best of craigslist > new york > Subway Etiquette Clash: How I got kicked by an old woman
Originally Posted: 2004-05-25 8:47pm

Subway Etiquette Clash: How I got kicked by an old woman

A bit of background info, anyone? Today I found out I have a massive case of strep throat; I can't call out sick from work because my shitty job doesn't give benefits or paid sick days; my pharmacy didn't have my medicine so it's going to take another day or so to obtain; and that's how I found myself waiting for the Queens-bound R train at the 59th & Lex station, already having a really awful day.

It's 7:30 and the platform is pretty empty, so I sit my 101-degree feverish self down on the steps to rest a bit. I close my eyes against the harsh fluorescent lighting, resting my head in my hands, and so a minute or two later I fail to see an increased flow of pedestrian traffic having to step around me.

Not that I'd fallen asleep or anything, but suddenly I'm jerked back to reality by a swift kick. NO KIDDING, some random pedestrian just decided to KICK me in the small of my back. OK in hindsight maybe I shouldn't have been sitting on the steps, but there were no benches to sit on, and not a day goes by in my life where I don't see someone else get away with sitting on the steps undisturbed and unscolded. Where's an invalid gonna rest otherwise?

Accompanying said kick - with what felt like one of those stupid super-pointy shoes, by the way - is a whiny female voice with a smoker's rasp and overdrawn New Yawk accent, directing me to get out of her way. "Caaan't ya see yer blaaawking twraaaffic?"

I get to my feet with the help of the guardrail. Mind you, other people had been walking around me without a verbal complaint. And by the way, I was sitting on what would have been her left side of the stairs, so by all the rules of subway etiquette she should have been walking on the other side of the staircase.

I turn to face my assailant, who still hasn't taken the trouble to walk around me but has instead stood in place waiting for me to get up. I had been kicked by a hunchbacked old woman with a bad platinum dye job, more caked-up makeup on her face than a transvestite with acne, and frown lines so severe no Botox could ever have an effect.

And I thought *I* looked like hell today.

"What are you thinking, sitting there like that?" she rasps at me.

I haven't been able to speak above a whisper all day, but somewhere I muster the vocal strength to yell back, "I'm sick, alright? Gimme a break."

Not wanting to provoke her further, but still not feeling able to stand, I get off the stairs and sit on the floor of the platform.

To make matters worse, the train had some kind of rail problem and took forever getting there. When it did come, it was so packed that I had to stand. But it was here that I took my revenge upon elderly womankind.

A few people got up at 36th St and my body found the strength to accomplish another feat of physical abnormality in my feverish condition. I sprinted towards an empty seat and beat out an old, overweight woman (though not as old as the first old lady).

Normally I'm the kind of person who would give my seat up for someone who looked like they needed it more than I did, but not today. And it was satisfying.

Fuck you, you disgusting old lady. We should have been even. One subway etiquette transgression for another, but no. You've ruined it for all your kind. From now on, I will never make an exception to the first-come-first-serve rule toward subway seats for old ladies. Ever again.

I'm going to go load up on Nyquil now. Thank you for your time.


this is in or around (R Train)

post id: 32124310

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