Things That Irk Me On The Subway

By Zach

1. When homeless dudes take their shoes off on the train. A guy did this the other day when I was heading home from work. I feel for him; I’m sure it’s awful lacking a support network when things take a turn for the worse. But I think if I lost my job, my girlfriend broke up with me and my parents disowned me, I’d find a way to keep my shoes on while riding the 3 train.

On a side note: Now that I think about it, I feel like the smelliest bums are always on the older NYC trains. If you live in New York you know what I’m talking about – there’s the newer trains with the electronic banners and station lists, and there’s the older ones with orange seats. Every really pungent homeless guy I’ve seen has been sleeping on an older train. Why is that? Do they just want to keep the subway system pristine, or are the cops booting em off the new ones, or what?

2. When other people are drunk. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for obnoxious drunkenness. I just prefer to be the one who’s loudly letting society know about his latest sexual misadventure or showing off his not considerable dancing talents. The role of the onlooker is much less fun.

Take last night. I’m riding the 3 train home late at night, reading the paper and minding my own business, and this loud dumpy girl asks me to scoot over so she can sit next to her friend. Fine. They and their friends across from them then proceed to yap about how they’ve all walked in on their roommates having sex (WILD story! That never happens!) and at every stop start arguing about whether they’re supposed to get off or not. They’ve agreed their stop is Bergen, my stop as well, but apparently the signs reading “14 Street,” “Chambers Street” and so on at each preceding station didn’t tip them off.

Then they started arguing about how to get to the club. Finally right before my stop I just looked up and told them: “Southpaw’s on 5th Avenue, walk down to 5th and take a left, it’s four blocks down.” One of them just looked at me all confused and said in her shrill, indescribably stupid-sounding voice: “Wait, who are you?” Needless to say I ignored her and walked off the train.

3. When people poop on the platform. I witnessed the aftermath of this at the 2/3 Bergen stop this afternoon. No way was a dog in that station, and no way would it have left something that big. It ran down the wall…yeah, I know, way too much information, but now you get the point: It was gross.


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