Last week I was making my way downtown on the Red Line, heading to a job interview. I was trying to get into a zone without much luck.
First, there was the beggar who came from the other car. He was asking riders for a dime – 10 cents! I was thinking he should have set his sights a bit higher and he might get some righteous bucks. One guy actually did give him a dime, and the beggar didn’t seem too happy about it. Just think if he had asked for a dollar?
Soon after, a female beggar came through the car with a better rap than the dime-seeker. But she didn’t score anything.
Finally, at the other end of the car I heard the unmistakable sounds of the Shell Game operator. It was the same guy I had confronted last month. This time I was too far away and the train was too crowded anyway. But it appeared that he had to pay out more than he won. So that’s a good thing.
Finally, on the return trip home, I got on a car that stank of human piss and poop. I moved away from it, and noticed a number of people who were covering their noses with their hands.
It wasn’t so totally unbearable that I had to leave the car. I saw a homeless person with many coats and bags at the other end of the car, muttering in the corner.
But as the Red Line car emptied going north, the guy got up and moved closer to me. And I had to leave the car.
And so that was about the worst round trip CTA experience I’ve ever had. And that’s saying a lot.
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