Open Letter to Riders of the CTA – part 2

My dearest fellow public transit travelers,

Last year, I sent you a letter (Open Letter to Riders of the CTA) and I’ve recently come to the conclusion that a follow-up is necessary.  It hurts me that you just seem unable to learn basic rules of commuting and human decency, but I’m committed to helping you make your way in this world with as little inconvenience to me as possible.

Picking up where I left off:

10.  There is absolutely no reason – NONE – for you to sit in the middle seat of an empty 3-seat bench.  Does the “no touching unless absolutely necessary” rule really need to be spelled out for you?  This infraction is the public transit equivalent of one of those various “urinal rules” I’ve heard guys have.  You don’t want to be that person, do you?  The creep in the middle seat who is either going to force people to touch them, or force people to stand because they’re so freaked out by your seat choice?  I didn’t think so.  Do the responsible thing and move over one way or the other.

11.  Your toddler is adorable, he really is.  Who doesn’t love watching a small child take those unsteady steps, with their tiny hand clutching yours for dear life?  I’ll tell you who: the person behind them on the subway stairs during rush hour.  Pick your kid up!  For her safety, for mine, for yours.   Teach him how to walk up the stairs and nurture her independent spirit someplace safer and more out of the way.  Hell, unsupervised on some metal bleachers in the middle of winter would probably be safer than up from the Chicago Red Line stop at 5:20 pm.

12.  I get it – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is just the most AMAZING book you’ve ever read.  You just can’t put it down… I’ve read books like that, where I squeeze in a few chapters on my commute or during my lunch break.  But you know what I never did?  Walk through a subway stop at rush hour while reading it.  Why?  Because that’s stupid.  It makes me want to walk into you on purpose and then blame you for it.

13.  Do we need to have lessons on how to go through a turnstile?  I wish I could just blame the tourists for this, but it’s well past summer and I know a lot of you I see every day have to walk through these things on a regular basis, so there is really no excuse for not knowing how it works.  First of all, if you are scared of the ones that look like they could slice and dice you, I understand.  Go through one of the regular gates (Psst!  They work both ways!).  But maybe it would help if you thought about this like merging on the highway: You need to enter the turnstile and keep it going at the same speed it was when you got in.  That means NO SLOWING IT DOWN to a crawl.  Or waiting for it to make 3.5 empty revolutions before you get up the nerve to jump in.  Be ready to hop into the first available space or stop pushing your way to the front of the line.  And don’t even get me started on the lazy bastards who refuse to do any of the pushing themselves, and let the next person in line do all the work.  One of the days, I’m not going to.   But not during rush hour, because I’m not the kind of asshole who holds up an entire line of people who just want to go home.

14.  I’m going to take what might be an unpopular position here:  Oranges, unless you have pre-peeled and separated the segments prior to your commute, are an entirely inappropriate food to be eating while squeezed into the seat next to me on an overcrowded bus.  If I get orange juice squirted in my eye because of your inattentive peeling, I’m going to be very cranky.

15.  Finally, because it cannot be said enough times, even if you’ve gone back to read the original letter I linked to above, MOVE. ALL. THE. WAY. TO. THE. BACK. OF. THE. BUS.

Thanks guys.  I have faith that eventually you’ll catch on 🙂




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