The MBTA is a world of its own. I take it to and from my 9 to 5 every day and am amazed by what I witness. As a seasoned T traveler, nothing really surprises me but what about the rookies? The new rider who goes in blind…they’ll never survive! So, being the good and gracious samaritan I am, I’ve decided to categorize the cast of characters who make up that world so that any future traveler may be prepared for the journey and plan accordingly…
Tha pack rats. The one’s who believe there’s always a bit more room (there’s not) and so what if the door continually slams into them as they try to squeeze on; they are NOT about to wait another seven minutes for the next train to come.
The oblivious. The one’s who enter the train only to stand directly in the doorway, refusing to move. An announcer may come on instructing the passenger to move into the train where there is plenty of room. But who are they to instruct them? Why move in when there is a perfectly good spot blocking the passengers trying to move in and out of the train smoothly?
The morning commuters. The perpetually wet-haired ones who just jumped out of the shower and strode straight to the train. The business suits, heels, and heavily perfumed bodies of the working class.
The sleepers. The one’s who have zero qualms leaning against you as they ride their own personal train to Morpheus’s house. They do provide some mighty entertainment jerking awake every now and again. Still waiting to hear a snore-er.
The runners. The one’s who refuse to miss any opportunity to get on a train, no matter how idiotic they look.
The tourists. Staring at the Green Line map like it’s a code they must crack in order to gain the secrets to the universe…only they’ll never figure it out.
The geeks with the gadgets. The iphones, ipads, ipods, blackberrys, laptops, PSPs, Nintendos, gameboys, and gamegears (How awesome was that thing? Favorite game: Aladdin).
The selfish. “No, I’m not going to acknowledge the elderly person shaking in their bones right in front of me while I sit on my fat butt click-clacking away on my phone. I’ve had a really hard day and my boyfriend is being a complete dick to me, so whatever. And you know what, I’d really appreciate it if they could move their walking cane because it keeps bumping against my knee.”
The mouth breathers. The one’s who walk by as they are exiting the train and release that warm breath that crawls across your neck. Did they do it on purpose? We’ll never know.
The snifflers. Dear God somebody get that man a tissue before I tear his face off. (I apologize; sometimes the T brings out the worst in me.)
The crazy. The one’s dressed in garbage bags and rockin out to the radio they have blasting from their boombox. Except by radio I mean static, and by rocking I mean drooling and screaming. But I just can’t tell if the screaming is directed at me or the guy in the next seat over…lazy eyes are tricky.
The drunk. Well, this was me last St. Patrick’s Day. Otherwise I’ve never witnessed many inebriated riders seeing as the T stops running at 12:45am and bars stay open until 2am (for the most part…but that’s another rant for another time).
The talkers. Oh my gosh, he said what? And then he slept with your roommate? And your test results came back positive? You ate the whole thing? Yeah, you probably should go to the gym. Has it been the worst day ever? He does seem like a total douche-bag. What? You’re totally pretty. Shut up. No, you shut up. Seriously, shut up.
The strollers. Hell yes there’s room for your giant $1,000 stroller. Bring it on mama! And yes, I thought it was a good idea too to take your baby out of the secure stroller in the moving train. No, I don’t mind the crying and screaming. Like a lamb’s lullaby, really.
The backpacks and the bag ladies. A true hazard. The bane of the T rider’s existence. There really should be a training school for those that ride with copious amounts of baggage. No you can’t turn as swift as you would in a field surrounded by miles of open space. No, that open seat is not there for your 3 Trader Joe’s bags, purse, tote, laptop carrier and dog carriage.
The hyenas. The pack of vicious she-devil dogs who giggle and shriek the entire ride.
The olfactory offenders. The range of stenches is immeasurable but just to list a few: piss, feces, Indian food, dirt, all range of body odor, vinegar, nail polish remover, heady perfumes of the old lady in the office type, fried food, rotten avocado, etc.
The auditory offenders. The one’s with their music so loud you thought for a second they were playing it from a boombox like the crazy lady seven categories up. Of course the entire train wanted to listen to the repetitious sounds of awful horns and sirens that you refer to as techno..oh wait you’re changing the song…I didn’t see anyone put in a request, but let’s see what gem’s going to crank out next. Yes! A rap song about hoes and money by lil’who the hell cares.
The stumblers. The adventurer determined to not hold on to anything as the train pelts down the track hitting those turns hard and fast. Who needs a pole when you have superior leg strength and the balance of a ninja? Sadly, some innocent rider’s toes always end up stomped by the end of the ride.
The perverts. They’ll pull the casually holding a camera in their lap or even a Billy Madison (“I dare you to touch her boobs. Touch her boobs? That’s assault brotha. You double dare me?”) Oh, I’m sorry! Damn T driver drives like an animal!
The opportunists. Anything for that free ride. If the train arrives and all those doors are opening (instead of just the front one), they are on that train faster than a fart in a windstorm. Sometimes you’ll get that extra effort of waving a T-card that clearly isn’t a monthly pass. At least you know they feel accomplished about something…or at least I do.
Me. I am guilty of falling into several of these categories and any future rider will too. No one is innocent on the T.
Enjoy your ride!