Buses Are Cool

This morning was glorious. Dropped off the car at Mister Tire for the oil change. Jumped the 3A bus to Rosslyn. From there jumped the 38B to Farragut Square. This meant no time at all spent in the hot nasty underground. The nice thing about taking the bus is that you actually get to see Washington, and on my route, Georgetown. You don’t get to do much in the way of sightseeing underground. The other nice thing is that, for both buses, I had a seat.

Got to my office in good time and purchased a bowl of oatmeal, fresh fruit, and an ogret, and I don’t feel like I have that subway ooze on me. This may become the regular morning routine. It is much nicer than the subway, that is for sure.

Editor, Express:

THE THIRD WORST thing that could happen by your forcing the Metro train doors open is that you might find yourself a Darwin Awards nominee, killing or injuring yourself via your own brutish stupidity.

The second worst thing that could happen is that you could achieve such a status not only for yourself but for the pack of idiots you are trying to help rush the Metro train doors. They are foolishly trusting your physical mettle as much as you do, and if you fail you’re not just responsible for hurting yourself; you are responsible for hurting them, too.

However, the worst thing that could happen is that you could make me and several hundred, perhaps several thousand, late to work. Foolish feats of strength such as the one I witnessed this morning are often why Metro trains end up stuck.

Please, mister: Don’t try to force the train doors open again.

Aaron B. Pryor
Arlington, Va.

"…it’s like they’re saying, ‘Here, you throw this away.’"

Am I overly annoyable through my daily commute, at the tourists who consistently block my passage off of the train, at the escalator leftstanders and the hogs of egress, at the pedestrian meanderers, and, perhaps most troubling, at the leaflet and newspaper distributors?

They are mother birds on PCP, more than eager to jam their found pablum into you. Here’s a restaurant you should try. Here’s some stuff on newsprint you should read. Here, you throw this away (thanks, Mitch). Today there was some falun gong dude handing out pamphlets inside the Metro Center station. Well, it was either falun gong he was selling, or it was miso.

I don’t know because I have a general policy of neither accepting nor offering anything whilst I’m in transit. I’ll pick up an Express from time to time, but that’s it. I’m not giving you money or whatever the hell you just mumbled to me about, and I’m not taking your little pieces of paper.

I’m thinking of printing up a little sign and wearing it on my hat. The sign would say, “I Accept No Fliers. Thank You.” And, if these people keep being pushy about it, on the other side of the sign, it would perhaps say “Piss Off, Already. I Said No.”

Subway Ettiquette

A few brief notes for subway riders in the Washington, D.C. metro area:

  • You instantly brand yourself as a tourist if you run after the metro train yelling “Hold the door!” Holding a subway train door is not unlike trying to teach a pig to sing, except that a pig is not likely to crush your body in two and drag you in an unfortunate position down a cement tunnel. You cannot “hold the door,” folks, and that is why I am presently without a decent umbrella.
  • On a related note: When the woman says “please, stand clear of the doors,” dude, stand clear of the friggin’ doors. Do not try to beat them. Another train will be here soon. No job in the world is worth your life.
  • By the way, you look really silly running to catch the train.
  • Gentlemen, there is nothing noble about leaving that seat open for a woman, not if you’re blocking the doors in the process. If you like, you may allow the seat to remain open for the first few seconds of the trip to the next station. But past that, you’re a damned fire hazard. Sit down.
  • Get on the train as quickly as you can, please, and perhaps a little quicker. And, for Christ’s sake, don’t get on and stand there by the door. There is a whole wide world going on behind you, and right now, some folks who live in that world would like to board the train.
  • If you’re standing by the doors, you are obligated to get off the train to let people off. And for those of you waiting for the train, if I get off the train and stand in front of you, this is what I’m doing. I’m not leaving, and damn it, I’m not giving you my spot on a crowded train.
  • Speaking of waiting for the train: Let everyone get off the train before you attempt to board. Courtesy and the mechanics of human traffic flow make this the most generally accepted social standard.
  • Escalators: Stand to the right. Walk to the left. Say it with me…
  • Even those of us who have ridden Metro for years get blue-lined at Metro Center. All you can do is try not to feel too silly, get off at Arlington Cemetery (which is where you probably realized your mistake…hey, what the Hell am I doing OUTSIDE?), and to try not to feel too silly taking the escalators down and to the other side.