Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Three Horrible People on Public Transportation

Y'all don't seem to be as psyched about my political posts as about my "people/things I hate" posts, so I figured it's time for another bitchathon. I recently (ie yesterday) went on a long train ride from St. Louis back home, and I was reminded of why I dislike public transportation so much--at least, when I'm riding for long periods of time. It didn't help that the fun of a five-hour train ride was combined with the nerve-shredding irritability of the days before menses. It's not the uncomfortable seats. It's not that trains--and airplanes, and buses--are always approximately fifteen degrees below zero. It's the other people. I know that sounds like a horribly misanthropic thing to say. That's because it is. Here are the people that make me contemplate violence on public transportation.
1. The non-stop talker. I don't expect a plane or train to be perfectly quiet--I realize people are going to talk, and rustle their newspapers, and turn up their iPods to levels that make me fear not only for their hearing but for the structural integrity of their skulls. However, yesterday I was sitting in front of a pair of non-stop talkers. And not even INTERESTING non-stop talkers. I was sitting in front of two members of the local 'observing the obvious' brigade. Actual sample of the conversation:
"Remember at that last stop when all those kids got on with their bikes?"
"I bet there were at least thirty of them."
"Thirty is a lot of kids."
"Yes, thirty is a lot of kids."
"Maybe they're riding the Katy Trail."
"It is pretty country out here."
"It's all the trees."
"I like trees."
I'm not kidding. I was trying to sleep, since I never sleep well the night before traveling, and I couldn't drop off--not because the seat was bending my spine into something between a C and an S, but because the woman behind me was holding forth on the LIKABILITY OF TREES. Which are great, don't get me wrong, but not something you need to talk about for twenty freaking minutes.
A variant of this is the non-stop phone talker, which is somehow more annoying than the in-person version.
2. The aforementioned iPod blasters. If I wanted to listen to Eminem only loud enough to discern the basic cadence of the rap and an occasional 'motherfucker'--oh wait, I wouldn't. Ever. If I wanted to listen to Katy Perry--oh, wait. I wouldn't want to listen to that either. I appreciate your attempt to share your music with the world, but--no, I don't. So for my sake, and the sake of your hearing, turn that shit down.
3. The angry-parent, angry-child cagematch to the death. It's bad enough to have to deal with an angry child in an enclosed space for a prolonged period of time. It's marginally less traumatic than being trapped on a train with a wolverine; at least you could bludgeon the wolverine into submission with your luggage without feeling guilty. It's the angry-parent part of the dyad that really makes me wince. The little kid can't help being tired/hungry/just five years old. When the parent starts throwing around threats and cursing, that's when things have gotten a little too real, and the point at which I contemplate telling the adult to go to time out.

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