The Word On The Street, Part II: Special MTA Edition

Polemic nys

First Avenue nys

This sullen utterance of revolt was spied and captured at the First Avenue station of the L train after a pleasant, if brief, jaunt into “the city” today. It should be noted neither of the Metrocard machines in the background were 100% functional. The one on the left was not accepting bills. After discovering the card slot seemed to have something lodged in it, I patronized the one on the right. That one was unable to give receipts. As Kurt Vonnegut would say:

So it goes.

Much has been written about the recent subway fare hike. Some of which— such as this, for example— is quite good. I thought about the previously-linked tome while paying $2.75 for ingress to the Crosstown Local. Upon entering the G train I thought about it a little more. You see, something was amiss. However, instead of merely saying something I elected to do something. We’ll get to this shortly.

To preface, I and many others find the recent subway “etiquette” posters amusing. One fellow has gone so far as to create parodies of them. Today when I entered the G I realized we are not only subsidizing all the stuff as outlined in that Medium.com polemic. We are also paying for a “public awareness” campaign that is quite frankly worthless. I had this realization when I eyed a young woman, earbuds in/iTuned out, occupying an adjacent seat with her handbag and using yet another seat as a personal ottoman/footrest.

Here’s the deal, folks: if the subway car is not crowded (and in this case it was not), I am not going to be an asshole about “bag-spreading” on seats. But the “shoes on seats” shit? No. Not just no, but HELL NO.

As if the last winter’s melange of accumulated snow/slush and the archaeological record of accumulated filth it created was not ample enough evidence of exactly what we tread upon every day while pounding the pavement, this should suffice. The subway is already a dirty enough place. Someone has a slice and/or a “cold” and swipes— such “exposure” is pretty much unavoidable. Or at least the “exposure” is understandable. There is no need to make matters worse by putting your feet on the seat.

To illustrate my point I bee-lined over to the “ottoman” in question. I did not verbally engage the person in question. I did not take a photo of her. What good would that do? Instead, I simply rolled out what I call “the butt of justice”. I made a slow motion of sitting down in said seat. Despite not acknowledging my presence in any way, shape or form, she did move them.* Does the story end here? No. It only gets better.

At the next stop (Nassau Avenue) a significantly larger number of people enter. My fellow subway patron saw fit to remove her bag so someone could sit. Good move. A couple of older (50-something and I presume Mexican American gentlemen) followed. One had a guitar, the other an accordion. They commenced to play this song:

I know “showtime” is also something the MTA is asking citizens from which to refrain. It too is ignored. Then again, I rather like mariachi music. I assessed the situation and came to the conclusion that if my fellow subway rider can see fit to occupy no less than three seats (spreading god only knows what on one of them) why shouldn’t these fellows be allowed to infringe upon “subway courtesy” as well? If we are going to establish rules/a code of conduct, it should be applicable to everyone— not just subway “entertainers”— and enforced.

Thus, I dug around my bag and found a dollar. I held it up high. What followed was precisely what I was hoping for; they came over and played music for my personal enjoyment. Much to my space pirate’s/germ spreader’s displeasure. It is pretty much impossible to “tune out” a fellow playing an accordion maybe one foot in front of you. If there is a lesson to be had here— and I suspect there are several:

“Courtesy” cuts both ways.

This was the best use of $3.75 I can recall in recent memory. Thank you, M.T.A.!

*Unlike the first fellow upon whom I tried this tactic. He actually had the temerity to complain I was sitting on his feet. I explained to him that if he did not want someone sitting on his feet, he should not place his feet on a seat. Once we got that whole “this was not an accident” presumption/assumption on his part cleared up— and that I was not going to move— he removed them.

Comments

2 Comments on The Word On The Street, Part II: Special MTA Edition

  1. SGI on Thu, 26th Mar 2015 10:08 pm
  2. Most excellent, Miss Heather. You nailed down the ordeals of us shlubs who are forced to deal with this crap daily.

  3. punto on Fri, 27th Mar 2015 9:42 am
  4. Like you, I always assumed that Mexican street musicians were playing mariachi by default and that was what I was hearing on the A train. I was corrected by someone who identified the guitar – accordion (and sometimes bass) players as performing Norteno (tilde over the n). If you see trumpets and violins and many different sized guitars, it is much more likely to be mariachi, your guys were playing most probably norteno, though I don’t think I have heard Cielito lindo done in this style so far. BTW, I love getting a dose of live music on my way to work and always try to have a buck on hand to give, though I do wish that guy that brings his wife along who scrapes loudly on a guiro would notice that I have my fingers in my ears as long as her super-abrasive ratcheting goes on.

Tell me what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  • NYS Flickr Pool

    ChelseaWorld Trade CenterAny Functioning Adult 2020Space CarBlue Bug with FlatCrabby ShackR-52 Locomotive 54
  • Ads