Let’s face it, garbage humans are everywhere—and that doesn’t even include the dude having a VR experience in the subway seat next to you. Here are the most obnoxious people you’ll probably run into on a public transit system near you.
We asked, you answered, and guess what? Manspreading is not the worst thing you can do on a train. While you filed many reports of visible genitals and/or the fluids which might emerge from them, there apparently are also many less grody but still quite egregious offenses committed every day on public transportation. Here are your excellent stories. Be safe out there. And watch out for the crabs.
OK I got this.
20-something kid is eating his sandwich. He’s almost done with only the crust left. He leaves the sandwich on the empty seat beside him and starts playing on his phone. There he is, not caring about the mess he just made and the one less seat for someone else. I’m standing there internally fuming at this ingrate who is too damn lazy to clean up after himself. Stop after stop I think about what I’m going to say. Finally, I gather the courage to say something. I take a step toward him to begin speaking and before I say anything he .... picks up what’s left of the sandwich and finishes eating it. He goes after all the little crummy bits too. The anger instantly vanished, replaced with repulsion, confusion, and a little laughter to myself as I exit the train. — Moosen10
A woman screaming “he’s masturbating!!!” at me while I was holding a bag of groceries in one hand and my iPod in the other. I don’t really miss riding the train. — felixpotvin
Riding the Hanzomon line in Tokyo a few years back - guy gets up from his seat at the end of the car when it is crowded, sets bag on seat, opens the door to the next car, takes a big ol piss, sits back down.
It was like 6pm on a Thursday. — Count Smorkula
Was on a bus some years ago heading home, listening to my iPod when the bus driver starts yelling about me needing to turn down my music. (I was listening to a comedian’s album, so calling it “music” should have been the first clue.) I turn it down. Ten seconds later: “I asked you to turn it down!” So I turn it down some more. Another ten seconds: “Hey, pal, you don’t turn it down I’ll throw you off the bus!” I yank out my headphones and am about to (politely!) explain the situation when I hear some asshole in the back has music blaring on his phone—not through headphones, just playing music on his phone. I explained that to the driver, who promptly and profusely apologized to me (he was so apologetic he offered me a three-day bus pass) before yelling at the idiot in the back. — matt.mara
I was once accused by a crazy woman on the bus of kidnapping and killing her child. She was pretty sincere about it too. I keep watching for a guy that looks just like me to show up on the news. — CaptainJack
On a visit to London a West Indian rasta yelled “yute da IRA mon” at me in a crowded Underground/Tube carriage in ‘96. I’m Australian but look German. Was freaky and wtf... — Drive_It_Like_You_Stole_It
Worst: people shooting up in front of everybody; twice. Once on the LUAS Red Line in Dublin (tram), during rush hour, (the security guards got on and booted them all off) and once in Sydney on some grafitti’d wreck of a train. That was late at night. There were no security guards.
Best: free pole dance on the Central Line in London. I think she might have been a bit tipsy (it was in the middle of the morning on a work day) and she was basically wearing nothing under a long coat. In true British fashion, everyone politely ignored her and said nothing. — DownTheLiffeyOnADonut
I sat on a bench waiting for a BART train in San Francisco. Next to me was a man. Behind us was a very pretty red haired woman in a really nice suit and heels. She was calmly eating her dinner while waiting for her train to arrive (I noticed her immediately because she was really pretty).
Her train arrived and both the man and I turned around instinctively as the train pulled into the station. The woman left her empty food trash immediately behind us and walked up to the platform. The man and I looked at each other in amazement that someone would be so rude as to dump her food garbage behind us and just leave.
I was going to leave it alone, but I couldn’t help myself. I walked up to her as she was getting ready to board the train and asked (in a loud voice), “Excuse me. Is that your garbage over there on the bench? I think you left your trash behind. You need to pick up your trash.” She mumbled something and quickly took a seat on the train. I stood at the door and said, “Hey! You can just leave your food garbage on the bench like that! Pick it up!” The whole train car turned and looked at her. I can tell she was mortified. I stepped out of the door because I didn’t want to hold up the train. Now she had to spend the rest of her trip with a train car full of people knowing that she is a person who dumps her trash on the platform.
I returned to the bench and the man said, “She’s fucking disgusting!” — Jean Lafitte The Second
Some guy eating crabs on the Baltimore Light Rail and leaving the remains on the floor. Actually, I’ve seen this a dozen times or so. — snuffysnuffleupagus
And people wonder why American mass transit isn’t very popular.
Look, I know it comes off as elitist not to want to share space with those people, but let’s be honest, not wanting to be stabbed, mugged, assaulted, peed on, vomited on, converted to obvious cults, stalked, or otherwise subject to malodorous malcontents simply see driving a car as necessary for safety. Pretty much every habitual bus or train rider I know has a story of a close call. I know three different people personally who got stabbed on busses over in DC or up in Baltimore. I’m usually all for using that as an excuse to advocate for shall-issue here in Maryland, but even the staunchest of gun nuts will admit concealed carry won’t stop a random stranger suddenly assaulting you in tight quarters with no warning. It’s pretty much the worst-case scenario as far as self-defense is concerned. You can de-escalate, avoid, or try to leave a rising situation, but you can’t predict when some random crazy person will just pull a sharp object out of nowhere and attack you with it for no apparent reason, as happened to one of those three.
