Wednesday, February 16, 2005

This is a Public Service Announcement...With Guitars

Dear Commuter Train Rider,

If you weren't such oblivious half-wits, I wouldn't feel the overwhelming urge to list the following rules of etiquette regarding our daily ride along the rails. However, you have proven your complete disregard for my well-being on too many occassions, at times narrowly avoiding catching an mp3 player to the throat, a fact owing only to my rigid self-discipline and fear of being locked up.

What follows would seem to be simple common sense. Please read carefully. And for the guy who sat across from me today, please have someone else read it to you carefully.

As you know, there are four seats to a "bank," two facing front, the others facing back. If a single person is sitting in this bank, it is incumbant upon you to sit only in the seat kitty corner to the current resident. This posture maintains maximum arm and leg space for both riders. If you have a preference for a window or aisle seat, or for a specific direction you like to face, and that seat does not put you kitty corner to the ensconsed rider, find another bank of seats which fits your anal retentive desires.

If your hair is styled in such a way that it looks like it's trying to escape from your head, do not sit next to me. If you think that maroon sweater is compatible with your purple pants, do not sit next to me. If you think a shower is something that only happens when someone is pregnant, do not sit next to me. If you're going to spend your ride writing, periodically jabbing your elbow into my ribs while I'm trying to sleep, do not sit next to me. Yes, I'm talking to you. I don't know you, but I hate you. If you sit next to me one more time, I'm going to throw you out the window.

If you are forced to sit next to an existing rider, please note the arm rest. If it is already being used, tough shit. First come, first serve. If not, feel free to put your far-too-hairy-for-a-girl arm on it. If it is being used and the user takes it off for a moment, say, to put a book in his bag, it would be considered extrmemely rude for you to immediately take control of the arm rest. While technically not illegal--commuting by train is truly survival of the fittest--it may cause someone with less self-control than I to beat you repeatedly about the head and shoulders.

If you are a huge fat guy who has strategically chosen the aisle seat, thereby sealing off the entire bank of seats with your mass, you're gonna have to resist that put-upon sigh when I politely ask to get by. See, your vulgar body has proved an adequate deterrant to the entire car, so there are no seats left. Trust me, if I had my druthers, I wouldn't go anywhere near you, for fear of being eaten. Mad props to you for solid execution of your master plan, but you've been bested this time.

If you like to stare at people for long periods of time, I urge you to please consider sitting somewhere else. You're creeping me out.

I know your intentions are good. It's a thoughtful and neighborly thing to do. But don't. I'm not an idiot. I'm not going to sleep through my stop (aided by the fact my stop is the last one). You do not need to nudge me awake at every goddamn stop to see if it's time for me to get off.

If all the seats are occupied, I'm happy to ride along with you. When 3/4 of the train empties at the Industry stop, however, there is no need for us to continue our little close-quarters pow-wow. I will not be offended if you quickly rise and go find an empty bank of seats elsewhere. I will, in fact, be appreciative. You should be, too. So, if it's I who makes a move to less encumbered pastures, do not give me that look. You know which one I'm talking about.

I hope this primer helps you to enjoy your Metrolink experience. I should mention that if you are one of the dozen or so hot Asian chicks that gets on at Industry, you may disregard all of the above and sit anywhere, as long as I can get a good look at you.

Faithful Rider


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