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Originally Posted: 2005-12-22 12:02pm

Classic Moments / Characters of the T: A Rant for the Season

CLASSIC MOMENTS ON THE T: Brought to You By a Disgruntled Daily Commuter in the Spirit of the $(&@ Holiday Season


We begin with a few of our favorite T quotes. Never fails. Folks cringe, curse, moan, and generally become pissy when we hear any of the following:

“This train has been re-routed.”
What this means: We’re running behind schedule as usual. See all those people on the other side of Park Street Station looking pissed? Yeah. I have to go over there now and pick their asses up cause we suck at staying on schedule.

“This train will be standing by for two minutes.”
What this means: The train in front of us is a broken down piece of tin and some schmuck has to waddle his way down the nasty tunnel to see what the deal is. Just sit here and wait and try not to focus on the fact that this means that what you thought was going to be a nice, uncrowded ride will now be miserable, cause I’m leaving the doors open sucker, and about 1,325 other people are going to hop on before we take off.

“Step all the way into the back of the train, people. Let the people in the front on. Move ALL the way to the back. We will not move unless you move allllll the way back. There’s PLENTY of room in the back of the car, people.”

The Reality Here: Don’t you just want to walk up to that perky little T driver – shoving your way past the crowds – and say, “What the FUCK do you expect me to hold on to back there, assmunch?” I mean, SERIOUSLY. There are days when having something to hold on to on the T is like winning the f’n lottery. I don’t see those handy dandy over the head hand holds ala the NY subway system here. What the FUCK do they expect us to do? Move to the back and just yell “SURF’S UP!” and go with it? Haven’t they ever been ON a train when it’s hurtling at 20 MPH over the speed of sound as it takes that curve on the approach to Boylston? SHEESH.

“ExCUSE me, {sir/miss} in the red jacket. The fare is a dollar AND TWENTY FIVE cents. NOT a dollar. Please return to pay the fare just like everyone else.”
Admit it. You LOVE this, as long as you’re not the butthead who didn’t pay the full fare. You secretly relish their pain and snicker to yourself as they walk back to the front of the train and mutter about how they didn’t know and how sorry they are or some such bs. That’s right. They suck and YOU are the master of the T fare. (no need to mention here all those mornings you’ve forgotten/misplaced your own T pass and been at the mercy of a driver in front of the vultures.)

On the B line:
“This train will be running express to Boston College. Boston College will be the next stop for this train.”
After 98% of the 70 people on the train pour out, mumbling and lugging groceries, briefcases, and other assundry, the 2 BC students sit tight in their newly won seats and smile smugly. Lest we get upset, the driver is always quick to remind us that there is service “directly” behind them (which means, “A train is being flown in, as I speak, from Japan. If it doesn’t break down before it reaches us, you’ll be in luck and on your way in no time.”)

{no words} Driver waves all people onto the train and covers up the pay box.
Oh SURE. On the ONE day that I go BACK to the f’n house to get the T pass / fare $ that I forgot, you’re going to waive the fare and let all of these fucks on for free anyway. I pay you in protest.

The dreaded extra ding of the green line bell.
NOooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. FUCKERS. You can’t just ding ding your sweet little bell and zip on past me!!!!!!!! I’ll show you. Next train that comes, I’m going to just stand here and let it go by. Screw that. I’m not taking your secondary pity train. I’m not - hrm. It’s cold as ass out here. Well, fine. I’ll get on this next train. But NEVER again.

Sitting in a green line train – the power goes off.
You think to youself, “Great. Did the hamster that runs to keep the motor on this tin torpedo just kick the bucket?” Or perhaps: “Air… there’s no air. That guy behind me is sucking in all of the air that’s left in this friggin train. Hey buddy! STOP with the sneezing already! I’m going to die from stale mangy T air. TURN THIS THING BACK ON!” Or maybe: “Damn. Who’s Ipod is that? Is that dork listening to – wait… is that Tiffany?? Like I want to hear TIFFANY, you idiot. Someone turn this stupid thing back on so I can’t hear this num nut’s music anymore. For the love of God.” Or: “I had no IDEA that pages turning could sound like a tidal wave. Does anyone else notice this?”

“Due to mechanical difficulties, this train is going out of service. Kenmore station will be the last stop for this train. No passengers after Kenmore. Repeat: Kenmore station will be the last stop for this train. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
Usually accompanied by a hideous oil-like (one can hope) stench emanating from the train you are on. The real fun begins as people attempt to board the next train that comes to through the station. Seriously, have you ever seen a lot more EAGER to get to WORK? Calm down, you idiots. There will be another train, equally as crappy and packed, in just a few.


