Subway Personalities I Could Do Without

The title says it all; these people make my commuting experience displeasing and leave me with an unfavorable attitude for the rest of the work day.

The Overeager Boarder

The rudest fucking thing in the world is to try and enter the subway before everyone has exited, but this person just does not give a shit. Even at 42nd street-Times Square during rush hour, they will slip in on the side while 20+ people try to exit through the tiny opening they are allotted. Where they have to be is just that much more important than where you have to be and you're just going to have to deal with that. The most effective method of combating the Boarder is much like the defense mechanisms of smaller predators in the wild; make yourself as big (and pointy) as possible. I usually place both hands on my hips, allowing my razor-sharp, hyper-extended, alien elbows to flank me on either side, and exit the subway without a care in the world. The Overeager Boarder can enter before you exit, but at their own risk. Hopefully some sort of lesson will be learned from the searing pain in their appendix area due to being rocked in the gut, but probably not.

Patient Zero

A lot of the time we have no choice but to be inches away and face-to-face with a complete stranger on the subway. Sometimes this can be tolerable with the help of a strategically-placed magazine or book. Other times, death is a better option since it seems impending anyway. This is because the person who you're smashed against is possible infected with the zombie virus. They sneeze, snot, hack, and cough everywhere and there is a variety of multi-colored liquids dripping from the areas in and around their mouth. There's no escape until the next stop when people shuffle around a bit and you intensely regret pointing and laughing at the people who wear surgical masks during their commute.

The Boombox

Whether it's with electronics or with their own mouths, the Boombox is loud as fuck. You can usually find them sitting down and screaming every word they say (regardless of whether they're with anyone) or playing their music aloud, sans headphones, from their MP3 player/phone. Their voice is usually one of the grating, Fran Drescher types and their music is always something severely intolerable like Mambo No. 5 or the Tiny Toons Theme Song. The Boombox usually rides the entire subway line from start to finish, most likely just to annoy people like you.

Inner Ear Issues

These people seem to have no control over their bodies. If it wasn't for them stomping on your foot every other minute, you would swear that they didn't even have legs. You surmise that even if they were sitting down they'd be flailing all over the subway car with each twist and turn. They're usually carrying a giant, turtle shell of a backpack which also slams into you every time that they do. Inner Ear Issues never notices the stink eye you're giving them, but you notice the stink eye that everyone else is giving you every time you domino into them on the subway. The resemblance to a Thwomp (of Super Mario Bros. fame) who has just gotten off of a spinning teacup ride is uncanny. The only way to save yourself from their war path is to get off of the subway ASAP.

The Insecure Stripper

We're all familiar with the stripper poles on the subway; they're not attached to any seats and have a ton of open hand room for people of all heights trying to stabilize themselves. If you're wasted, 18, and the subway isn't crowded, they are the perfect accessory for the sexy dance you've been practicing in the mirror every time you listen to a song with a lot of bass in it (oddly specific). If you're the Insecure Stripper, this is the perfect pole to hug with your entire body and not let anyone else on the crowded subway car use. If you're brave and incredibly unbalanced (physically!), like I am, you will hold onto the pole anyway. This will not detach the Stripper from the subway pole and you will most likely end up copping a feel somewhere inappropriate. Regardless of their gender, the Insecure Stripper always seems to be covered in breasts so that no matter where you clutch on the pole, there is a boob continually smashing into the back of your hand. Don't get me wrong, I love touching me some titties, but usually not unexpectedly, in public, and at 9:00am in the morning.

Subway Soapboxer

If you're an egocentric tool with a lot on your mind (or just plain certifiable), you've probably realized that the subway is the perfect venue to share your views with people. This is because as soon as those doors close, they can't escape and are forced to listen to your bullshit. In my experience, the Soapboxer is usually a deeply religious person who wants to explain the ins and outs of Jesus Christ to you or talk about how they are a fallen angel and only young girls are pure enough to touch them (the latter exists, has a ponytail, and likes to take the 6 from Astor Place). The Soapboxer may also read straight from the Bible, share their horrible poetry with you, talk about their political views, perform a scene from Shakespeare's Hamlet, tell you a boring anecdote, and countless other things. No matter how much you try to read or turn up the volume on your music, you can't block them out. You must listen and they know that.

Thanks for reading. If you think you're one of the aforementioned people, well then fuck you forever. If not, good luck riding the subway!


  1. i love this. i also think that it can be applied to ELEVATORS. i'm pretty sure that i come dangerously close to having a bitch fit every time the elevator door opens and people try to shuffle in before i've even walked out.

  2. definitely agreed!!! i think elevators are more tolerable though since you only have to suffer for a couple of seconds.

  3. i seriously love this and hate taking public transportation for these very reasons.

  4. Thanks!!! Aren't these people the worst ever?


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