Tuesday, December 12, 2006

How to be a mostly normal commuter in the tri-state area

Okay, let me first say that this post should not need to be written. The following bits of "advice" may seem like common sense to most people, because that's what it is. The following is a list of common sense for the many people who live, work, and commute between New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Because, clearly, not everyone is born with the same amount of common sense.

You don't have to follow these rules, but failure to do so, may and should result in verbal and/or physical abuse by other people with more common sense.

Let's start with the basics: WALKING

1. When walking, on streets, in subways, on staircases, etc. STAY TO THE RIGHT. Failure to stay to the right means that people walking towards you must now navigate around your ridiculous self, causing congestion, confusion, delays, and anger. Serious anger.

2. On escalators, if you decide that you don't want to walk up or down the escalator because a. you're old and should not be required to walk if a machine will walk for you b. you're injured c. you're fat and lazy: you need to stand to the right side of the escalator so that younger, more agile people can continue walking up the freaking escalator on the left. If the escalator is only wide enough for one person and you are not an elderly or injured person, walk down the escalator instead of holding everyone else up, you lazy bastard.

Navigating the subway system:

3. When coming to a subway turnstile have your Metrocard out.
If your Metrocard is not out
go off to the side and get it out. If you hold everyone up while searching through your oversized knock-off Coach bag, someone may mug you for your bag simply out of spite. If I catch someone holding up rush-hour commuters fumbling through an oversized over-priced bag, I'll probably be angry enough to mug you for your bag and toss it infront of an oncoming train. So don't do it.

4. When waiting for the train doors to open so that you can enter a train, stand off to the side. Do not stand directly infront of the doors so that passengers who are exiting have to go around you. Move your ass to the side until everyone is off the train, and then you get on. Got that? People get off the train first, you get on the train after. Two steps. Take it one at a time if you have to. This rule is of the utmost importance. People do not like to be pushed through while they are exiting a train. People can get violent. People like me. If you happen to push through me while I'm trying to get off of a train, I will trip you. Blatantly. And then I will point and laugh at you. Other responses to not being allowed off a train because of pushy subway riders include: loud, violent expletive threats, near fistacuffs, and altercations involving the police.

5. While waiting to get on the train, after the other passengers have been allowed off, do not shove past the more courteous people who have been waiting to get on the train. If you shove, you will be violently shoved back and possibly worse. Late commuters can take on a mob quality, so you don't want to be the rude neandrothal who couldn't wait his turn only to have the mob of courteous people take you out. There will be no witnesses on your behalf. Seriously.

6. If you are not elderly, not handicapped, not injured, and not pregnant get up off your ass and offer your seat to anyone who is: elderly, handicapped, injured, or pregnant. If I see one more 20 or 30 something guy sit on his fat khaki ass reading his newspaper while some elderly person or pregnant woman gets tossed around the train, I will let loose a barrage of curses and oaths so vile you would not repeat them infront of your grandmother (who you would also not give your seat to). Young men, if you read this, you should be VERY ashamed.

7. While on the subway, unless the car is nearly empty DO NOT LEAN AGAINST THE CENTER POLE. Other people, yes I know it's hard to think of anyone other than yourself, but other people will need to hold onto that pole. Most people, like myself, do not want to hold onto the center pole and have their fingers crushed by your back. Nevermind crushed, most people do not want to have to touch any part of some random subway rider. So get your ass off the pole and hold on with your hand you self-absorbed freaks.

These are all of the lessons I have to offer for today. As commuters lacking common sense perpetrate other offenses, I'll be sure to update you on the correct and incorrect manner in which to handle such situations.