Though the idea of modern public transportation seems to conjure up images of us flying happily through the sky, Jetson-style, the reality is far from modern. When you descend to the purgatory that is the New York City Subway system, it may seem as if the laws of etiquette no longer apply. But that, dear reader, is simply not true. Follow these simple guidelines and your trip should be free from gentle ladies like myself giving you the people’s elbow on the sly.
1. Do Not Give Money to Mariachi Bands
Go support the arts somewhere above ground. Giving them a few pesos doesn’t mean they’ll go away. You’re just encouraging them to play Tequila again and some of us are hungover.
2. Do Not Pee on the Platforms
Do I need to elaborate here? There’s a perfectly good Starbucks with public toilets on every block. Remember kids, this is an enclosed space.
3. If You Don’t Know Where You Are Going, Get Out the Way
I have missed many a train trying to play red rover through groups of obese Midwestern tourists. It’s nice that you’re showing off your new Hard Rock Cafe shirt, but please don’t do it on the stairs. Save it for the Times Square Marriot, mkay?
4. Do Not Eat on the Subway
Sure, we’ve all gotten a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and ate it while hysterically crying over lost loves. While this is acceptable behavior in private, it is muy uncomfortable on the 6 train.
5. Be Gracious
The train will lurch and send you flying right into your fellow commuter on almost every ride. This happened last month to me and a toothless lady punched me right in the back and called me a “white bitch who ‘aint got no manners.” It not only bruised my tender vertebrae, but also my faith in humanity.
6. Do the Math
You might think you can squeeze into that small space left on the seat, but remember, most seats are meant for 3 “average” size people. If you work in the fashion industry, this means about 6 Olsen twins. If you can only wear elastic waistband bands and have trouble fastening your seat belt, this means 1.5 of you may sit. Don’t get cocky.
7. Keep Your Damn Hands To Yourself
I’m already nauseous because Skippy over there peed himself while eating Taco Bell. Do you really think this is the time to spice up your sex life with a little dry hump make out session? I’d say keep it above the waist, but I’d prefer if you kept that shit above ground.
8. Don’t Talk to Strangers
Because they don’t want to talk to you. Save it for your diary.
9. Don’t Hold the Doors Open
Why not? Because I’m running late and you’re slowing things down for everyone else on the train. [Side note: This only ever acceptable if I’m the one doing it…I mean, I gotta get somewhere, okay?]
10. Don’t Preach
Had we wanted to escape the hell fires of damnation, we wouldn’t be in this city of sin. Stop telling us about Jesus, it’s New York, everyone here is Jewish anyway.