Metro Happenings this week….


The other morning I sat on the platform next to a little boy and his father.  The boy's nose was running & dripping nasty yellow stuff which he proceeded to wipe down his arm and across his face – accompanied by big slurping noises.  

Now, I'm the type of person who carries a mini medicine cabinet in my handbag so it stands to reason I would also have 500 spare tissues.  I said (in the most maternal voice I could dredge up) -  "Would you like one of my tissues – I have plenty?"

The father looked up from his newspaper and stared at me as though I'd just asked the boy to expose himself.  After a couple of moments he said:   "No, he would not !!

Boy continues to wipe sloppy disgusting snot everywhere.  

On the other hand  (pun intended)……..
This morning I sat waiting for a train next to a guy around 40.  I watched him struggling mightily to do up the band of his watch.  Reminded of the tissue incident I was reluctant to say anything but after a few more futile attempts on his part I asked   "would you like help doing that up?"  -  "oh God, yes.  Thank you so much".

I laughed as I said: This is why I have one of these elastic stretchy bands.


Then something that gave commuters a good laugh the other afternoon….    There were more people waiting on the platform than were going to fit on the train.  As we surged forward the driver announced "People, you are not all going to fit on this train – there is another train coming.   Look to your right and you will see the headlights of that train".

Mmmmmmmm – the only problem – if the lights were coming from the right they were coming head-on!

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25 responses

  1. There are al kinds on the Metro; remember this Korean guy who would get on the Orange line at Dunn Lorring on weekday mornings, then proceed to sing hymns in a very loud voice, ending with an abmonition to the unrepentant.

  2. LOL – I used to ride the Red Line and a woman used to preach every morning – she would get louder and louder until we got to Metro Center which I'm pretty sure she considered to be Hell!

  3. Since I'll be riding the Metro in a few weeks when we come down there for vacation, I don't know if I should be apprehensive or excited about all of the strange people I will undoubtably encounter!

  4. No he would NOT. He likes to be snotty and we like having a snot covered child THANK YOU VERY MUCH!I have a subway snot story as well.Back in, I guess it was 1987 I was working in Philly and took the el/subway into town from the burbs. This guy who was maybe in his early/mid 20s was sitting across the aisle and a few rows ahead of me. He was reading a magazine, like US News and World Report, when suddenly he let out a huge sneeze and a big gob of snot blew all over the magazine. So he didn't really know what to do for a second, I guess because he was reading an article that now had boogers all over it. So then he just shut the magazine and acted like nothing had happened. I mean, really, what else could he have done?

  5. Bless you for offering that kid a tissue. I probably would have gotten up in disgust and moved to a different seat. Or car. I've had a phobia of people who cough, sneeze, and dribble snot in shared spaces ever since I caught a really nasty case of strep throat from a student who came to class with a cough and a raging fever.

  6. LOL!! Here in Norway (well Oslo anyway) it is normal during cold season, that people sit everywhere and lightly sniffle and/or draw it all up – instead of using a tissue.A friend of mine has had, at several occasions, turned to a person and – already ready in hand – offered them a tissue. They never knew what hit them, and all looked as offended as that dad probably answered.I had a couple of situations when I was bothered with a running nose and had run out of tissues. I would have been truly thankful if someone would have bothered to offer me one.

  7. LOL – the driver meant HIS right, I guess. Disgusting wiping snot and even more disgusting father. I used to have a friend who would wipe her baby's spit-up on her t shirt. I would shudder. Given that, yesterday Bibble weed on my leg on the way home (Masha came and picked us up after I walked to a shop and then the bookshop). I did not even flinch. (his carrier is wicker, and poor little guy had had a vet visit but was able to relax in the carrier in the bookshop, which a friend runs) But I did change clothes when I got home.I enjoyed this. I am glad the one person let you help. I often try to help when I feel I must, and half the time (as with your experiences) people are rude and weird about it. Makes me want to pop them upside the head or at least snap back, but usually I then ignore them as they are obviously full of poison.

  8. I went through my sentence to the little boy a number of times to see how it could be misinterpreted (perhaps by my accent) and couldn't come up with a word that could be considered really offensive. Luckily once the train arrived they got into a different carriage to me. Yes – they are warm to hot to very hot. We've had a lot of instances of "sick passengers" recently – they've probably passed out on an inadequately cooled carriage.

  9. LOL – you might not be up early enough to come across the strange morning commuters (I leave home at 6.40) – in the afternoons you will be squished in with other tired cranky tourists 🙂 (The worst tourists are the ones that travel in the afternoon peak hour with strollers and cross cranky sunburnt kids!) 🙂

  10. This would never have happened with my kids because of the huge handbag of supplies I carried around but if that handbag had somehow been lost or stolen and someone had offered me tissues for my snotty kid I'd have been extremely grateful. Jeez – I might even have asked people if they had spares! LMAO – that is such a funny story!! I would've been so mortified if that had happened to me I would've got off the train!

  11. Yeah – I really don't understand the father's response (reaction?). I went over what I'd said wondering if my accent had slewed some word into something rude or insulting – but I don't think so. I think he was just one of those people who didn't want others interfering in his business. Oh yes winter is a horrible time to be riding mass transit – I try not to breath. LOL – very hard when I'm on the trains for an hour!

  12. LOL – well I won't be offering any more kids a tissue in the near future just incase. I'm sure you keep little Viktor's nose clean – especially in public 🙂

  13. LOL – that just seems wrong. When I first came here I was convinced that I was the only person in DC whose nose ran in the cold weather. I'd be sitting there with my nostrils almost plugged with tissue wondering why no-one else needed one. I think they were just gurgling it down the back of their throats!

  14. LOL – yes the driver forgot we were facing him. It led to a nice camaraderie amongst us hot & tired passengers though. Eewww @ the baby vomit being wiped on the t-shirt. The smell of that would get to me very quickly! Oh poor Bibble! Yes there are a lot of people with poison in their veins. 🙂

  15. Yeah very strange father. There is only one cement bench seat on this end of the platform – I certainly moved to the very far end of it though and then made sure I got onto a different carriage when the train arrived.

  16. There are some things worth missing….. " I daresay you woiuld eat those words if you were unemployed, had no prospects and were wondering where you next dollar to pay the rent or put food on your kids' table was coming from like the millions facing that situation right now and millions more still ahead.

  17. You are such a kindly soul, Emjay — I wonder what that father's fear was.
    As much as an advocate I am for public transit, being exposed to infection is one of several things I dread every time I have to use it.

  18. I got so sick from the heat when I was in Texas with my parents (the heat on the train) that we had to get a taxi to take us back to the motel. It was worth the $30 because I had to go to bed for the rest of the day. My blood pressure sky rockets when I get overheated. I hate it because it can be quite scary and debilitating in a situation where I cannot control the temperature, like on a train,

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