Daily Life

Commuting from the Burbs

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I have no clue how to ride a bicycle.

“WHAT??? You don’t know how to ride a bike?” you say to yourself, while talking at the computer.
Yes, there are humans on this planet who never learned the art of bicycle riding, and I happen to be one of them.  How did I manage to make it into adulthood without ever learning or using one? I walked. Or I was driven. Or, better yet, I took public transportation.

Mind blowing. I know.

As someone who has commuted via automobile and train, I have opinions about them both. We all know that opinions are like ass holes: everybody has one, not everyone wants to see yours.  But I’m going to share my opinion, in case someone out there would like to hear it.

No, I will not be showing you my ass hole. You can breathe a sigh of relief.

Driving, is only enjoyable if there are few cars on the road.  People driving too slow, or encroaching onto your lane, is not fun.  And the longest amount of time anyone should spend in the drivers seat is, at maximum, 45 minutes.  That number is pushing it.  I used to drive about an hour and change to and from my job, the longer I sat in that seat, the more aggravated and agitated I became.

Trains on the other hand, are great.  I don’t have to pay attention, and I can take a nap.  The train ride itself is almost an hour, sometimes a few minutes over or under, but it is nowhere near as aggravating as sitting behind the driver’s seat for an hour. Can you take a nap behind the steering wheel? Didn’t think so.
If you hate human interaction, I recommend using a car.  But if you commute into a metropolitan city like New York… Godspeed to you.

There are a lot of fun personalities on the train.  I have compiled a little list as I have observed my surroundings on a daily basis.

  • Most people fall into the M.MOB category.  AKA the “mind my own business” group. They’re a great group.  Generally they read newspapers, books, tablets, listen to music, etc.  They mind their own business, and take up as many seats as they need, which is 1.  About 90% of train passengers fall into this category.  But they’re not fun. They mind their own business.  It’s the other categories that are the fun ones. Let’s move onto those, shall we?
  • Next we have the “Chatterbox.”  Unless you commute into NYC on the quiet car, you have encountered the Chatterbox a few times.  These are people who talk, the ENTIRE ride.  Either on their phone or with a buddy or two.  I have nothing against chatterboxes, their conversations are great sometimes.  Most of the time it’s a boring conversation, but I’ll take what I can get. I have been guilty of being a chatterbox a few times.  I mean, when else can we get our phone calls out of the way? An hour train ride is the perfect time for such a thing.
  • Following the Chatterbox is the “Snacker.”  Unless you’re snacking on a fruit, we can all hear you.  We all know what you’re eating, and we can all hear you crunching.  I understand people get hungry, I do too, but maybe try not to get a snack that the whole train can hear?  Just a suggestion.  I, unfortunately, have yet to fall into this category.  Even though I have a love of food, I seem to keep forgetting to have the foresight to pack a snack.  One of these days I will join this category.  Hopefully I won’t be a loud snacker, but whatever.
  • Up next, the “Alcoholic.”  I hear you now, “wow, that’s rude”.  Yes, but did you know it is perfectly legal to drink an alcoholic beverage on the train? (The commuter train, not the subway, I have no idea how the subway works).  Since alcoholic beverages are allowed, there are several sellers of these in the station.  Mostly beer sellers.  I call them alcoholics because they open up a can of beer everyday on the way home.  I get it, you have a stressful job, but I am totally judging your drinking habits.  Don’t worry about me, you do you buddy.  Drink it up.  Just know that I think you’re an alcoholic for not being able to wait until you get home.
  • My least favorite of the group is the “Tiny Bladder” people.  If I am unlucky and have the audacity to sit in a car with a toilet, I get the fun experience of watching Tiny Bladder people get up to use the restroom, sometimes multiple times.  I know what you’re thinking “What if it’s not pee?” Yeah, no one poops that quickly.  And if they did, they gotta go to a doctor.  It’s amazing to see how many people and how many times some of them will use the restroom in the span of an hour.  Are you guys okay? Like, is there something the rest of us can help you with?  Now that I type this, I am actually kind of concerned for you.
  • Sometimes, unfortunately, we have to deal with the next unfavorable category. The “Creeper.”  If you are of the XX chromosome category, you know what I’m talking about.  Thankfully this group is rare, but they do happen.  There is no uniform way they behave, but it mostly involves them trying to touch you or look down your shirt.  There’s also the creepers who like to snoop and watch what you’re doing on your phone, but those aren’t so bad.  It’s the touchy/feely ones we have to watch out for.  And ladies, you can always grab the attention of a conductor or the conductor assistant and let them know you feel unsafe.  Never be afraid to leave, and never be afraid to speak up.
  • On a lighter note, the next category of people are more fun.  I like to call them the “Can’t get the ticket out”.  The conductor will be making his/her rounds collecting tickets and these people always make me laugh.  Most of the time, you can hear the conductor coming.  They like to holepunch the tickets, and they put little stubs on the seats of the people they’ve already ticketed, so you can always hear them coming, even if you don’t hear them say “Tickets, please!”  But these people will always wait until the conductor is right on top of them to start looking for their ticket, and they’re not looking! They’re fumbling through all the junk they have in their pockets or bags, and then what feels like 5 minutes later, the ticket appears.  People, get that shit ready.  There’s a million more people this person has to ticket, be a little more considerate, yeah?
  • Next up, is the “Backseat Beater”.  These people sit behind you and manage to beat the shit out of the seat.  These trains do not have movable seats.  They are metal and plastic and have no movable functions, and yet these people always manage to give you a back massage.  What are you doing back there? Why are you moving so much? Calm down.
  • Finally, we have come to my last category.  Everyone’s favorite person.  The “Takes up all the seats” person.  Oh, these people.  They even take up 3 seaters sometimes.  They’ll dump all their bags or jackets or whatever it is they have, and just take up ALL the seats.  If they could spread out and take up the whole train, I’m sure they would.  Do they not want anyone to sit next to them? Probably.  Will I be the one to make them pack their shit so I can sit there? Absolutely. If I can’t find a seat, and you’re bag is next to you, you best believe I’m making you take that shit off so I can sit there.  I’ve even seen people lay across 3 seats and sleep.  Like, dude. Take your feet off the seat.  That’s nasty, do you know where you’re feet have been? In New York City, that’s where.  You think they wash the streets with soap and water? Hell no.  I’ve smelled ammonia and shit as I have walked by certain areas.  Don’t be putting your feet on the seat…. People have to sit there, and you got some nasty germs there.  Like this asshole:

    Dude, I’m sitting right here.  Why are you putting your damn feet on the seat?  That is literally my bag on my lap, and this dudes foot resting on the seat next to me.  Why are you taking up all this space? What is wrong with you?!?!

This post was a long time coming.  I have finally gotten all this off my chest, and after writing it all, I feel much better.

If you have your own opinions, I’d like to read them!  (Just don’t show me your ass hole).

Quirkily yours,
The Quirky Digest



3 thoughts on “Commuting from the Burbs

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