We all witness people doing weird things day to day, most of the time we just wave it off and carry on but, being me, I have to document them. People are entertaining though, you have to admit.
A few weeks ago an elderly party of two men and one woman were at the window buying tickets and the eldest of the three, one of the men, was making quite a fuss. Being in a rush I did what we all do and shuffled on my way but I picked up some complaints going past about the quality of the subway and how efficient it was etc etc. Sometimes the elderly need a refresher, automated ticketing systems are a good thing, this man wasn’t buying it. Just as the man was handed his own ticket, the other elderly man mutters “now, we need two of the same…for us.” and all I could think was: ‘I hope the other two don’t come with added ear-ache.’
It was just my luck that the three of them plodded down the stationary escalator to my side of the platform. After some more unnecessary blethering the eldest clomped his way back up (I assumed to complain some more, no doubt he did on his way). His company soon followed suit and they emerged on the other side of the platform for the other train, missing not only the train on the platform they were originally on, but one for the platform they’d just graced with their presence. The look on his face made my day, it really did. Some people have misfortune coming to them when they treat people with such disregard as he did.
Another more amusing observation from my adventures underground was short and sweet. It was raining above ground, the only thing worse than a subway train full of people is a subway train full of damp people. Anyways, a woman had just crashed onto the platform after flying down the escalator and she was struggling to close her umbrella. In the rush to throw herself into a train she gave up, to her dignity’s peril. The umbrella popped open, throwing the glasses off her face and backwards away from the train altogether. I did feel sorry for this woman but I giggled the whole way to University. It was one of those things you see and has you ricocheting into laughter all day long.
Worst death of dignity witnessed on the subway (so far) I sadly experienced myself. I don’t think I’ve been more embarrassed, ever. Probably an exaggeration but you’ll see why.
I was sitting beside a guy, easily twice my size (I’m not particularly well built, this guy was biiiig). He got up to leave and his keys fell out of his coat. Being the kind soul that I am I reached for the keys and went to indicate to the man that he had dropped them. Unfortunately I just flung out a hand and, without looking, grabbed the first thing that came into contact with it.
I just…I don’t even know what one can do in that situation, I flung the keys in his direction in a distracting ‘I actually helped you, please excuse the bum-grab’ manner and got back to reading a book on my phone without acknowledging any kind of thanks (…or more likely horror) from his direction. Never have I been so glad to emerge from a subway train, trailing my dignity behind me in tatters.
The subway can be an altogether stressful experience for all involved. All it takes is a bad day; it’s either your best friend or your worst enemy. Only way to find out is to descend those steps and hope for the best.