ok, so, here's my subway ride home. I get on the train at the middle door and move myself exactly half way between the middle doors and the front-most doors. [Tip #1: Moving between to halfway between the doors, or as close to halfway as you can get if someone else has already occupied that spot is the proper way to enable as many people to get on to the train as possible. Additionally, by moving in to the middle, you avoid being crushed, which will invariably happen if you try to stay near the doors] I have now reached my spot on the train, and the first jackass on the train makes her move. She, like I did, starts to move towards the middle. But then, inexplicably, stops. She is on the other side of the train, meaning that if she had moved to the middle, we would be standing back-to-back. But she has stopped about a person and a half closer to the door than I have.

And what happens? People get stuck next to her by the door, and there begins to be a pile-up of people around the doors. Everyone over there is uncomfortable and crushed together. Not me, I'm perfectly comfortable over in the middle. So, this woman who has blocked everyone in by the door? She's a fucking douchebag.

Now, we get to the next stop, and another woman gets on the train, and she pushes past this other woman and gets in behind me, back-to-back. I hate it when people push their way through the crowd, because they are obviously going to knock a whole bunch of people around. And that's really annoying. But, ok, no problem, she is inconveniencing people temporarily to give everyone more room. That's fine.

Then the trouble starts. [Tip #2: When standing in the aisle between the seats, back to back with other people, the general rule is that you should not move back past the midway point of the car. In other words, to someone facing forward, you have the left or right side of the car, but not both.] So this woman comes in and proceeds to move herself well past the halfway point, pushing me in to the people who are sitting in front of me. But she does not temporarily crush me in to these people, but rather permanently places herself past the half way point. [Tip #3: If my elbow or back are pressed against you, it means BACK THE FUCK OFF OF ME.] So I am forced to wait 'til there is a bump or pitch during the ride between station so that I can slam myself in to her and then continue leaning against her. Unlike many a person before her, she got the message quickly and moved to her side of the car. That was nice.

But the ride was hardly a few stops in, and she got off the train, to be replaced with a new fantastic douchebag who did not one, but two obnoxious things. Three, if you're picky. He comes on and slides up next to me. Gets right next to me, and then proceeds to lift not one, but both arms up to hold on to the bar. [Tip #4: Don't use two hands on the bar if there are people next to you.] And he doesn't put his hands next to each other, but as far apart as possible. This does two things, it puts his arm diagonally up over my shoulder and in front of my face. And also brings his body in such a way that it is trying to push me past the middle of the car. [Tip #5: Don't crush the people next to you, asshole.]

Many people, at this stage, commit a foul. In my situation on that subway car, there are people who move past the middle of the car so that the jackass on his/her side is no longer on top of them. [Tip #6: Do not try to placate an idiot by letting them push you around.] So I do not move over, because doing so would've required me to knock in to a man holding a baby in his lap. And, though I may be angry, I don't try to actively harm little children. However, if there had been no baby there, I still would not have moved over. In any case, I don't move over, and instead am forced to put an elbow in to this guy's ribs. [Tip #6: If my elbow, forearm, bicep, or shoulder are pressed in to your ribs or side, it means MOVE THE FUCK OVER, DICKFACE.] This guy, however, was a slow learner, so I got the distinct pleasure of keeping my elbow in his ribs for the duration of my trip until I got off of the train.

Once again, your 6 subway etiquette tips are:

  • Moving between to halfway between the doors, or as close to halfway as you can get if someone else has already occupied that spot is the proper way to enable as many people to get on to the train as possible. Additionally, by moving in to the middle, you avoid being crushed, which will invariably happen if you try to stay near the doors
  • When standing in the aisle between the seats, back to back with other people, the general rule is that you should not move back past the midway point of the car. In other words, to someone facing forward, you have the left or right side of the car, but not both.
  • If my elbow or back are pressed against you, it means BACK THE FUCK OFF OF ME.
  • Don't use two hands on the bar if there are people next to you. [Note: In general, don't use two hands on the bar, whether or not there are people around. That also applies to holding one bar in each hand and stretching yourself across the middle of the train, you obnoxious fuck.]
  • Don't crush the people next to you, asshole. [Note: Unless they deserve to be crushed and you are following another one of the rules]
  • If my elbow, forearm, bicep, or shoulder are pressed in to your ribs or side, it means MOVE THE FUCK OVER, DICKFACE.

If you don't pay attention and learn how to act on the subway, that's fucked. So figure out what I'm talking about, and fix it.

06.48.05.pm, by unnecessarily angry
Categories: Straphangers, Pedestrians, Mini-rant, Subway Etiquette Lesson

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