Monday, May 18, 2009

On a Scale of 1 to 10... You're Gross!

My morning and evening commutes include both the trolley and the subway. I leave the house, walk to the trolley, transfer to the subway and then walk to work. I could take the train but then I'd have to get into a car and drive to the train station and I'd be bound to the schedule of SEPTA. Who wants to do that? The trolley is a super convenient walk from my house, there are a million trips, and I usually get a seat - so that's how I choose to commute into work... not to mention the entertainment value provided on both the trolley and subway...

Believe it or not - sometimes I can get a little grossed out by the goings on inside the subway cars and also on the trolley. Therefore, I have created a "Grossness Scale" to determine how any in particular ride stacks up to another trip. (All things have happened to me in my 4+ years of riding the trolley/subway unless noted.)

1000 Points - If you poop, pee, or puke on any given ride the trip is automatically assigned 1000 gross points. In my estimation nothing can top excessive excretion of bodily fluids on public transportation when discussing the relative terms of grossness. This has never happened to me on the subway or trolley (yet), but there have been people who clearly peed on themselves prior to getting on the subway. Those people were assigned 40 odd smell points.

90 Points - Dead people or dead animals. If someone pulls a "Weekend at Bernie's" and brings a dead guy on the trip you will get 90 points. This also has not happened to me (that I know of), however someone did bring a dead dog on the trolley, once, to take him to the pet store. I'm not sure if they were returning it or asking the store to dispose of it. I didn't bother to ask. It stunk.

80 Points - Bare feet. Don't ride the subway without shoes on. Just. Don't. Do. It.

75 Points (in addition to the 80 gross points for bare feet) - Also don't trim your toenails on the subway. I've seen this. It wasn't pleasant. 50 additional points if you put the clipped toenails in your mouth.

70 Points - Flossing. Your daily commute is not the time to clean the funk out from between your teeth. Please do this at home.

60 Points - Smoking. Dude - don't get so hammered that you don't realize that you are on the trolley and light up a cigarette. This happened to me while waiting for the trolley to leave 69th street. The funny thing was that everyone on the packed trolley was afraid to say anything because if this dude was crazy enough to light a cigarette on the trolley there is no telling what he'll do to me if I ask him to put it out.

50 Points - Picking your nose. This happens a surprisingly high percentage of times I am on the trolley or subway. YO - LADY... WE CAN SEE YOU! Don't try to look in your purse and act like you are hunting for something. Just stop picking your nose OR bring a Kleenex with you. 50 additional points added when (not if) the person eats their boogs.

40 Points - Odd Smells. Unidentifiable smells coming from somewhere in the car get you 40 points. This could be body odor, bad breath, dank feet, Chinese food, or anything creating a pungent smell in the confined seating area.

30 Points - Eating & Drinking. I'm not so much grossed out about the fact that you are eating as much as I am grossed out that the guy that sat in your seat before you smelled like urine and flossed his teeth. Eat at home.

20 Points - Sleeveless shirts. Just have some semblance of sleeves if I'm going to sit next to you, please.

10 Points - Seeing Eye Dogs. I understand they are necessary - but they still gross me out and make the list.

5 Points - Soliciting of perfume, incense, candy, girl scout cookies, etc. Asking for change, crazy people muttering about Aunt Lucy, talking to me in general... all of these things get you 5 points. The low point total is because if you do it well you can actually be pretty entertaining.

The Negative Point Scenario - I do need to point out that the grossness point total can be DECREASED by the presence of a hot chick on board or by Steeler fans.


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