It’s the start of a new year, and after a decent break I’ve re-entered the joyous population of commuters forced together in the close confines of a train to get to the jobs that Clover Moore doesn’t think exist for people from the Western Suburbs.
Living a further 20-30 minutes out West than I used to both sucks and has its advantages. Yes, I get a seat, and the ride gives me a bit of extra time to go on rants such as these. Sometimes I’m even lucky enough to get the single seat so I don’t have to endure the constant struggle for leg and arm space we all enjoy when sharing a seat with someone else.
But of course, this return has seen a re-invigoration of my contempt for people at large. It’s only been a week but I’m already painstakingly aware of these people and why it is they should be put to death, or at least heavily sedated.
I don’t want you to think I’m just a petty whinger. I am, but I’ll also offer solutions to the problems if you feel remotely the same as me.
Let’s begin with the horrific cavalcade of contemptible co-commuters.
CATEGORY ONE: Eaters
You get on the train of a morning. You’re probably still a bit tired, maybe you had breakfast, maybe you didn’t. I’ve been told that just having a ridiculously strong coffee doesn’t count.
There are already enough aromas on a morning train – like the perfumes and colognes that haven’t yet dissipated or have been put on over exuberantly and are strong enough to make you think you’re in that part of a Myer store. People with too much fragrance are annoying in general and I can’t limit that to transport. But at least it smells ‘nice’ I guess, even if it’s so strong it leaves you unsure if you’ve developed a brain tumour instead.
Next thing you know you’ve got someone sitting next to you, and while the aroma of perfume is enough to stimulate an unconscious reaction, it pales in comparison to the MEAT PIE or SUSHI that they pull out to eat AT 730 IN THE FUCKING MORNING.
In the last month, both of those things (a pie and sushi) have been consumed right next to me in the close confines of an early morning train. If you don’t eat breakfast in the morning it can allegedly be bad for your health – but is EATING A PIE OR SUSHI FOR BREAKFAST really much healthier? No, it’s not, and it FUCKING STINKS. For the sake of myself and the 60 other irritated people in close proximity who are secretly wishing death upon you, just PUT IT AWAY.
The next time someone pulls out some wonderfully fragrant raw fish or processed mince in a pastry sack, or instant noodles, or ANYTHING like that, I suggest that you stare at them. Lick your lips, scratch your neck like a junkie having withdrawals. Even ASK FOR A BITE. You’re almost guaranteed to receive a no, so just continue staring directly at them while they eat. People don’t like it, trust me, and they might just get the hint.
On the one in a million chance that they actually say yes in an attempt to call what they think is a bluff, MONSTER IT. Eat it like a St Bernard would eat an ice cream – as disgustingly and sloppily as you possibly can. This is almost guaranteed to be met with a “you keep it” when you offer it back. If they still want it back, just chuck it on the floor and stare at them menacingly. They won’t just leave you alone, they’ll probably never eat on a train again. Or catch it. Or they’ll punch you in the face, and you’ll end up on the news in someone’s poorly-shot phone footage. It’s a win-win!
Either that, or fart loudly and obviously right next to them. It’s a low-ball tactic, but I almost guarantee it’ll work.
CATEGORY TWO: Conversationalists
We’re social creatures – we don’t just want to communicate with each other, we NEED to. Society wouldn’t exist without this ability, I get it – but ask yourself, does everyone else in the carriage really need or want to hear your conversation in the morning? Whether it’s what you did last night or what you’re planning on doing this weekend, whether it’s a tale being shared with a dipshit compadre right next to you or someone on the phone, WE DON’T ALL NEED TO FUCKING HEAR IT.
Oh what’s that? You’ve decided to do it in another language so the people around you can’t understand what you’re saying? That’s even more annoying, because you’re being passively hated by your fellow commuters and none of them are even sure what they’re mad about. They also feel a bit racist, and it’s YOUR fault.
Then there are quiet carriages – spaces specifically designed for people who don’t want to listen to your conversation and want a space where they don’t have to. I’ve heard people COMPLAIN about other people getting mad at them for chatting away in quiet carriages. I’m sorry, I’ve just selected this compartment to get away from you. If you want to have a conversation that’s overheard by a fistful of people who don’t give a shit, why is it so hard for you to FUCK OFF? Are you trying to antagonise people? THAT’S MY JOB, and it’s TOO EARLY IN THE GODDAM MORNING ANYWAY.
Perhaps the most annoying thing about it all is that the rude fuckers who feel that everyone needs to hear them don’t even have interesting conversations! When was the last time you were forced to listen to someone and thought “Wow, this is actually pretty interesting” or “Holy shit, I learned something today” instead of “Wow, what a fucking idiot!” or “Holy shit, today I learned that I have a murderous rage within me.”
The next time you have to listen to someone converse, just stare at them and emphasise the fact that you’re listening to their conversation. Nod and laugh along. Oh what’s that, you suddenly care about people hearing you? WELL MAYBE SHUT THE FUCK UP THEN. Asshole.
TO BE CONTINUED – If you thought this post was petty and pedantic, just wait for Part 2, coming soon to a browser near you!