Friday, March 14, 2014

A New Commuting Rule - BYOVS

I've identified a new commuting rule: Cigars are only allowed on board if you travel with a functioning ventilation system.

Uh, what?

This morning I arrived and boarded my usual train on the early side.  I'm able to do this because the train originates from my station.  The train doors open about 10-15 minutes before departure, which saves me from various hassles:

  • Waiting on the platform for a train to arrive in bad weather
  • Jockeying for door position when the train stops 
  • Standing because all seats are taken

I entered a car that was curiously empty, and I immediately figured out why.  The train car smelled strongly of stale cigar smoke.  It occurred to me that a couple of guys probably went out for happy hour the night before - just a drink or two, which turned into a drink or ten, followed by dinner, followed by more drinks, followed by... well, this is a family-friendly blog so I'll stop there.  This train probably was used for a 5 AM run from Penn Station, after the party broke up.  I guess one last hurrah was a cigar for the ride home.

So there you have it.  A new commuting rule.   BYOVS (Bring Your Own Ventilation System).

Oh yeah, and be nice to the conductors.  Must have been fun to work the midnight shift and come upon these guys.  Then again, maybe it was a conductors' party.

Happy commuting, and may you encounter uncommon sense. 

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  1. Back I'm my MetroNorth commuting days, the bar car was also a smoking car. I assure you the ventilation system was no better.

  2. Yes, I remember when trains had smoking cars. Pretty nasty in retrospect.