Curse of the Caustic Commuter

With graduation looming over me in less than three months, I’ve resigned to the fact that I’m going to have to get a job in the so-called “real world.”

With this comes the realization that I will probably be a daily Long Island Rail Road and New York City Subway commuter. However, there are problems that I’m going to have to deal with – 10, to be specific. It’s not the train ride, the length of the commute or the probable delays. It’s the people around me.

No matter what line you’re on or what time of day it is, you are bound to encounter at least one of the following people on your commute. The peak rush hours are even worse – I’ve seen as many as six on one train. I now present to you the Ten Most Annoying People You Will Ever Encounter on a Train.

1) The Constant Cracker – She stares into space as her jaws furiously move up and down, her mouth wide open. If you squint, she sort of looks like a Jersey cow. Crack. Crack. Crack. The Constant Cracker is like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s Violet Beauregarde – never without a piece of gum in her mouth. Trains seem to be a Constant Cracker haven. Go on the D train at any point of the day, and you’re likely to be bombarded by a gum-cracking symphony. The noise gives me the heebie-jeebies and the shakes. It’s worse than fingernails scraping across a blackboard.

2) The Careless Clipper – Many people find that the train a place to catch up on nice, quiet activities they don’t have time to do elsewhere – reading, knitting, listening to music or catching some Zzzzzzs. This person, however, uses the time to catch up on hygiene – by clipping his nails. Clip. Clip. Clip. In a noise similar in fashion to the Constant Cracker, this person clips his fingernails multiple times, the quarter-moon shaped arcs flying in all different directions. It’s annoying, it’s unsanitary and, most of all, just plain gross.

3) The Reeking Ravisher – This person is always chowing down on the train. However, it’s usually not something simple and unobtrusive, like a cookie – it’s usually some unidentifiable, odorous ethnic food in a Styrofoam container. It usually stinks up the entire car, and you pray the smell doesn’t stick to you like cigarette smoke.

4) The Bass Blaster – His head is bobbing up in down, white wires sticking out of his ears. The bass on his iPod is turned up so high that you can’t exactly figure out what he’s listening to – and it drives you nuts for the rest of the day. Was it Guns ‘N’ Roses? Eminem? Maybe it could have been Yanni. You’ll never know.

5) The Space Squeezer – This person always walks on to the train, her head turning 360º in extreme determination to find a place to park her derrière. And she always does find a space to sit – it’s usually next to you, and she somehow manages to squeeze herself into the two-inch space between you and the person sitting next to you. In the effort to prevent suffocation, you decide to stand up instead, while Space Squeezer happily gets to spread her cheeks across the now-empty seat.

6) The Boisterous Breather – Whether he’s chewing on a sandwich or taking a cat-nap, Boisterous Breather always lets you know he’s inhaling enough oxygen through his snot-lined nose. While he snorts and whistles, you wonder how much germs and dust particles are going up his nasal cavity. He’ll then answer your question with a mucusy cough. Get this man some Sudafed!

7) The Yakkity-Yakker – Never without her cell phone, Yakkity-Yakker uses her commute to catch up on business calls, gossip sessions and medical test results. She always has the most annoying ring tone in the world (something along the lines of “William Tell Overture” or the latest Beyoncé tune), which goes off constantly.

8.) The Putrid Perfumery – If you find yourself gasping for air, it’s most likely you’re sitting near Putrid Perfumery. This woman knows no boundaries when it comes to applying her Chanel No. 5 – she sprays it on her neck, her wrists, behind her ears, her hair, her armpits, between her toes and even in her bellybutton. This is on top of her scented hairspray, talcum powder, and Downy-fresh clothes. If you light a match, she’d probably ignite from her noxious fumes. The same goes for people who haven’t showered in a week. There’s nothing worse than Eau de Odeur Corporelle – otherwise known as body odor.

9) The Pushy Promoter – Whether he is selling M&Ms for his basketball team, preaching his agenda, offering five Dinacell batteries for a dollar or singing his favorite song loud and clear for all to hear, this guy just doesn’t know when to shut his trap. The best way to ignore him is to pretend you’re sleeping.

10) The Billion-Bag Boob – Most of the time, you can find Billion-Bag Boob on a rush-hour train, carrying shopping bags, baby strollers and boxes. It’s usually more than she can handle, so she uses seats and floor space to relieve herself of her baggage. This means less room for you, and more room for the fabulous clothes she just picked up at the Macy’s sale.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is always complaining it has no money. So what do they do? Raise the fares to astronomic amounts. Instead, they should fine these people for being pains in the asses. The MTA will quickly get themselves out of debt, and we can look forward to a pleasant daily commute once more.

Leave a Reply