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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Rules for Riding the Metro

The Washington, DC Metro system is an enigmatic entanglement of day-old newspapers, single-tracking delays, and suffocating BO. Nowhere near as old as the New York City Subway or even the Chicago L, we can basically think of the Metro as the sullen youngest teenage sibling of America's rapid transit systems that listens to Mae and rebels by not showering. It's a great way to get to work every day!
Every day.
As long as everyone is following the unwritten rules of public transportation (no eating, no staring, no noise whatsoever, etc.), the commute is perfectly fine. However, there are certain, specific rules that are just as inherent but apparently much more difficult to follow, and failure to adhere to those rules will definitely get you yelled at by strangers (or worse, seriously mean-mugged).

If you don't feel like reading the following rules and are planning on riding the Metro or one of its national affiliates sometime in the near future, for the love of God wear deodorant, or, at the very least, keep your arms at your sides. Seriously, how and why do people smell SO BAD?!

Don't be a hero, use the handrail - Core strength is seriously lacking in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area, and instead of going home and doing a 30-second plank every night, residents of our community instead opt to turn into the human incarnation of that Boneless Girl computer game that was popular in the Myspace era. I don't want to touch the poles either, but I ain't too proud to grab on when the Metro car operator is touchy on the brakes and the danger of flying headfirst into Yarn Lady's crochet needles is imminent. If you can't be confident that you'll stay solidly on your feet for the duration of the ride, suck it up and hold a handrail while you wait for a seat to free up. Soft knees, people, soft knees.

Don't be a statue - Personal space does not exist here. As someone who has spent the better part of a 45-minute commute with her shoulder involuntarily cradled by a sumo wrestler's belly button, I can attest to the fact that trying to fight the inevitable is pointless, and getting all up in someone's business is just the way it's gotta be. When I go to sit in the open seat next to you, mooove, bitch. Pretending that by not moving a muscle to accomodate my presence in your bubble you somehow "win" for the day is a huge waste of passive aggressive energy that you could instead use against your wife at couple's therapy. Forcing me to sit on half of your thigh and/or briefcase is a very odd way to stand your ground, and you're automatically worse than the "You can't sit heeah" kid from Forrest Gump because you're not even enough of an asshole to say it out loud.

Do announce your weekend sexcapades to the entire car - Technically you're not supposed to (read: shouldn't) talk on your phone, but if you're going to do it, make it entertaining. Do I want to hear you loudly gush about your upcoming trip to Kennebunkport? Nope. Will I completely ignore the third chapter of The Green Mile to eavesdrop on your convo about "Kevin" and how you totally told "Kevin" off at Barcode on Friday but whoopsies ended up going home with him after Spider Kelly's on Saturday and now he wants to hang out tonight but then what do you do about "Brad"? Keep it comin'!

Do check your AARP card at the door - I love old people, but only when they're actually old. Remember the, "I like eggs" grandma from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? She is my fave. Along the same vein, Grandpa Joe (the one who miraculously dances around after years of bed rest when chocolate is mentioned) is the worst kind of old person. They're wrinkly enough for one to correctly assume that they're at least 65, but they're walking around without so much as a limp and know how to operate an iPhone better than I ever will. Just because there is a sign that says "Reserved for the elderly and disabled" does not mean you deserve it, and asking me to give up my seat for the sole fact that you were born before 1950 is absolutely absurd.

Do not impact my day with your unforseen sickness - True Life: I was riding the Metro home a few months ago, standing up against the door in a mildly-packed car. Either I hadn't eaten enough that day, or my scarf was tied too tightly, or I have brain cancer (thanks WebMD), but whatever the problem was, I suddenly felt as though I was going to faint. Super dizzy, hot flashes, weak knees, nausea, the whole shebang. I had never experienced this before so I was a little scared, but I white knuckled the pole and stared intently at the floor to fight the sensation for one single, solitary reason: I refused to delay my commute home. If I passed out, they would have to stop the train, unload it, call an unnecessary ambulance, and all of the fellow riders would hate me. Too much. A little syncope never hurt noboby! Should you ever feel as though you're going to puke, implode, or die, here's the simple fix: don't. I am not missing my Zumba class just because you can't maintain consciousness.

If you think I've forgotten a critical Metro-riding guideline, please let me know. If you see something, say something, amirite?

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1 comment:

  1. Have a metro card in hand while exiting and grow up and get a smarttrip card. Its like not having an easy pass....what are you doing?


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