A Note to the Casual Train Rider

by Linus

As a frequent passenger of commuter trains, I feel I should pass along some common sense rules to those of you who are not frequent riders of the rail.

1 – Do not talk on your cell phone.  I put this one first because it is the rule broken most often.  Just because you have 45 minutes where you are sitting in one place, absent of a television, doesn’t mean you should take that opportunity to reach out to every one of your family members.  If you’ve never had the pleasure of listening to a one sided phone conversation for 45 straight minutes, I advise you to ride the train more often.  If you do feel the urge to blab on your phone, please adhere to one of the following two suggestions, either talk as soft as you possibly can, or go stand by the doors so no one has to hear you.  Trust me when I say, your life is not as interesting as you think, and pretty much everybody who is not you does not want to hear anything about it.

2 – Put your cell phone on vibrate.  This one is dedicated to the yahoo who sits next to me who lays claim to the musical interlude courtesy of Felix Mendelssohn whenever someone calls them, not to mention the fact that whenever they get a text message, I have to listen to cathedral bells go off like I’m sitting in a English Church.

3 – When you walk down the aisle, it is not necessary to hit everyone on the shoulder with your luggage.  Apparently the only people, outside of the regulars, that ride the train are those who are headed to the airport for a seventeen week European vacation.  Judging by the size of some of these suitcases, Jeffrey Dahmer could have fit half of Milwaukee inside of them.  It is ok to leave your suitcase by the door, and then pick a seat that is 4 feet away.  Your suitcase weighs 55 pounds, no one is going to tuck it under their arm and make a break for it.

4 – Turn your music down!  Just because I am sitting in the same row as you, doesn’t mean I need to hear Jimmy Buffet sing Margaritaville.  Yes I have an iPod too, but I prefer to read on the train, if I wanted to listen to an iPod, I would listen to mine.  Don’t worry; I’ll have the last laugh.  If you’re dumb enough to listen to your music at those levels, then you obviously don’t know that continued exposure to loud noises will eventually ruin your hearing.

5 – Know not only what stop you want to get off at, but when we are scheduled to arrive at that stop.  Unless you are a 25 year old blonde, chances are I do not want to talk to you.  This means that I do not want to be hassled by you at each stop asking “what stop is this?”  When the conductor comes by to take your ticket (yes this is normal), simply ask them what time we are scheduled to arrive at your stop, then look at your phone (which you should not be on simultaneously having another conversation about what temperature the meat loaf should be on), and proceed to do some simple math with your smart phone calculator.

6 – Your ticket only entitles you to one seat.  If you naturally take up more than one seat, then you need to examine your eating habits.  For those of you who can fit in your size sixes, there are overhead racks that are designed to hold your make-up cases and shopping bags filled with shoes you don’t need.  For the younger generation, the seat across from you was put there to hold another passenger, not for you to rest your weary 22 year old legs.

If you find you break any one of these rules, please make some changes in your life.  It is important to remember that many of us who ride trains often are creatures of habit, so we like to sit in the same seats and we do not like to be disturbed, unless someone is dying…and even then it is debatable.  Lastly remember this, your life is not that interesting, and neither are you.  We do not want to talk to you, unless you are a 25 year old blonde, nor do we want to hear you talk to anyone else.