June 8, 2010
Instructions for use of the subway, for New Yorkers and everyone else
I need to get some frustrations out of my system:
1. To board train: when doors open, let the people get off, and then get the f*ck on the train. Do not look around to inspect train before getting on. Do not stand right inside the door carefully deciding where to sit. Get the hell on the train and sit down.
1a. Do not board the train, stop right inside the door, and plant your feet in the “wide stance.” Nobody appointed you door guard or subway bouncer.
1b. If the train is crowded, and there are empty seats, sit in them. There are people still trying to get on behind you. You’re not being courteous by not sitting; you’re blocking access to both seats and aisle space for other people.
2. To exit train: when doors open, get the hell off the train.
3. If you must stand: hold on to the pole with your hand. Not your entire back.
4. Tourists: when the doors close, the train is about to move. Hold on to something, or you will fall, most likely onto me. Stop it.
5. Parents: please prevent your small children from swinging around or climbing on the poles. Besides that it’s rude to other passengers who don’t necessarily enjoy small children swinging in our faces, or who might actually need to use the aisle, there’s this thing called momentum. The train can stop suddenly and unsecured objects, like your child, will fly about 10 feet on the way to cracking his head open.
6. Men (usually): You know what I’m gonna say. Close your legs. Seriously. You don’t have anything that requires taking up two and a half to three seats. This is particularly addressed to the guy who spent a whole subway ride, on a crowded train, giving me dirty looks and huffing because my knee was touching yours, when my legs were crossed and yours were wide open.
7. Everyone: Just learn how to read the subway map. I understand that it has lots of different colors on it, but it truly, truly isn’t that complex. (I exempt from chastisement tourists who don’t speak or read any English who make the sad mistake of trying to get anywhere, but particularly Brooklyn, on a Sunday, because there is no way you could’ve known better, and there is truly no comprehensible information anywhere in any language about how the C train is going over the F line, or what the fact of there being no uptown local trains will do to your trip, or whatever the f*ck is going on this weekend. I’m sorry. Good luck.)
ADDENDUM, 6/9/10: For exiting the subway station in the rain: Do not clump at the top of the stairs wondering whether you really ought to exit to the sidewalk. Just do it. It’s just water. The quicker you walk out into it, the quicker we’ll all get to be home.