Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Okay, now I'm really done with people

Looks like I picked the wrong day to ride the subway.

On the way home, I got what looked like a very empty train. I entered the car and it smelled vaguely like vinegar. Well, I've smelled worse things in subway cars! No one was sitting on one entire side of the car. I looked at the bench and saw drops of water on the seats. All the seats. I'd looked before I leapt, but the nice people sitting on the other side were being kind enough to warn others not to sit down. I walked the length of the car, and not one seat was dry.

"It's on all of them," said a helpful passenger with a bemused smile.
"What is it?" I asked.
"Salad dressing," several voices replied. I gathered these people had been here when the dressing was splashed.
"Um, what happened?"
Many people shrugged, but no one answered. Oooookay... This didn't seem like an entirely unreasonable thing to have happened. Someone walked through the car with a leaky deli bag. Maybe someone a little off or a little stupid had been swinging a plastic bag around, unaware he was leaking. It takes a lot to surprise New Yorkers, and a little salad dressing is nothing.

I went into the next car, where the vinegar smell was even stronger. More people were sitting in here, but the vinegar smell was stronger. "Don't touch the poles," someone said, though not to me.

There was salad dressing smeared on the poles, and on the few available seats. It was thick and white (and looked rather like something else) and there was no question that it had been put there deliberately. I managed to make it to a clean, empty seat without bumping into anything, and I sat and watched as people throughout the car grabbed, leaned on, and brushed past the condiment-smeared poles and railings, and then discovered with annoyance the Creamy Italian on their clothing. The other passengers weren't nearly as good about warning people as those in the first car had been, but there was a pocket pack of Kleenex being passed around, and it made me feel pretty good about people.

Except for the person who poured fucking salad dressing all over at least two subway cars! I mean, what the hell????

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