Annoying Subway People (Part 3)

I created the Annoying Subway People lists a few months back. I published Part 1 and Part 2 in quick succession and got a great response from both. I was totally stoked and planned on doing many more. I kept track of all the annoying people the trains had to offer and really had a good thing going. But then I accidentally deleted the master list! Nuts.

All my ideas were gone. I desperately tried to remember who was on the list, but it was all for naught. To make matters worse, I found myself either growing more patient with my fellow commuters or being too busy sweating my balls off. I even tried to get frustrated with people on purpose, but everyone was on their best behavior! Nobody so much as looked at me the wrong way! That in itself was frustrating. But then came the wedding…

The planning had been going full force for many months. The stress/anxiety levels were at record levels. I didn’t sleep enough and I had a million things on my mind. Low and behold, my patience level dropped to rock bottom. I’ll be damned if the Annoying Subway People ideas didn’t started flowing again!

So with that long intro out of the way, I present you the long overdue

Annoying Subway People: Part 3 To refresh your memories, so far we’ve covered:1. Zig-Zaggers
2. Doddlers
3. Fingers in Ear People
4. People Who Don’t Bathe
5. Door-Holders
6. Candy Selling Kids
7. Window Scratchers
8. Stoppers/Stair Stoppers
9. Earbud Guy
10. Stop and Go Conductors
11. No Speaka English-ites
12. Mimes
13. Shorties
14. The Leaning SleepersToday we start with Number…

15. Sickies: They’re already out in force now, but just you wait until cooler weather hits. I love boarding a train packed full of sniffling, sneezing, and coughing people. It’s even better when they’re sneezing and coughing directly on me. Screw carrying around Purell for my hands, I’m going to start carrying a can of Lysol to spray on people.

16. Bridge-Talkers: The N train takes anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes to cross the Manhattan Bridge. It’s the only part of my commute that has cell-phone service. Sure enough, every morning some jerk (or seven) pulls out his phone and squeezes in all-that important call. “Hey, what’s going on? Nothing? Me too. Just crossing the bridge…” and on and on and on. He doesn’t have anything to say, he’s just bored. Hey buddy, try reading a book or something. Nobody wants to hear how boring your life is.

17. Witches: Remember when we talked about Stair-Stoppers? Apparently there’s a extra special breed of stair-stoppers called Witches. You’ll see them as you try to exit the subway on a rainy day. They’ll make it all the way to the top of the stairs, then stop dead in their tracks and try to figure out how they’re going to survive when there’s a possibility of getting wet. You can actually see the panic in their eyes. Doesn’t matter if they have an umbrella. In fact, this might slow ’em down even more. Bonus points for little people that have ridiculously massive umbrellas.

18. Manicurists: Gotta love the people who chew their nails then spit out the remains inside the subway car. That’s just awesome. I’d say that their punishment should be eating all the finger-nails they spit on the subway floor, but that probably wouldn’t bother them.

19. Diners: Hey buddy, I know that bucket of fried chicken was just calling your name, but do you have to eat it in the subway? Maybe you didn’t notice, but some of the other people in the car weigh less then 400 pounds. We might not like the smell of fried chicken. We also might not like the sight of you stuffing your face. If you can’t wait until you get home to eat you meal, you might have a slight problem.

20. Mumblers: This is an MTA gripe. As an announcer, your primary job is to announce things. If you’re unable to do so without mumbling and stammering, QUIT! It’s hard enough to hear with the crackling speakers, the No Speaka English-ites next to me who won’t shut the hell up, and that Diner stuffing half a chicken in his mouth. If there’s something that’s been deemed important enough to announce, step up to the mike and give it your all!

21. Door Sentries: These guys must be in training to be bouncers. They think it’s their job to stand in front of the doors, stop after stop, and look pretty. Either that or they’re trying to look down the shirt of the girl who’s sitting next to them. Either way, it should be legal to kick these guys in the back of the knee if they refuse to move. If you’re near the door and you’re not getting off at the next stop, you really need to get the hell out of the way. (And don’t get offended if you are a Door Sentry and I call you an asshole as I push past. You are in fact an asshole and you deserve to be pushed!)

