There is nothing more unsettling than being in a strange city—or a strip mall, or a bus terminal—and getting a big whiff of the distinctly disgusting smell of a subway train stop. It is a gross and bad and terrible place. I would be thrilled if the line went under tomorrow. I hate it. I hate it so much! Its trains don’t even run on time, and it’s buskers bad jingles that get stuck in your head forever. Everything about this place is bad.

To be honest, most of my Oppositelock colleagues disagree with me on this matter, but it’s okay, we’re all still friends. Not everyone can be right all of the time.

I feel very strongly about this. You see, part of the problem is that subways masquerades as healthy transportation. It’s just not. A key part of its advertising campaign is falsely telling fat people that if they just take the subway for all of their trips, they will never be fat again. That doesn’t work if you’re sitting on a plastic bench three times a day! I know about MTA. Everyone in America knows MTA. If I say “George,” you think “Bush.” If I say “Barbara,” you think “Walters.” And if I say “MTA,” you think “New York City Subway MTA.” They move a fuckload of weight and gained a career shilling bad transportation, and they’re a big enough deal to have been lampooned in The Warriors. MTA is as American as baseball or the Weinermobile or the death penalty. They suck, too.

Consider the following facts:

  • The people are salty.
  • The people are slimy.
  • The people are sweaty.
  • The people are wilted.
  • The type of people are cold and terrible.
  • The people are mealy.
  • Subway riders are cause for concern.
  • Subway police are cause for concern.
  • Buskers?????????
  • People sitting in their own juice for extended periods of time.
  • The people are terrible.
  • There aren’t even many seating options.

The tracks, too, are a problem: the biggest problem, in fact. First of all, they’re too electric and hard to escape from. Second, when you fall on them no one helps you. Third, if you want a nice seat, you have to get to the front of the line, and someone behind you will throw you onto the tracks so they can get to the front of the line. That’s not how transit is supposed to work. That’s how “every man for him self and screw you” works. The thought of all this is making my stomach upset, and I’m not even smelling the smell, which is probably caused by the uncleaned vomit, and in any event immediately puts me in a bad place.

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Also, don’t use their night service. I love after-dark trips, but the concept of a mass-transit after dark is disturbing. Seriously, if you’re out after dark and heading down the steps to the platform, you need to reconsider your life choices.

Let’s talk about the names for these subways for a second, too. A? What does the A
entail, and what exactly is A about it? Ooohhh, first letter of the alphabet! Where is the Crosstown Express in such a hurry to get to? Staten Island Railroad? Mama mia! PATH? Of course it’s a path; it’s ground transportation! I’m already shitting my pants.

According to their website, there are 34 subways in 5 different boroughs. You can get dat Tube in London, home to 11 subway lines. You can cop some feels in Washington, which has 6 subways. Or you can find a spicy Italian in Philadelphia, where there are only three, albeit three more than Philidelphia should have. Lille has 2, and Lille is tiny. Something is wrong here. These things don’t add up. The last thing I would want if I were in Paris (subway count: sixteen), is a cold hand on my butt that I can find an exact replica of in Sri Lanka, Slovenia, Guam, and Honduras. Terrible transit does not transcend borders. Transit that claims to is not trustworthy. At least with busses or ferries, they’re not pretending to be healthy, and there is at least some distinct variation in the service from country to country. Also, they don’t smell the same everywhere. That’s truly the worst part of the whole thing. Get in a car and drive somewhere else. Fuck subways.