You’re the Charlie to my card

Dear T riders,

Hey you. I get it. It was a long day at work, and you want to get home to that great home-cooked meal, or maybe even a “Beef Chow Fun” Lean Cuisine (that actually exists apparently). But let’s be reasonable and recognize that the train only moves so fast, and nothing you do will get you to your destination faster. So please keep in mind these simple tips when you’re riding to make the process as pleasant as possible. Brought to you by the Boston MBTA. Nope, just foolin’, by claustrophobic and paranoid me.

One very problematic type of subway rider is the “personal bubbles don’t exist” type. This person likes to stand so close behind you that they could easily count the number of usually invisible hairs on the back of your neck, and maybe pluck a couple out while they’re there. So close that when the train lurches, you accidentally back your tush up into them, paralleling a horrifically similar scenario to tenth-grade Homecoming dance grinding. Now, I understand that this issue becomes very hard to avoid during peak hours as some trains begin to enter sardine status. These situations become exceptions, where you plant your feet and hope for the best. But when there is a clear amount of space available, a problem arises. It’s like second grade again. You are encroaching on my carpet square, and that’s not cool. Keep off the lava please.

Another huge problem area is the extra-loud phone talkers. Every time I see a god-awful Bluetooth headpiece coming my way, I’m migrating to the other end of the train. Same with the earbud users. Trains should almost always be strictly texting areas. For example, if I’m really into the book I’m reading whilst sitting on the T, the last thing I want to hear is the lady next to me talking about her upcoming bunion surgery tomorrow. I wish that example wasn’t a hypothetical one. The only other example that tops the cake is the phone sex perpetrators. In one way, I respect someone that can feel any sort of sexual arousal on a loud train lit with abrasive white lighting and smelling like a smorgasbord of armpits and mid-summer septic tanks. That same reason terrifies me at the same time. So please refrain from any dirty talk on the phone, even if your thirst is seemingly unquenchable at the moment.

Those who exacerbate the grossness of the subway are also a huge nuisance. Granted, this issue in Boston has been much better than I’ve seen with the public transport from home. I saw someone drop a deuce on the good old Cleveland RTA when I was seven. You know, just little issues. Anyhow, people still leave nasty things on the T all the time. Don’t leave that iced pumpkin-spiced latte on the seat behind you, twelve-year-old middle school girl. Say “no way” to half-eaten McDonald’s on the floor! And especially no chewed up gum wads. The T isn’t trying to go for the makeshift Jackson Pollock look.

Lastly, the performers. A lot of you are amazing, and make a usually boring and lackluster experience into something noteworthy and gratifying. But the rotten apples have ruined it for everyone. Stick to the platforms artists, and please don’t actually ride the subway around. I don’t want to listen to the guy who can play cello using only his big toe or an a cappella rendition of “Anaconda” the entire way home.

So again, to all T subway riders, just follow these simple guidelines for a smooth sailing ride to your destination. And if you’re drunk, just please don’t toss your cookies on anyone’s lap.