Finally for today, our last Annoying Subway Person (for this round) is Number…

22: Rush-Hour Bikers. Look, it’s admirable that you’re riding your bike as part of your commute, but if you try to jam that thing into a crowded train, it’s only logical that you’re not going to fit. Also, am I missing something? Why are you on the train when you have your own transportation? Is it really worth all the effort to drag the bike down and up the subway stairs to not ride an extra five miles?! Keep your bikes on the street.

Wow. 22 Annoying Subway People! Want to know the best part? There’s more on the way!

Happy riding.


(See Todd’s Blog at BlogNameRemoved)

25 thoughts on “Annoying Subway People (Part 3)

  1. A quick comment about #22 – only complaining about rush hour, right? About once a week I take my bike on the subway around 9pm when it’s not crowded, but because of a large number of #21’s who refuse to move into the largely empty middle area of the train car, it’s always difficult to get my bike on the train.


  2. I know you missed the stroller parents in that list somewhere, because I remember we discussed that (I was a stroller parent at the time).

    You are still missing leg spreaders and pole humpers.


  3. Stroller parents. Yes. God. I see so many strollers out during rush hour that I’m starting to wonder if babies need to be regularly walked like dogs.

    Also, you’ve forgotten the subway preacher. The Court Street Station has become infested with one, rather like a roach who has found food. I don’t need someone shouting how I’m going to hell when I’m trying to read and the biggest sin I’ve committed all day has been surfing at work. These people deserve to be pushed onto the track.


  4. Don’t forget The Acrobat. A pole-swirling-around, hand-grip-swinging monkey freak. I had to go out in public with one of these morons- never again. Jesus, there’s trying to impress a girl, and then there’s a passive-aggressive wish for social suicide.


  5. I know that cyclists who bring bikes on the subway at rush hour are annoying; but consider this: Sometimes we might not be able to finish our ride before the sun goes down especially as the days grow shorter. Have you ever tried to cross either the Triborough or Queensboro bridge on a bike after dark? I know that you will say I should plan accordingly to arrive home before dark, but sometimes something in a far away borough just can’t wait for another day and I want to see it without having to make a second trip back. Sorry for the inconvenience to my fellow subway riders but I argue at least I’m not annoying you with my cell phone conversation or coughing on you.


  6. Lol oh man. My sides were splitting. I felt kinda bad actually, because I sometimes stand in front of the door. I cant help it. Sitting sometimes is just not worth it if im crammed btwn two people, so i stand near the door. hehe. good going SB.


  7. Sorry brook. No excuse for a Bike during rush hour. If you need to do something in a far away borough, either wait another hour to train back, or cab it. Bikes and bugaboos both should be ticketable rush hour offenses.


  8. Hello from New York! I remember all those things when I lived in NYC. On Long Island now. I have a blog on annoyances. No subway stuff though since I don’t live near any now.

    Great blog!


  9. What about stupid foriegn tourists who decide they just have to use the Cortlandt Street entrance on the 4&5, which has two high gates and machines. They have backed the line out to the surface, up the stairs due to their inability to process themselves. “Was ist Das?” They ought to be banned from that station at rush hour. Its a total joke. First they point at the WTC site, and then they screw up rush hour commutes – BE GONE!


  10. A severe case of door holding on the 7 train at Queensboro on Friday. Remember your other rant about high school kids in groups? The 7 train already opened and closed its doors three times. This teenage girl runs to the door and holds it open but the conductors is clearly refusing to open it again. It’s half open, she’s pinned and REFUSING to get off. What is she doing? Holding the doors for her ten friends, who are not rushing to the train! They calmly walk up a ton of stairs, telling her to hold it and they refuse to rush. It was a mess and it held the train for a good extra minute. The girl eventually let go and – wait for it – went on the train without a group! OH NO!!!


  11. #19 happened on Friday night. It was late at 1 o’clock, but the train was none the less crowded. This woman fell asleep on the train with her in one seat and her plastic bags in the seat next to her. She had a bucket of fried chicken on her lap and she apparently fell asleep while eating. She literally had half chewed food in her mouth with it hanging wide open. GROSS!

