Sunday, March 09, 2014

Time For Some Q & A

It has come to my attention that despite presenting several installments of the RULES, there will inevitably be questions surrounding specific train behaviors.  In this blog post, we explore some frequently asked questions about train etiquette.  I think the Long Island Railroad should officially publish something this informative.

Q. Can I hide in the lavatory to avoid paying a fare?
A. The conductors know this trick.  They knock until you sheepishly open the door, and you will look foolish.  I've seen people come out of the lav, with no cash on hand, and get kicked off the train at the next stop.  So, it might work for you if you don't plan to travel far.  The answer to this question depends on your tolerance for embarrassment.

Q. Is it acceptable to get angry at the conductor when he tells me the fare will be an extra $4 because I didn't buy my ticket before boarding?
A. No. You should know this.  They announce it so frequently that I can recite the exact verbiage certain conductors use. Stop complaining and cough up the $4 so I can get back to being disgusted by the guy three rows away who is clipping his toenails.

Q.  Is it ok to have a short phone conversation in the quiet car?
A.  Absolutely! Without a doubt!  Give it a shot and see what happens.  The quiet car is a self-policing environment but the passengers are super-friendly and certainly willing to make exceptions.

Q. Can I read on the train?
A. Yes, you can read on the train, provided you aren't distracted by a group of six holding "Wicked" Playbills in their laps.  You can expect a dissection of the performance on which everyone in the car will be riveted.

Q. Where on the train can I purchase a nutritious treat?
A.  Snacks aren't served on the train, nor are any other meals.  Please refer to my earlier blog post, which provides helpful guidance on this topic.

Q. Is it acceptable to sit in the middle seat?
A.  Yes, it is perfectly acceptable, provided you don't mind being bookended by people who are very angry with you.

Q. Is it permissible to bring a bass or viola on the train?
A. Those who bring large musical instruments in cases are welcomed on the train.  You'll be given beautiful seats on the top level of the train car, and you'll travel in style with the wind in your hair.  Just duck when you get to the low overpasses.

I hope this FAQ is helpful and constructive for you.  Remember, you have 1,000 educated commuters at your disposal if you have any questions.  Unless you're in the quiet car, in which case you're on your own.

Happy commuting, and may you encounter uncommon sense.

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