There are certain people on the CTA that exist exclusively as a catalyst, a hastily lit match to the dwindling fuse that is your sanity. The anger is often exaggerated because in your groggy, frustrated haze it becomes impossible to determine the reason for this uninhibited hatred. I’m not talking about the dude in a wizard hat taking a dump in a can of Yankee beans while reciting his favorite quotes from Mork and Mindy. He’s his own brand of crazy. I’m talking about the people that appear like you and me…but are actually the moral dregs that are ruining this society.
All you can really tell is you’re on the verge of a patented CTA temper tantrum. That morning you were a non-confrontational southern belle, but now you’re a neon clad, hyper-tanned, shredded-up bro…and someone just started grinding on the piece of strange you were trying to land while you were going beast mode at the Mumford show at Lollapalooza. On top of that your $8 B to the L got spilled. An aggressive shoving match that never escalates into much more is really the only solution here. Just like the confrontation that’s about to happen on the CTA. Here is a run-down of those people.
10.) Person who is reading trendy book from 8-12 months ago- This person hasn’t read a book since “The Giver” in 5th grade and is really trying to get back into it. They also exclusively read books that are made into movies/TV shows. It’s time to really intellectually challenge themselves with books like “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” or book 2 in the Game of Thrones series. Doing this is also super impressive to everyone else on the train. You’re clearly way smarter than us as we stand there drooling looking cross eyed at our iPhones. Also, absolutely no better way to pick up chicks. Chicks ALWAYS approach strange dudes and want to discuss if they’re team Edward or team Jacob.
9.) Selfie Taker- We get that your complexion couldn’t look better in that fluorescent, invasive CTA lighting, and the ole MySpace page is begging for a profile pic update but shamelessly making the mousiest/poutiest/mysteriously sexy looking face is enough to make us all gauge our eyes out. No matter the filter, that picture is maxing out at 3 likes and you know it.
8.) The Napper- On one hand I admire The Napper. It’s truly incredible that someone can fall asleep in a traveling hunk of tin filled to the absolute brim with complete and utter strangers. Being that oblivious is insane. On the other hand when the person is using your shoulder blade as their own personal snuggle post/morning breath depository the charm wears off pretty fast. It’s also tough to determine whether the person is alive or deceased at times which is unsettling.
7.) Paparazzi- Every single other person on the CTA is a potential minor celebrity ripe for stalking. That’s the only explanation for tempestuously leering at any text message/Instagram/Facebook in their near proximity. It’s comforting to know that this person is completely emotionally invested in your life. They’re your rock and confidant during that 40 minute commute regardless of you wanting or being aware of it.
6.) The music way too loud with bad headphones person- Being sandwiched between both; morons blasting Skrillex at8 a.m. and people staring longingly out the window listening to Passenger is the worst. That pair of Beats by Dre that were purchased at Big Lots isn’t helping the cause. Not a single note is actually making it to their ear drums. Don’t involve me in that Star Wars theme song as you gaze longingly out the window wondering “Who Shot First.”
5.) The door texter- There’s a 50 person log jam hanging in the balance. Passengers doing what is generally done at their desired stop…getting off the train. But wait! The finishing touches on a perfectly crafted text to the beau is also only a few characters off, might as well finish it. There’s a sliver of space by the open door that everyone can make do with. No reason to experience the slightest inconvenience. That 80 year old man definitely wanted to toss his back out doing the limbo under a Samsung Galaxy!
4.) Guy doesn’t understand personal space- The endowment estimation/perception for this person is severely distorted. It has to be for someone to spread their legs this far apart. It’s likely an over compensation for an early onset of Low-T. I get that exchanging shin denim seems like flirting to you…it isn’t.
3.) The Blowout- It’s a completely packed train that already smells like wet dog on a boiling hot rainy day in August. Even though every other person on the train is holding it, you have to cut that vicious garbage bomb loose. A strict diet of hay, Icehouse, and diseased raccoon meat. Our eyes are now scorched as bad as your ringpiece. Everyone on the train is wondering who’s insides are rotting as you stand there proudly but quietly basking in your own brand.
2.) The Immovable Object- This motionless statue that appears to have somehow stuffed a mini-fridge into it’s Jansport backpack. Confirming that a backpack can in fact have right angles. It’s dictating the position of everyone else on the train. The refusal to put this thing down makes me think its a fashionable camouflage for your hunchback (which is resting inside the backpack itself.) Trying to get off the train? Be prepared to get into a fist fight with whatever the hell is in that backpack. If placed on the ground an additional 8 people could stand comfortably. But statues don’t give a shit.
1.) My bag deserves a seat too person- It’s uncertain if there is any situation at all that would warrant giving your bag a seat on the CTA. Maybe these people are carrying around their great great grandmother’s ashes in a super delicate thin glass urn. Maybe they have a rare breed of Mongolian chinchilla with unnaturally sensitive paws, that when placed on the floor of the CTA causes it mild discomfort. It’s more likely they’re just your run of the mill self-entitled bane of human existence. This person is a beacon for the decline of human society and is undoubtedly listening to Pitbull as we speak.