    With the bikers, they should move to either the front or the back of the train where it’s less crowded. I was on the 4/5 awhile back and there was this guy who brought his bike on the train. It completely blocked the entrance to get out. There was little room to get out, but he could move back and forth. I asked him politely to move so I could get out, and he rudely replied “You can go around”.

    And I agree with Josh, people need to learn to close their legs on the train. Their legs take up half the room in the cars, and you tell them excuse me as you try to sit down and they get all pissy. Sorry we’re inconveniencing you, but we’d prefer not to see your crotch at 8:00 in the morning.


  12. Hi Todd,
    really enjoyed your article, and the same list applies to our Underground here in London..I was thinking though, one of the most infuriating tribe of irritating people must be the Compulsive’s 8 o’clock in the morning, we are crotch to crotch sardine packed and there’s always some loser that tries to open their bag (!! while at the same time fondling with your ass), and take the newspaper out and stuff it in front of your face, cause they just HAVE to be on top of current affairs in that 10 min ride from hell..!


  13. Was the “extermely loud salsa music from headphones” person mentioned? Nothing like bongos and trumpets at full volume at 7:30 am.

    What about the “beard scratching intellectual hipster” or any hipster for that matter?


  14. What about the “Sidler”? You have a spot on the platform where you know a door stops, when this person walking along the yellow safety line of the platform and dangerously close to the oncoming train sidles in front of you and gets in first. Hate those assholes.


  15. Here’s one: You’re seated next to the door and someone who’s standing at the door tries to use the top of your head as their armrest. Another one: Dancing fools in the subway car. I can’t look at these people with a straight face.


  16. Leg spreaders, mainly men. I don’t know who lied to you but you are not that blessed. And when you ask them to move so you can sit down they look at you like you’re the problem. My philosophy is one fare one seat. The “I know my big ass can’t fit in that little seat so I’ll just squeeze in/perch on the edge of the seat” . And why oh why do people continue to hold on to the pole by the doors as they’re exiting the train. The whole purpose for the poles is so that you can hold on while the train is moving. When the doors are opened the train has stopped. Let go of the freaking pole! Also, the people whose asses have no sense of direction. As they aim for the seat they somehow miss their mark and end up with their butts on your leg/shoulder. And last but not least, the idiots who get on a packed to the rafters #2/3 trains in the middle of rush hour with what looks like all of their eartly possessions in a bookbag. TAKE THE BAG OFF JERK!


  17. How about the pole leaners? The people who lean against the poles instead instead of just grabbing it with their hand, thus taking up the whole pole unless you want to reach way above their head.

    Or what about the newspaper reading guy, who has to read the paper no matter how crowded the train is or where he’s sitting standing. As he flips the page, the newspaper gets waved in everyone’s face who happens to be within 2 feet of him.


  18. So fabulous – I have thought many of these things, and applaud you for putting them into print.

    Maybe something about the litterbugs, on the train as well as the platform. You know, the ones who will throw shit on the floor or onto the tracks since the trash can SIX FEET AWAY is just too far.

    I hate people. Except you – you’re perfection.


  19. Oh, thought of another one that has been getting my goat:

    …now tell me if I’m being too big an asshole here…

    the CRAPPY SUBWAY MUSICIANS. Some of them are really good, and I am grateful for them: they add color and beauty to our city. But the others need to go take their axes to the woodshed and practice for a while before subjecting me to it.

    For instance, the trumpet player that is ALWAYS at the 59th Street station at the uptown A,B,C,D platform. He “plays along” with a recording of another trumpet player. Nobody really wants to hear two trumpets that are almost sort of playing in unison.

    I also have a little problem with the subway drummers and their plastic buckets. I may be a snob, but that is just noisy. Go get a job in Blue Man Group or Stomp if you have those sorts of aspirations.


  20. Speaking of stroller people, what’s up with these mothers pushing HUGE four-year old behemoths around? These leviathans could actually walk, but Mommy’s little prince is gonna travel in style.

    These are the ones who’ll grow up to be 400 lbs. of greasy chicken bucket holding, door blocking obnoxiousness.


  21. How about the people who are looking to sit down at that last empty seat right as the doors just closed and fully knowing that the train is about to lurch forward still do not brace themselves and take a full on ass dive into the person next to them. Clearly they dont realize that trains are supposed to move.


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