In most cities, and certainly New York, it's against the law to beg and panhandle on the subway. There are signs directing passengers to give to established charities and not to these individuals. Also, there is definitely a certain percentage of panhandlers who are not in need of assistance. Who beg for money as a source of income, playing on the heartstrings of passengers trapped in close proximity. Nevertheless, I know there has to be a certain percentage of people actually starving. I'm not talking about them. I'm only addressing the con artists. How do you separate the two? Because so many are soooo bad at it, and they're the ones I find most offensive. If you're going to pretend that begging and conning is a job, then at least be good at it.
Yeah, I'm talking to you, kid with a box of M&Ms. We all know you're not actually trying to raise money for your basketball team's tournament. And older dude, we don't care that you don't take drugs. You're not supposed to be a drug addict. You don't get hand-outs simply for not spending it on meth.
But perhaps the worst offender was a woman I saw a few years ago who actually tucked her shirt into her sweatpants and then begged for money for herself and for her unborn child. Seriously? You want money for that level of ingenuity? If you're trying to defraud me at lease invest in a pillow because presently you're carrying the only baby who could be aborted with the old "shirt's on fire, now it's out" trick.
Hey, guess what. Subways are loud. They're underground. They have brakes. And sometimes those brakes screech and echo. Know what you do when that happens? Nothing. It's screeching subway brakes the way God intended. Do you know what you look like when you stick your fingers in your ears and make some sour lemon face about the god-awful racket you have to endure? This.
You look like this:
Well, not really, but you don't look good.
Many of you suggested cell phone users and drunks. Both good suggestions and I'd like to open that up to a larger category: people who have absolutely no conception or no concern for just how loud they're being. Rule of thumb: if you're more then five feet from me, I shouldn't be able to hear you. I don't care about the party or the boss or your kids or whatever Sheila said to Deborah about that thing Nancy told her. Or how about the times the car is completely silent. No one is talking. All you can hear is the soothing racketa racketa of the tracks and then one person starts talking. Loudly.
Side note. Some of the worst offenders? German tourists. Holy hell. First off, quick question Germans: why is that no matter what season you visit, you wear expensive shorts, large construction boots with wool socks, and aviator glasses. Is this standard issue or is there only one lone camping/Land's End type store in Germany? But fashion aside, who knew Aryans were so loud? I always thought Hitler was screaming in those old news clips because he was trying to inspire nationalistic fury. Maybe he was just trying to be heard on downtown 9?
"DO I NEED TO TRANSFER AT UNION SQUARE?!
Upon reflection, perhaps this is list-worthy after all.