I’m just saying, nobody’s ever peed on me in my car. Fortunately I’ve avoided bodily fluids on my rare experiences with the local busses, but I did have the interesting experience of sitting across from one of Baltimore’s finest urban youths eating sunflower seeds and just spitting them into the seat next to him. I mean, are you fucking serious? You can’t carry a cup or an empty soda can or something? You’re just spitting into the seat on a public bus like the world is your fucking trash can? — adavaas
My story is rather tame when compared to others. And know that this has happened multiple times to me.
I walk with the help of a cane. I carry a special handicapped ID that gets me reduced transit fares, among other things. On more than one occasion, I have boarded public transit grateful to be able to sit in the handicapped section only to find it packed with people who are more than capable of walking a little further to the non-handicapped section. I’ve asked people who have their purses on otherwise empty seats if I can please sit, but these entitled pricks just look at me, look at my cane, look at me in pain and act like they’re the goddamned hottest shit in town and how dare I ask for them to move their fucking handbag/suitcase!
I dream of using my cane to trip these people as they walk. — matt.mara
I had one that was kind of uncomfortable.
I was on a train in Tokyo during rush hour (So packed in like sardines). I was wearing a soft fleece jacket during autumn. It’s normal for Japanese people to fall asleep on the train, but this was the first time someone fell asleep on my shoulder WHILE STANDING UP! So as he fell asleep on my shoulder, he started putting more weight down on me.
Then, the businessman on the other side of me started falling asleep on my OTHER shoulder! So I had two fully grown Japanese men asleep on both of my shoulders weighing down on me, all while standing up! It was as if my fleece jacket was lined with chloroform.
So when we arrived at the next station, I shook my shoulders with the inertia of the stop to wake the babies up. — GizGuy
Total tie. I once watched a man take a huge dump on the A train right after I got on at Fulton station. That is not a fun ride under the river to Brooklyn. Second was the Bart in San Francisco, a homeless man who decided to drop his pants right in front of my wife and wiggle his bits at her. Dude behind him was an undercover transit cop that then body slammed them man who then pee’d himself. This was the same day I was mugged for my transit pass. I don’t go to NY or SF anymore. — SOCdriver
In the past week I have had to listen to two different people interview for a job over the phone for the duration of my commute. At totally unreasonable volumes.
The best part was when the guy got pissy about the station stop PA announcements interfering with his explanation of how he was clearly superior to all his current coworkers.
I realize this is a total first world problem compared to all the stabbings, defecation and urination above. — Beelzeblarf
I’m in the Midwest version of commuter hell, which is more sitting still on freeways sucking exhaust fumes than public transit.
On a trip to San Francisco, though, I did see a guy get on the BART at one stop looking like a homeless man, then proceed to strip down, give himself a sponge bath and change into a suit. It was obviously a regular thing for him, because he had the timing down pat... shortly after the final adjustments to his tie we arrived at his stop.
Now if you want to talk about rude/disturbing behavior seen at a Wal-Mart then I have a lot more stories — buns n’ burner
The most heinous behaviour I’ve seen on transit recently (from a fellow passenger, anyway; the bad behaviour of drivers and other staff is too numerous to itemize) was a woman in a niqab sitting behind me on the streetcar a few weeks ago, clipping her nails. Either she had polydactyly, or she moved on to clipping her toes at some point; regardless, that’s just gross to do in public. Although if the black guy who walked into the middle of the street on a quiet afternoon, whipped out his penis, and started peeing on the streetcar track counts, he wins over Nail Lady. — ZestyPiquante
Theres this semi-notorious guy here in Saint Louis whom rides our metro. He will very loudy say “WHOS SMOKING” or “ WHOS SMOKING GODDAMNIT” then will take a drag off his own cigarillo. It was funny the first time... — pnangled
A guy lit up a cigarette during morning rush hour. I threw him out of the carriage.
This was a couple of years after smoking was banned on the London Underground because of the Kings Cross fire. — 3TS
Once I had a guy walk through a train and try to pick a fight with every guy until he got to me (I’m 6’5”) and then he decided I was the best test of his masculinity. I never touched him but other passengers restrained him until the police met the train at the next stop (in Portland) — Greg B
The most obnoxious? Probably people surreptitiously photographing other people with the express intent of putting them on the internet and publicly shaming them. I mean, how annoyingly passive aggressive can you get? — Betty White’s Secret Lover
EXCUSE ME, CAN I HAVE EVERYONE’S ATTENTION — MAKE2 Mifune
Photos via Men Taking Up Too Much Space on the Train