Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Stop And Smell The Roses

My oldest son is a fan of expressions and idioms. When I take him to school we have good chats for the mile or so drive. He recently told me that people don't often "stop and smell the roses."

You know what? He's right. I should stop and smell the roses more frequently. Of course, commuting takes up a lot of my rose-smelling time. But I'll make lemonade out of lemons and do the next best thing. If I don't have time to stop and smell the roses, I will take time to stop and write about the various smells on the Long Island Railroad.

There are so many things to talk about, but I'll stick with a few. No sense trying to boil the ocean.

The lavatories. What can I say that I haven't said already? They are gross yet versatile. They can be used as intended, for able-bodied folks and those in wheelchairs, or as hiding places for people who don't want to pay their fares (remember this?). The problem with train lavatories is that guys use them. Aiming is hard work, particularly on a swaying train.

Given the state of train lavatories, I think it's fair to say that the MTA doesn't like cleaning them. What's the result? General nastiness. Sometimes you can smell the lavatories from the platform, before you board. What do I do in this situation? Go to the next car, like a bat out of hell.

The liver and onions gyro being consumed nearby. How can people be so unaware that their stinky food is a hostile gesture to other commuters? I want to take this guy's dinner and flush it down the toilet. Of course, doing that would require I enter the lavatory. Then I'd be dealing with two odor problems. Two clouds on the horizon, with no silver lining.

Feet. Feet? yes feet. Feet on the seat. They're rarely neat, and without them, my commute would be incomplete. On more than one occasion, I've had seat mates who remove their shoes and socks and then put their feet on the seats. What's worse? A bare foot or a foot in an old ratty sock with holes? Does it matter? No, not really, especially when said foot STINKS. These people need to toe the line.

Liquid mystery. I like the smell of a fresh beer, but once beer and floor come together, the smell turns gross. When you board such a car, you'll be taken back to your college apartment the morning after a big party. Just like back in the day, the floor is sticky and you don't recognize all the sleeping people. And oh does it smell. If it's crowded, you'll have no choice but to sit in that car. 

If you're REALLY lucky, the bottle from which the beer was spilled is rolling around for the duration of your commute. You'll kick it away, only to have someone else kick it back to you. Beer Bottle soccer is a the number one sport of the Long Island Rail Road commuter. Don't actually touch the bottle though, because that's a rule violation. Bottoms up.

Am I beating a dead horse? If I am, be nice and don't hit below the belt. I know I've talked about train odors before, but commuting conversation is my cup of tea. So peace out, girl scout. See you later, alligator. Goodbye butterfly.

Happy and safe commuting, and may you encounter uncommon sense.
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