Now for Some of the Daily Obstacles/Characters Faced by Joe T Rider:

Guy/woman behind you thinks that they’re lounging at home in the barcalounger and proceeds to SNAP, crease, and fan his/her newspaper as such. S/he is oblivious as the pages thwack you repeatedly in the head, crinkly noise of paper rupturing your eardrum.

Escalators. I’m not even talking the omnipresent broken ones. I’m talking the functioning ones, a/k/a obstacle courses for commuters who bleat like sheep.

Umbrellas. Are YOU the guy that has the temerity to place your dripping umbrella on the seat next to you and then expects someone else to want to put their butt in your puddle of gifted love? Don’t be that guy.

Dripping A/C. “Gee,” she thinks, weary heart a flutter. “Why is no one sitting in that seat? This is a packed train. Must be my lucky day!!” Only after sitting does she feel the cold, slow DRIP of the nasty, dirty water from the broken A/C. Of COURSE none of the others on the train took the time to warn her. They’re too busy smirking and enjoying the moment, thinking to themselves, “Duh, you tart. Why the hell else would WE not have sat there? You think you’re THAT special? Now your hair is ruined. Take that.”
This is second only to…

… trains in July with NO A/C.
It’s days like this when you think it might not be a bad idea for the MBTA to just give up on fixing those stupid escalators and, instead, investing the $ saved in deodorant dispensers for every T stop.

The Outside Seat Guy.
You know who you are. I don’t care if:
- You’re only going a couple of stops
- You’re polite about letting someone slide into the inside seat
Unless you take a moment to say something to that effect, you register, far as I’m concerned, right up there with the brain surgeons who:
- Give someone else shit for having the gall to ask to slide into the inside seat
- Uses the other seat for their bag – though I can sort of see how TIRED a backpack can get after a long day.

Students.
I’m not gonna go there. I’m not that masochistic. But I had to at least give an honorable mention.

Metrosexuals and Perfume Queens.
You know the moment you see them on the green line: they will get off at either Copley (more likely) or Arlington. Their Burberry scarves match their Burberry purses. They are coiffed, curled, and have performed the swan sashay, as they do each morning, through their favorite designer perfume or cologne, respectively. They are off to their important offices and will take breaks at lunch time for shopping in all the right places and nibbling on salads or sushi. They only ride the T because their Range Rover or Saab is in the shop. They give each other a knowing nod and ride in the blissful silence provided by their Ipod Nanos while checking messages on their Blackberrys or Sidekicks.

Angry musicians.
Picture it: Boston, 2005. A kid with a guitar case, a purse covered in 1980 punk wanna be patches and pins, and/or dressed all in black with striped stockings, a streak of pink in his/her hair, and a forlorgn, “Nobody understands my pain” look in their eyes. You bet your sweet ass – 9 times outta 10 – that kid is going to get off at Hynes. Dream big, guys. Dream big.

IAMVERYIMPORTANTBUSINESSMANOUTOFMYWAY Types.
Similar to the aforementioned metrosexuals, but these guys are SO important that they don’t really have time for all that primping and fussing. They’re more likely to be enveloped in the legal brief which they just HAVE to show you they’re working on, as they clutch their leather briefcase or the complimentary bag that came from the latest company convention in Palm Springs. Step aside for these cats. They’re veryimportant.

Babies/Kids/Toddlers.
Another taboo I ain’t gonna touch – except to say ADMIT IT, gentle readers. A kid on the T is like a kid behind you on an airplane… only worse. The same because it means that there’s a good chance there will be squealing, squirming and possibly kicking on your seat from behind. Worse because unlike on a plane, not only might they sit near you, the mere fact that they come on to the train may be cause for you to give up that precious seat you elbowed the angry musician kid for three stops ago! It’s rough, guys. Rough, I tell ya. But you’re NOT gonna be the guy who doesn’t give up your seat for a kid or elderly person (that’s all I’m gonna say about that one, too).

Gum Snappers.
People, what the FUCK? This is NEVER a good idea. Never something others around you think, “WOW. How’d she do that? I’m going to have to stock up on some Bubble Yum and practice that.” But to do it on a crowded train? You best just hope you’re not seated near me. You will receive the death by glare glare. Not that you’d notice or care. But sometimes that’s all I can offer.

Loud Talkers.
Listen to me. Shhhh…… listen…. Remember what we learned when we were 3? That magic phrase “Let’s use our INSIDE VOICES”? Take a hint. I don’t want to know about your ex’s hernia. I don’t want to know that Hilda from 9-C makes a great jello mold. I don’t want to know that you’re running late for work (not even if you yourself happen to be a veryimportantbusinessman). SHUT THE FUCK UP and enjoy the ride and let others do the same. You might miss an important announcement if you don’t pay attention and wind up being that guy who sits on a train glancing around blankly wondering why everyone else got off the train. (“Last stop” means last stop. Just a head’s up.)

I don’t know about you, but I feel better.

See you on the rails.





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