Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wow, They Really Let This Place Go

Yeah. I really followed up on that promise to just get back to writing for writing's sake, didn't I? I have little in the way of an excuse other than I've recently had some pretty big changes at work, it's been hot as hell lately, and, well....I really just haven't felt like it. I was having a hard time for a while finding the motivation to write, so I figured I'd just step away for a while. Then, after a couple of posts from the Mrs. made me realize I really was neglecting this old girl, my new problem was that I didn't really have a whole lot to say. But, we're in luck today because after about a month of taking the train into Philly for my new job, I'm ready to bitch about other people again.

First, let me start off that saying the new job is great. I still work for the same image-conscious organization so I still can't get into specifics, but let's just say the days seem to be going much faster now. And since I take the train through the more congested parts of Philly I don't have to with it's mouth-breathing drivers, which is another big plus. But I wouldn't be me if I didn't complain about random minutiae, so let's concentrate just concentrate on the mouth-breathers that I share the train with, shall we?

While the train ride itself is a lot better than driving all they way to work, I'm still looking at about an hour and fifteen minute one-way commute when you account for the drive to the station and the ride itself. That would be fine if nobody went out of their way to annoy the piss out of me along the way. But then, what are people put on this earth for if not to annoy the piss out of me?

My fellow passengers are the most frequent culprits. The most inexplicable such passenger is the old lady who sees me as a harmless young white man who is safe enough to cram in next to on a tiny seat. This has happened more than once, and I just don't get it. I try to make myself an unpleasant person to sit next to on the train. I sit on the side of the train with the narrow benches to make the space next to me as small as possible. This morning I even sat on a seat that was so loose that it sagged under my sizable ass and seemed ready to collapse if anyone else dared try to use it. I was even reading a book about the horror movie revolution of the 60s and 70s, and I'm told that the look I make when I'm reading looks similar to someone getting ready to commit sexual assault. I figured anyone, especially an old lady, would want to avoid someone who could be imagined to look like this:

I'm done with my newspaper if you'd like to read it.

But no, they plop right down next to me with a smile that indicates that it's my privilege for them to feel comfortable enough to ride next to me. One lady even tried to give me a religious pamphlet. I took it from her, rubbed it on my crotch, and shoved it in her face while screaming obscenities. OK, I didn't do that. I politely refused it. But that's actually showing more spine than usual, as normally I'd take the pamphlet and pretend to read it while she sat next to me.

As annoying as old ladies tend to get, they at least don't cause the physical discomfort that comes when a guy who has not applied deodorant in 6 years pops a squat next to me. Why? Why can't you you spend $3 a month and 20 seconds a day to keep me from spending the next half hour gagging into my shirt. And I know that other cultures frown on the use of deodorant and that ranting about it probably makes me seem like a classless schmuck. But dammit, so does vomiting on a train full of people.

To be fair, there are more than just annoying passengers on the train. There are also annoying employees, the most annoying of which is the disembodied voice that blares out over the P.A. system during the trip. It would be sufficient to tell me that our next stop will be in Morton. You don't have to yell that the next stop is MORTON! The microphone is really a fascinating technology. If you talk into it normally, it sends a signal to an amplifier that will project your voice at the appropriate level. Which is especially important when you're telling people that the first car is the QUIET CAR!

Another employee that I never see but would like to hurt is whatever back-office twit decides to keep trains in service that should have been sold for scrap when Menudo was still popular. Remember that sagging bench I was telling you about from this morning? That really should not be an issue, should it? With public transportation prices on a constant rise in Philadelphia, you'd think they could afford to stop using the train cars with broken seats covered in cheap faux-leather and broken air conditioning. Especially considering it's been a balmy 95 degrees for the last three fucking weeks.

Well it appears all that complaining has made me tired. It's obvious that I need to start flexing the writing muscles again, so hopefully (I'm not making any promises) I'll start popping up back here again on a more regular basis. Fortunately, I'll have plenty of time on the train to think about some more pointless shit to talk about. It beats trying to make old women explode with my thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you're back--and what better way to return than with a rant about public transport. Don't get me started--for about a year in Cleveland I bussed it down the road past the main ethnic market. The bus would be almost empty from downtown and then fill to 110% capacity with old ladies and their shopping. The smells from whatever it was they had bought on a hot day pushed things from merely intolerable to sanity threatening. For a long time my favorite song was "Another One Rides the Bus" by Weird Al Yankovic. I can only plead immaturity, but I used to fantasize about having the power to order people who offended me off the bus: "You! Off! Right now!"