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I’ve lived in New York for nine years now and have seen my fair share of weird and gross things happening on the subway. I’ve seen someone walk in, take a piss, and walk out. I’ve seen a child lick a subway pole up and down. I’ve seen someone light up a joint. I’ve seen someone projectile vomit. You get it, I’ve seen some nasty stuff. However, my ride Friday night on the uptown 6 train had to take the cake of the most horrifying subway sight I’ve seen. My family was in town and we were heading back home from dinner downtown. We all got on the train at Bleecker Street and then around 33rd street, a guy got on the train on his motor scooter. He appeared to be homeless based on his clothing and apparent lack of personal hygiene. He then covered his lap and his arms with his jacket and his right arm began pumping. Yup, this dude started jacking off on his scooter while on the train. My dad and I looked at each other with wide shocked eyes. No words needed to be exchanged. We simply couldn’t believe what we were witnessing. We looked around to see if anyone else was seeing what we thought we were seeing, and based on some of the other people’s facial expressions they most certainly were. This guy was clearly masturbating. Holy shit. It was like a solar eclipse in the sense where you shouldn’t stare, but you can’t look away. Besides my dad and I, there seemed to be about another ten or so other people that knew exactly what was going on and we were all exchanging glances and mouthing words to each other. Was this for real? Um, yes. Yes, it was.

Now I can’t say with 100% certainty that he was most def jerking off, but if I were a betting woman, my money would be on a gigantic yes. Although his lap was covered, his face looked like he was definitely enjoying himself. And I can’t really think of another reason why his arm was moving that way. We got off the train at my stop and the man stayed on the train, but I’m sure he got off soon enough after. Boom! See what I did there?

Anyway, all this got me thinking about proper subway etiquette and how some people just don’t maintain a modicum of it. At all.  Anyway, I thought I would use this post to just clarify a few things that are not okay to do on the subway. Ever. So, I guess you could say this is a quick little PSA on subway etiquette. I will safely assume that none of you masturbate or use the train as your own personal toilet so I am not going to list them here. But as for the others, if you do these, please stop. They annoy people, are gross, or are just plain rude.

It is NOT okay to do the following on the subway:

–       Clip your fingernails (The noise is just THE WORST. Nails on a chalkboard to me. And no one wants to get hit with your pieces of nails. Gross.)

–       Eat a whole meal. Especially one with a offensive or tempting smell.

–       Sit with your legs spread ridiculously wide like you are birthing a child.

–       Listen to your music so loudly that your train neighbors know what song you are listening too (And don’t even think about signing along with the music. Nobody wants to hear it.)

–       Take up a million seats with all your bags if there are people standing.

–       Bring large pieces of furniture on the train.

–       Apply a full face of make-up. (Or pluck your eyebrows.)

–       Use the pole as a backrest when there are other people around.

Do these things annoy you as well or am I alone in this? Did I miss one that annoys you tremendously that people do? I obviously couldn’t list each and every little thing people do on the train that annoys me (Littering. Cough. Cough.), but I think the ones I listed are more of the most common ones people do without really realizing they are being total douche-nozzles. So basically, the moral of the story is: Have some common courtesy and don’t do any of these things on the subway. And for your benefit, if you see someone jerking off, try your best not to stare, it will haunt you.

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