Thursday, October 29, 2009

As I have just found a fancy new job in the city, I spend a lot of time on the CTA. This is not because I live in the city a nd find it easier to get around, and it sure as hell isn't because I have finally decided I give a shit about the environment1. It's because I leave for work at the ass crack of dawn and driving in a city full of cab drivers with death wishes and people who have such little regard for thier own safety that they will walk in front of a moving fucking vehicle and take it on faith that the driver will stop instead of running them over just doesn't sound like a whole hell of a lot of fun to me.

That, and the City of Chicago got all sorts of pissy last time I tried it2.

So, for the well being of everyone around me, I did the responsible thing and started taking the CTA to work. This seemed like the logical, safe plan that kept me from running over various pedestrians and saved me a small fortune on gas. Which is true.


Until I realized that other people ride the CTA blue line.


Generally, I am alright with other people, provided I don't have to look at them, talk to them, be near them or share anything with them. So you can see how the blue line is problematic. Then I realized3 that I have a blog that I haven't updated lately, and what a perfect platform to solve this problem.


Following is my 8 point plan to ensure that we can all continue to ride the CTA happily4:


1. I have called numerous stores around the city and suburbs of this great City of Chicago. There is not actually a shortage of soap, deodorant or toothpaste. This should be good news, as there are numerous passengers on the CTA who have not yet heard the news. The best part about soap is when used on a regular basis, you don't stink to high hell causing the cute brunette blogger beside you to hide her nose in her sleeve. For the record? Those were not tears of joy you saw. My eyes were watering because you stank like rotten garbage. The tears you saw after that were genuine, from the realization that my hair, clothes and purse all smelled like your particular brand of body odor and despite my best attempts I would not be able to go home for another nine hours to wash your stink off of me.


Soap is your friend. Toothpaste is your friend. Deodorant is your friend. For the love of fucking god, use them. All three. You are going to be wedged in a metal tube that speeds through an underground tunnel, and some of us don't feel like smelling like ass because you don't shower.



2. Don't ever touch me. This should really go without saying but sadly it does not. One happy Tuesday morning, I managed to haul my chunky ass onto the train a little bit early, and was all excited to start my day. Until I felt someone touch my hair. I have a lot of hair, and assumed that it was in someone's way. I moved my head and tried to tuck it into my coat, and again I felt a little tug. I turned around to find some scary old man smelling my hair. When I told5 him not to touch me he then proceeded to pet my hair.


Needless to say, I got off at the next stop.


This is an important rule in my plan. Don't touch people you don't know. I thought this was common sense.This is good for the safety of all passengers, because had that creepy old man touched me again, the train would've been delayed indefinately as he would've pulled back a bloody stump instead of a hand and I'd be explaining to the cops what happened.



3. Another train is coming. If the train you are trying to get on is so full that you have to propel yourself through the doors with a running start, and then suck in your stomach so the doors have room to close, it's probably best you wait for the next train. It's coming. I promise. When the conductor says "There is a train immediately following this one", generally it means "there is another train immediately following this one"6. You can wait for that one. Chances are you are not so important that you absolutetly-postiively-are-going-to-die if you have to wait for two minutes. If you're running late? Those two minutes won't likely matter. Welcome to Chicago.



4. If there is an elderly passenger, a woman with 3 kids and groceries, or someone in five inch heels7 and you are using an empty seat as a place to put your shopping bags, back pack or feet, the other passengers should be allowed to kick you until they reach their destination or you reach yours. This also goes for men who feel the need to sit down and spread their legs wider than someone who is giving birth. You're taking up two seats, this is not a pornography shoot and no one wants to see that. Furthermore, there is no way that you are so...well endowed...that you need to give Little Elvis and his back up singers that much room. I call bullshit.



5. Turn down the volume on your iPod. There is one person on earth whos taste in music I give a shit about other than my own, and he doesn't live in Chicago. Your taste in music sucks. No one wants to hear it. Turn that shit down. If you can't hear it if you turn it down , that is because by blasting that shit that you call music at decibels that rival that of a runway at O'Hare has permanently damaged your hearing. Good job, Corky.  



6. The train is loud. But it is not so loud that you need to scream to your boyfriend while he's sitting right beside you. If everyone on the train gets up and moves the minute you open your mouth, you've either violated the first point of this plan, or you're obnoxious. Usually, its some combination of the two. Use your inside voice.


7.  If you are a bigger person, more power to you. I love you, and Santa is my GUY8, but for the love of Christ stop sitting on me. Don't get me wrong, I will gladly scoot over and give you some of my seat. I am a giver like that. But lets face it. My ass isn't small, and I only have so much to give. If you can't work with the seat and a half, please get off of my lap, I can't breathe.


8. If you are getting ready to swipe your CTA pass and it is not in your hand, get the fuck out of line.There are 45 people behind you listening to that pleasant announcer claim that there is a Blue Line Train headed toward the Loop arriving shortly, and you're clogging up the works by digging through the years of recipts, results from STD tests and only God knows what else in that monstrosity you call a purse. Step out of line, let the rest of us get to the fucking train already. If we miss it, we all know another one is coming, but some of us want to get going so we can settle in and try to find a spot away from the more...fragrant...members of this community.



As you can see, I am not an unreasonable person. With just 8 easy steps, I can make the CTA a better place for everyone, instead of debarking every day with a new found respect for soap and the laws that require you to wait before purchasing a fire arm.


1 Perhaps if it wasn't so fucking trendy I'd have a different assessment. Until then, I offer the following agreement: you stop blathering about it, and I'll stop wishing that your Prius would randomly burst into flames.

2 You drive on one sidewalk, and all the sudden you're worse than Osama Bin Laden.

3 Read: felt guilty

4 Lest I have to choke a bitch.

5 Fine. It was more of a high pitched shriek.

6 I know this beacuse I have yet to see anyone starve to death waiting for the el.

7 Which are ridiculous to wear in the city but look fabulous thank-you-very-much.

8 Techincally anyone who gives me presents that doesn't expect me to sleep with them later works for me, but let's not split hairs.


Bartski said...

So, who was this "cute brunette" blogger? Did you get her name or the name of her blog? I'd like to try something like that for a change.

And as much as I like a good footnote, they really don't work in this medium, do they?

Clare said...

Im cute, you ass.

And I use foot notes a shit load when I write, it just happens that this didn't get cleaned up as I have to post directly from google docs so i can keep my job. :D

Bartski said...

I can neither confirm nor deny the aforementioned claims of "cuteness." Spunky? Sure. Sharp as a tack? You betcha. But claims of cuteness require photographic evidence. Full-body naked photographic evidence.

puzzlehead said...

I can't wait until it's summer and you're face to arm pit with someone.

Dean said...

I actually read that whole thing, which is something I rarely do. If I see more than a screen full of someone's blog bathering I generally move on or skip to the end. But, you somehow got me to read it start to finish. I admit I was speed reading, but still... that's something. Nice one!

P.S. Tell me again about those 5-inch heels. :)