Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Parting of the Subway Sea

Question: have you ever been on the subway when some sort of unidentifiable substance prevents you from sitting on a highly coveted chair? And, more importantly, is it really bad that I secretly hope someone DOES sit in it?

Seats on the subway are a luxury, especially in New York City where the trains are always overcrowded. While I commonly complain about the Metro North on this blog, it is nothing next to the shitshow that is the subway. Any hopes of silence, decorum or manners are thrown to the wind when on this mode of transport. People eat full meals on the subway, listen to music without headphones hoping to serenade you with their hideous selection, and will fight tooth and nailagainst pregnant ladies or old fogiesto scap up a seat. Just the other day I myself was guilty of stealing a seat from a preggo…well, sitting down faster than she could waddle…while feigning a “feeling like shit” face to compete.

So when one walks onto the subway and the aisle is parted like the red sea, with nobody standing in a certain vicinity and empty seats a plenty, you know something is amiss.

Like the other day, for instance, when an unidentifiable smear of brown material frosted the top of the plastic seat. The smell emitted from the substance gave a good indication as to what it consisted of. When I first got on the subway, I saw the empty seat and immediately walked towards it. Till I noticed that half of the car was empty. Kinda of like when one has to recover from an unreturned high-five, I nonchalantly did a 180 and walked away, positioning myself close enough to see if anyone else fell for it, but far enough to avoid the noxious odor.

The several people after me who almost fell into the trap provided much amusement, as I watched with anticipation, almost as if waiting for a soccer (football to my European readers) player to score a goal. One by one I watched their eyes light up as they move determinedly to the spot, only to back away in horror as they got closer.

Then came the victim. She was a young, pretty, Asian girl who was obviously too tired to care. She marched over to the spot, looked at it, shrugged and plopped down right on top of it. “Argghhh…” I heard myself moan out loud before alighting at my stop. Was it REALLY worth it?

Anyway, this got me thinking…would this not make for a great reality show? A candid camera of sorts? Or am I just seriously sick in the head?