Ask ChicagoNow: What is the weirdest thing you've seen on the CTA?

Ask ChicagoNow: What is the weirdest thing you've seen on the CTA?

ChicagoNow is a group of bloggers from all sorts of different backgrounds. One thing that helps tie them all together? Chicago.

With so much collective experience with the city, we’ve decided to put that knowledge to use by posing some of the oldest and most popular questions about Chicago to the group.

What is the weirdest thing you’ve seen on the CTA?

“Poop.” — Kim Cavill, Sex Positive Parent

“Two pot heads smoking pot And singing Bob Marley. Not so much weird but fun”. — Jayson J Crady, Confessions of a Coffeholic!

“I’m going to give you John’s answer. He once saw a mother help her young son urinate down the stairs on the train car. They stood facing the door, and she assisted him as he peed. This was either the red or purple line.” — Julie VonderHeide Hammerle, Hamervision. “She literally held the kid’s penis and then aimed the urine right at my feet as I stood near the doors to exit!” — John Hammerle, Hammervision

“First one: I was on the Blue Line and this guy was panhandling. I didn’t feel like talking that day, so I signed ‘no, sorry.’ He paused, and then tried to dump out the contents of his change cup into my hand. Because I had already started signing, I felt obligated to continue signing (like a dork) and tell him, no, I don’t need his money! It was I guess nice that people recognize when others are in more need, but it also showed that there’s still some work to be done demonstrating that people with disabilities shouldn’t be pitied. The second one was even stranger. I was taking the Red Line home from the south side. When I got on the car, it smelled like soap and roses instead of the usual pee and stale fried chicken. Then, a couple of stops later, a barbershop quartet got on and sang REALLY well. That was probably the most pleasant L ride I’ve had.” — Holly, Running With A Book Cart

“Not so much ‘weird’, but a pigeon had everyone on my orange line car either freaking out or in hysterics. It was a good morning.” — Mandie Molina, The Parental Venting Machine

“Weird? On the CTA? Nothing weird ever happens does it? Years ago, I was on what is now The RedLine going to a bar. It was about midnight and the only other people on the train were two women. They had a magazine on the lap and were snorting coke.
We were watching and one turned around to ask if we wanted to join them. The woman I’m with starts to get up and I pulled her back. You know it’s weird when I was the voice of reason in the 70s. Before I came here, I used to write ‘Great Moments in Public Transportation’ which was about the weird stuff on all forms of PubTrans. But here’s a sweet story….A couple of years ago I’m on the Green Line coming back into the city from Oak Park. I’m listening to my Ipod and have earbuds on. There’s a little girl sitting next to me and she’s intrigued with the ear buds and keeps pulling on the wires. Her mom kept trying to get her to stop but she kept the pulling. So I took them off, got clearance from Mom and we put them in her ears so she could listen. Then I took one out of her ear and put it in mine and we listened to Muddy Waters together. I’m converting the youngest generation into Blues listeners.” — Howard Moore, I’ve Got The Hippy Shakes

“About fifteen years ago I was on the Red Line late at night, as I often was since I went to school on the south side. We got our share of railcar preachers encouraging us — in varying degrees of coherence — to come to Jesus. Most of the text of their sermons was forgettable, but I’ll always remember the preacher who stopped in the middle of his rant, let it hang for a moment, then exclaimed, ‘JESUS WAS A COOL GUY, BUT THEY KILLED HIM, TOO!'” — Nicolle Neulist, Picks & Ponderings

“A dope needle left behind on the seat on the Blue Line route.” — Sabrina Nixon, Purple Reigns: How to Live a Full Life with Lupus

“More of a coincidence given what I do. But I once took the Blue Line to O’Hare to fly down to Cape Canaveral to cover a rocket launch. I didn’t notice it when I picked my seat but scratched into the plastic was the word ‘ROCKET’. I thought it was a good omen.” — Sophie Sanchez, Cosmic Chicago

“Back when they had conductors on the L, I boarded the Howard line at Belmont as the conductor said something like ‘All aboard and welcome! If you see a senior citizen or a woman with child or a handicapped citizen please offer help, or at least your seat because this is the Love Train!’ And then he sang a verse, and it turned into the Love Train! Smiles and laughs all around.” — Floyd Sullivan, Waiting4Cubs

“I have only been on the CTA once, when I was traveling from Aurora to Chicago for the Gay Pride, together with my husband’s Dutch aunt. It was a colorful, positive crowd and I really enjoyed being there, even though I got squished a little too. Nothing I couldn’t handle.” — Annemarie Verweij, Dutch Alien Lands in the U.S.

If you have a question about Chicago that you want answered, email it to Think you have the answer to the above question? Let us know in the comments below.

Lead image via Lou Foglia/Chicago Tribune

Filed under: Ask ChicagoNow

Leave a comment