How To Ride The Subway

If you have ever been a resident of any major city, chances are you have ridden the subway. Unfortuntely, most people found in subway stations seem to have as much sense of their surroundings as a house fly. My lesson will help fix that.

Just The Facts

  1. In 2009 alone, the New York City subway system had 1.579 BILLION RIDERS. That's almost 5 times the US population.
  2. Of those 1.579 billion riders, most of them have not the slightest clue of where they are, where they're going, what time it is, or that you're standing in front of them.
  3. Due to the huge volume of riders (and the lack of restrooms thereof), we're pretty sure several people have urinated on the tracks, in the train, on someone else, and/or exactly where you're standing.
  4. The "third track" of the subway is the reason the train moves and is extremely electrified, however, aspiring Darwin Award winners seem to touch them regularly.

Rule #1 - Upon entering the station, read the signs as you walk to ensure that you efficiently arrive at the correct train.

What this does not mean you should do: Walk at a normal pace and stop suddenly. Spin around in circles because you can't decide which way to go.

What can happen to you if you break this rule: You enter the subway and.....wait a minute, which way should you go? You stop dead in your tracks. You see a police officer and figure, "Well, he can help me" because that's what officers are trained to do (or an Initiative-registered superhero, depending where you live).

New York's finest

As you approach the officer, you notice he has a dog. You realize the dog is cute and decide to pet it. What you don't realize is that these German Shepherds are working with no pay, and would rather be eating toilet paper right now in the comfort of their owner's home. He doesn't want to be bothered. Before you know it, your whole upper arm is within his jaws. You're screaming like a little girl. All of this could have been avoided if you spent 20 seconds checking your route before you left. Now, you're probably on a CNN iReport known as "Steve!! Turn off that Egypt crap, it's the subway guy again!!!!" for the next 4 weeks.

You never know who has a camera.

Rule #2 - Be aware of your surroundings.

What this does not mean you should do: Not be aware of your surroundings.

The catalystic fuel behind the American workforce.

What can happen to you if you break this rule: I think it's fairly easy to understand what will happen to you. You only have your brand new iPhone, iPad, laptop, Rolex, and first born with you. And don't expect the Initiative-registered superheros to help you either.

This guy doesn't give two shits.

Rule #3 - Upon arriving at said train's platform, please find a comfortable and safe spot on the platform to wait for the next one's arrival.

What this does not mean you should do: Forcing yourself next to the only hot girl on the subway platform. Standing in the only path that people can walk through to get to the other end of the platform. Trying to convert people to your religion.

What can happen to you if you break this rule: Alot of normal people in society realize how miserable their day to day lives are because they are stuck in a job they don't like, dumped by their significant other, broke, or just plain freaking tired. Many subway systems are also poorly designed, and sometimes have stairwells in the middle of the platform. Therefore, the only way around these stairwells is by walking right at the edge of the platform. That means is you stand there and wait for the train because the exit will let you off near a Burger King or the Hello Kitty store, chances are people don't give a shit if they pillage through you. It's not that hard to find a spot on the platform.

These folks are batting 1.000

Rule #4 - After applicable passangers exit the train, please enter the train and find a spot to sit or stand. Stay there, and don't fucking move.

What this does not mean you should do: Walk into the train before people exit. Walk around the train while it's moving. Grab onto a railing that the only other person in the whole car is holding on to. Play your stereo or iPod speakers out loud (nobody likes Michael Bolton, nor do they probably like you). Sit next to the only other person in the whole car.

Just rude.

What can happen to you if you break this rule: You decide that it's time for some agility training and you see how far you can walk down the subway car without holding onto anything. Whooops! Sharp turn! Looks like you bumped into a 6'3", 375 pound man named Bull Marphazie, who's most pleasant childhood experience was eating a Tupperware container for Thanksgiving dinner.

You happen to be, well, look in the mirror.

Guess who drank his grapefruit juice this morning!

After your still-beaming iPod is forcefed up your nose, that hot girl I mentioned before will be leaving with Bull. You'll be on the CNN iReport. Again.

Rule #5 - After the train comes to a complete stop at your destination, depart through the nearest exit.

What this does not mean you should do: Stand up while the train is still moving so you can get closer to the door. Exit the train, and re-enter again because this isn't your stop. Get up and sprint off the train 20 seconds after the doors open.

What can happen to you if you break this rule: While sitting on your daily commute, you begin staring at the dirty white wall of the train car. You start drooling and calculating how many times you have done this on a daily basis. "STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING DOORS PLEASE!" Woops, this is your station! Quickly jump up and sprint towards the door, don't wanna end up in New Jersey!

This picture does not need a caption.

Just exit the train in an orderly fashion, it really isn't that difficult.

These folks are batting 0.000

In case you're one of the smart people.....

....I know how you feel. But there is no need to panic. I have a little trick that I use when someone gets a tad too close to my devastatingly handsome self:

Call me Moses because I just parted the Red Sea!

Anyone have interesting experiences from riding on the subway? Then this is your place to vent, submit a comment and tell us your story!