Surviving the Green Line: A Silly List to Kick Your Commute Up a Notch

The green line provides transportation service between Harlem Avenue and 63rd Street on the southside of the City.  I have taken the green line for work and/or leisure because I still believe that public transportation is an effective and economical means of transport. My friends and family beg to differ and have even staged interventions to get me to stop using public transportation: "Your use of the "L" affects me negatively in so many ways.."  Yes, I do drive and I have a valid drivers license (today, at least) but some times, I just want the peace of mind to arrive at my destination without hitting traffic (or the face of a rude cabbie).  I do admit it though; the "L" is a dangerous place in which an unsuspecting commuter can fall victim to attacks and other harms.  Luckily, I have created this short list of survival tactics to get you from point A to point B.

This is an exclusive list:

Rule #1 - Talking to Yourself is Helpful

Yes, sitting next to an unsuspecting commuter and bursting into a conversation out of nowhere is an effective tactic.  I generally start with, "Get your hand out of my pocket!"  That gets everyone on edge, especially the person sitting next to you.  Another good method is being both individuals in an imaginary telephone conversation:

Me: "I Love You!"

Me: "I'm not ready for a relationship."

Me: "Bitch"

Me: "That is unacceptable for me to talk to me like this."

Bonus results are acheived if you use a banana or rolled up newspaper as a phone.

#2. Standing Up Abruptly & Frequently Between Stops

This has always worked when I have had a person sitting on either side of me.  I just stand up quickly and say, "Are we there yet?" Then, I sit back down and do it again, "How about now?"  Then another time, "C'mon! Now?"  It's best if you do it at least 4 times to drive the point home.

3. Read All Books, Newspapers and Magazines...Aloud

Pull out your favorite literature and read, "It was the best of times.."  It's best when I turn it into storytime and begin, "Boys and girls, today we're going to read the Chicago Tribune.."

4. Stare, Stare, Stare

Stare piercingly at the person sitting next to you.  Keep it up.  Pretty soon, they'll blink and when they do yell, "I won!"  Do this at least 3 times in a row.

5. Lastly, falling asleep and stretching your legs out across the laps of the people next to you is my favorite.  I normally ask whoever is closest to my feet to "work on the corns." 

I hope this list has made your commute a little lighter. Now, you can ride the green line like a champ.  Leave your thoughts or even other wacky tips in the comments.  Follow me on Twitter @TheRealJoyRene and I will return the favor.

Yep, You're Welcome

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  • At first I though - Oh no another person scared of public transportation wants to explain how insightful an in-tune they are with the "real" Chicago experience in some sort of narcissistic rant that aims to make me respect them for doing something that unless you are an idiot d-bag you should be doing everyday anyways....

    BUT YOU ARE REALLY FUNNY AND PROVED ME WRONG - GOOD JOB! - check out "Chicago History Looks" I wrote a CN blog about the CTA, well the history of it anyways....

  • Thanks so much for the support, Drew! I am glad you enjoyed it. I am checking you out now! Thanks for the Facebook add too!

  • More than other lines, the green line really requires tips like these. Thanks!

    Welcome to CN, awesome we have another south sider!

  • We must unite, Julie! Thanks so much for the support!

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    A woman on the Green Line sat down next to me just yesterday morning, having quite an animated conversation with an imaginary debate opponent. I thought she was crazy (mostly because her topic was the philosophy of committing violent crimes), but maybe she was just following your Rule #1.

  • Was it me by chance? ;-)

  • When I was in law school, a classmate of mine would get a seat on his very crowded bus home by using the "talking to the imaginary friend" in an animated way. Shortly before graduation, we were interviewing for a judicial clerkship and we walked over to the interview together. Much to my friend's chagrin, the judge's secretary was a regular rider on the same bus.He recognized her and she recognized him. She literally backed away -- eyes very wide--when he walked past her to speak with the judge. Neither of us got the internship...but I'll always wonder if he would have.

  • I didn't know the GREEN LINE went to Harlem? Love your riding skills.

  • Joy, that is SO FUNNY! I could have used that info when I lived in Oak Park and rode the green line daily from Harlem to Clark & Lake! Now, I ride the blue line...snore...except for a few obnoxious yuppies I have no stories to tell!

  • Hi DerbyLady,
    I am glad you enjoyed it! Believe it or not, riding the green line has put me in the presence of some really cool people. I have had to do the,"get your hand out of my pocket" once but I am always looking for new and exciti ng opportunities to use it again!
    Thanks again!

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