Riding the 'L' can be infuriating at times. People are so self-absorbed they forget the subway is "public transportation". Public, as in the 'L' is not your privately owned train car where you can do as you please. The station is not your kingdom.
This inappropriate behavior is not confined to the young, though they are the majority of impolite, inconsiderate, and pompous.
You, the individual rider, do not matter to the rest of us trying to get from here to there and back. Neither do your feelings or tender sensitivities. When it comes to public transportation, we are all equal. We are all the great unwashed masses.
It is amazing that so many people were raised like wild animals. There can be no other reason why they are rude, inconsiderate, and barbarian. Riding public transportation is not survival of the fittest. The seats are not your couch. The strap hanger areas are not your personal space or private bubble.
Saul Alinsy had his twelve "Rules for Radicals. Here are twelve "Rules for 'L' Riders". Consider this and what should or could be done as direct action and radical protest against boorish, uncivilized, and surly behavior. I advocate others use direct action in a similar fashion.
There are times when the only thing that gets people's attention and changes their behavior is radical direct action. Those times are upon us.
1.) The stairways are not a race to the top or bottom. Disciplined, polite, and safety minded people walk up or down stairs on the right. Passing is not an option. I will not move out of the way for you if you are coming at me on the wrong side of the stairs. I will keep going or stop, blocking your rush to go nowhere important.
2.) Escalators are for riding. Ride, do not run. Do not shove your way past people who know the difference between a moving and stationary stairway. Do not try to get around with your rude, nasty, "excuse me" "coming through," or "on your right or left" either. I will not move. If you complain and the occasion arises, arises, I may pass gas. This is warfare.
3.) You are human. You are not a seagull in flight. If you are sitting or standing and you cannot be unplugged from your idiot phone, keep your arms at your side. Do not stick your elbows out wide while texting insignificant things to other people who lead meaningless lives. You might get shoved.
4.) One seat is all you pay for. Many people carry more bags to and from work than homeless people with all their belongings.
If your daily needs do not fit on your lap or the floor in front of you, you have way too much.
If you do not move your junk off the empty seats I will sit on it. Oh, and that leg spread. I will shove you aside and take the seat I paid for.
5.) Whoever came up with the totally inane idea of allowing bicycles on the 'L' should be stuffed down the deepest, darkest, most sensory deprived hole in Gitmo.
Bicycles do not belong on the 'L'. Like those who are to lazy to walk their bikes on sidewalks, people who bring their bikes on the "L" are too lazy to ride them.
Other riders get their clothes dirty when you rub your bike against them. Then, there is the one seat you paid for. Bicyclists take up two to three seats while lazily riding the 'L'. I will make you move and take the seat I paid for.
6.) Senior citizens, handicapped people, and pregnant women get seating priority. Get off your lazy brain cavity and give your seat up. Geez, how oblivious can you be. Public shaming is allowed here.
7.) Travelers please learn how to handle your luggage. You look absolutely stupid when you and your luggage get stuck in the turnstile. You look like a clumsy clod whilst trying to maneuver that double wide suitcase on wheels through the station.
8.) If you cannot fold your golden spawn's stroller you do not belong on the 'L'. That also goes for those double wide or stretch limo strollers. You are taking up valuable space that others paid for. We do not care about you or your kids.
9.) The rest of us do care about the person you slept with last night, the client from hell, or your work related business. Learn to talk softly when using your idiot phone. Better yet, stay off your phone while riding the 'L'. There is nothing so important that it cannot wait until you get to where you are going. I advocate playing music next to people like this. Disturb the disturbers.
10.) When boarding the train, wait until passengers get off. Do not rush on the train like a bowling ball seeking pins to knock over. When getting off the train wait your turn. You do not have to shove your way past the rest of us. You might trip and fall from an outstretched leg.
Pay attention. Unglue your face, eyes, and ears, from the idiot phone. Know when your stop is coming up so you can prepare to alight from the train in an orderly manner like the rest of us. Stop looking like a bumbling idiot. You are not a pass rusher. You are a passenger. You might trip and fall over someone's foot in the aisle.
11.) Eating and drinking are prohibited on public transportation. Your nourishment needs should be met before or after you get on the train. No one wants to see you stuffing your maw, especially when you put your meal on the empty seat next to you forcing other paying riders to stand. Coughing, sneezing, or doing other unappetizing things may curtail the behavior of those who violate this rule.
12.) If you are standing take the back pack off and either carry it in your hand or put it on the floor. Getting your pack in my face may result in you getting a hard shove back. Along with some nasty comments. How much space do you think you are entitled to take up in a narrow train car? Some of you have packs big enough for a major expedition. You are only going to work or play. You do not need all your household goods.
When encountering these types of people come up with some creative methods of direct action to combat them. Have fun at their expense. Do not be afraid to shame them. Shaming is a false concept designed to silence those of us who detest boorish people. Stand your ground or seat. You paid for it. You also paid for a quiet somewhat comfortable ride.
If the CTA will not enforce their own rules, others must to do it. It may as well be us.
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