These days it seems that we just can’t agree on anything. Did Steve Avery really do it or was he set up? Should we go to that one mediocre brunch spot we always go to, or that other mediocre brunch spot we sometimes to go? Now the issue of dogs on the subway is another of the countless things we can’t agree on. The New York Times focused an entire article on the topic earlier this week. MTA rules say a dog must be carried in an enclosed bag or container and “carried in a manner which would not annoy other passengers.” But a lot of folks regularly ignore that (or just don’t know it), and these people who bring their adorable furry friends to brighten up the underground misery should be rewarded, not slapped with a $25 fine. Here are 10 real subway problems that should be banned before we worry about dogs:
1. Multiple showtimes!
You see one group of dancers on the train and you might think it was cute, and nice to see an element of hip hop tradition being kept alive. We even gave them a dollar or two, you know, for hydration. However, it quickly turned from cute, to the worst part of any commute. Who wants to see kids play loud music and do the same five dance moves from 1989 at 7:30? But you want to know what’s worse than just one “showtime!” experience, how about multiple ones on the same commute.
Some of us are not so fortunate as to work from home, some of us have extended commutes that take an hour or more (especially with delays). So after you get dealing for what feels like the millionth time kids dancing for cash, after a few stops a new groups of kids walk in and ask you, “what time is it?” It always seems that a group starts performing between express stops, which means they may give you a repeat performance! We’re trying to catch up with Serial here, we don’t need to listen to the latest Pusha T at the highest volume possible.
2. People who still rely on the car subway map
People, it’s 2016. We have these powerful devices in our hands called phones, which allow us to do all kinds of wonderful things we couldn’t do 10 years ago. Like, listen to music from a variety of artists without having to carry a handful of CDs in your pockets. And you know what else? Transit apps, ones that even show you the damn subway map, so you don’t have to crowd around us for four stops to see if you have to get off at Franklin or Utica Ave.
It’s not that difficult. You don’t even have to pause the latest Demi Lovato track to do it. Plus, Cuomo is promising that all stations will have wi-fi and cell service, so you can do it, even while you’re underground soon. Here, we will even give you or anyone you know who still does this some help, Embark, free, simple and useful.
3. Winter stink
Summer sweat on the subway is bad, but listen: winter stink is worse.
Even though the temperature is down, people will still stink. Not talking about the homeless here, we’re talking about people who have regular access to things like deodorant and showers, who go out wearing many layers of clothing. They forget to either bathe or apply that Right Guard properly and when they open their jacket, whoosh! The stink just flies off, free from the constraints of a big, puffy jacket.
Summer stink is an issue we accept. NYC gets hot and humid, and the poorly ventilated stations do little to help. But winter stink is just so much more offensive. It’s bad enough that it’s cold, that you might be sick or that anyone around you might be sick and is sure to infect the whole train. Body odor emanating from too many layers of clothes is enough to make want you to try and snort your hot coffee so you can burn out your nostrils.
4. Teens freshly loosed from school
Teens make the subway hell. Have you ever had to get to a meeting or just a lunch date around 3pm? Once you get on the train, you find a seat pretty quickly and just open up your distraction app of choice and relax. Then, without warning, the train hits the next stop and then the subway doors resemble the gates of hell as teens swarm into the train out of school, with their backpacks full of books you have to keep aware not to get clocked by.
It’s bad enough they cause mayhem to cars not even running, but we’re tried of having to move around so we won’t get anywhere near their countless selfie attempts, or face their merciful wrath at the style and condition of every piece of clothing we have on.
5. Subway rat videos
Pizza Rat was the video and meme that gave us so much comfort last year. Something about seeing these two icons of the city, pizza and subway rats, just drove the Internet for a few weeks and it even made us laugh as other animal videos came for the throne and failed.
This year, subway rat videos tried to make a splash, with a new video of a rat, pushing another, possibly dead rat down the stairs. Of course outlets picked it up, because January. However, the next time you see a rat, any kind of rat doing anything, instead of recording it for empty YouTube fame, just walk away. Why? Because rats are gross and we see them enough in our homes and our personal visits to the subway, and we don’t need them in our viral videos too.
6. Subway preachers
Unless these people, who thump their bibles and try to recite the gospel at us plan to perform an exorcism to rid the subway of teens and rats, we want no part of them on our commute. You know what we don’t go to the subway for? To be saved. Sure, we ask the almighty for the train to come, to move, to get to our stop faster, but that doesn’t mean we want him to talk back to us. No we don’t want to listen to your gospel rap album, sir, we didn’t want to get into gospel rap when it was Kirk Franklin back in the 90s and we don’t want it now.
7. Subway kiosks
These silver monstrosities were suppose to make the subway easier to navigate. They can give directions on how to get to your preferred stop and how long it will take you (again, you can just use an app for that) and tell you how long it was going to take for your train to arrive. Of course, you can’t just touch the screen for that information, OH NO! You have to just stand there and watch six or seven ads for crappy products you don’t want and entertainment you have no business in even downloading illegally. Then you touch the screen and get to share Norovirus with every tourist who touched that thing, congrats.
And finally once you see the train times, you realize your train should be arriving in zero minutes, but surprise, there is still no train, so it’s not even accurate. If it’s not going to be accurate, then what is the point of having these things around!
8. People who play mobile games with the sound on
You may be super proud of yourself for getting really far into Candy Crush or Temple Run, but please, do us all a favor and put that on mute. If you can afford a phone or tablet, you can get yourself some damn headphones for it. Riding the train for some of us is the only time we have to read actual books in peace. Why do we have to hear every damn sound effect your $3 dollar iOS game has to make for the entirety of our ride?
9. People who listen to music via Bluetooth speakers
It's summer in NYC, which means boomboxes on the subway. Except not boomboxes, little bluetooth speakers. Obnoxious *and* lame.
— Tim / Tabletop Audio (@TabletopAudio) June 29, 2015
Are headphones really that expensive? Are they really that uncomfortable to most people? It was bad enough that people use to (actually, still do) play music off their phones alone, having to subject us to their bad taste and poor audio quality. But now, people have these micro bluetooth speakers and the quality is just as bad, even worse perhaps now that it’s so damn loud. The Showtime! kids leave after a stop, but these guys, they sit (always next to you it seems like) for most of the damn train ride.
10. Metrocard vending machines
These were suppose to make getting Metrocards easier and make station tellers obsolete. So why is it whenever we really need to refill our card these machines don’t work? And don’t let them screw up in the middle of purchasing a monthly, because guess what? The machine will still charge you and not inform you, so you might be doing it multiple times, draining your bank account without you realizing it.
You go to the teller and explain your problem and they just tell you to use another machine, which has a line, because all the other machines are busted. Then, when you check your account and see that the MTA charged you three times instead of once, then you got to call them. They expect you to have your receipts (who keeps those?!). Trust us, just call your bank.
These are the times could really use a dog to pet.
Follow Chris as he continues to defend the rights of dogs underground: @ChrisLInoa.