Thursday, June 26, 2008

"I'm actually very gregarious by nature," he said just as we pulled into the station. "New York City is where I was raised, and it's a lot colder than Chicago in terms of strangers walking near each other."

Gregarious. At 7:30 in the morning. Kudos to the SAT word.

The train was late this morning. The conductor kept saying, nay, pleading with the passengers, "Please come sit in the back of the train. I have 300 seats open. 300 empty seats!" The person next to me turned to me and said, "Do you think he's lonely? Someone should go give him a hug."

Side note: If you are more than 200 lbs, please do not dress like Matthew McConaughey. White linen collared shirts halfway unbuttoned with a pair of tan linen shorts is not okay at 7 in the morning, especially if you have more hair on your chest than on your head. Really. Please take note for everyone's best interest.

Again, it rings over the intercom, "I've got some good news for those of you who want a seat. There are three hundred empty seats in the back."

The man next to me had cuff links on. With coffee cups engraved on them. He was my new hero for the morning.

I've talked a lot about Commuterology being it's own cultural study. Commuters have their own food and beverage staples, their own migratory patterns, their own habitual customs and unspoken rules. They also have their own values, specific to the commuter culture. The key one being impatience. Impatience is the virtue amongst commuters. If you can't fix it, complain about it a little bit more, because that's going to cause the Union Pacific Rail Road management to hear your outcry of horror at being 7 minutes late to the station and completely reroute the train to meet your need.

A large majority of people on that train take it every morning. In the past month and a half, it has only been slightly late twice. By slightly I mean three minutes late to the station. That's consistency people, and we should just sit back. Our complaints on board do nothing more than annoy the conductors.

Impatience is the unifying virtue among commuters.

And yes, please, ma'am in the back of the car, I would LOVE to hear about how horrible your job is. In fact, please talk about it SO loud that everyone is captivated by anecdotes of your horrible boss, terrible management and unbearable coworkers. We'll be so enthralled that we'll board the same car tomorrow morning to hear the next installment. (Okay, so that was a little more scathing than I meant it to be, but you'll forgive me someday when you feel the same way. )

Friends, let's remember, the front seats on the bottom deck of the train are always the most awkward. You have no choice but to face someone else and usually feel ridiculous because there's no leg room that isn't intruding upon someone else's.

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