It's hot. The subways are crowded. People are peevish, sweating, and on edge. At times like this— when the social fabric of the city seems to hang by the thinnest of threads—it's important to relax, take a deep breath, and contemplate exactly who you hate in this godforsaken underground tunnel maze, and why.
[We will stipulate up front that this is more or less an annual hack post. This list was assembled with the input of the entire Gawker staff, all of whom are hacks. We are the worst, except for the following people.]
1. The person standing in front of an open seat on a crowded train. You think you're being chivalrous? You think you're accomplishing some vague gesture of selflessness, by failing to sit in the space that's opened in front of you, even though you are the only person with direct access to the space, due to the claustrophobic crowding of the rush hour train car? You're secretly congratulating yourself for your nice, healthy refusal to sit? Fuck you. You are causing that open space to be wasted and making the train car more crowded just to feel good about yourself. Sit in the fucking seat.
2. The people standing in front of the door who don't move when the doors open. If you want to maintain your choice spot by the door, push yourself to the side so that people can get on and off, or step off the train to let people off, and then step back on, and then push yourself to the side. If you just stand there, you deserve to be pushed off.
3. The people who get on before letting everyone get off. You deserve to be stabbed.
4. The people who lean on the pole. Feels nice and relaxing to lean on that pole, eh? Just treating that pole like your own personal leaning area? Stone cold relaxing, on the crowded train? Hey, guess what, THE POLE IS FOR EVERYONE TO HOLD, so get the fuck off the pole.
5. The people who try to make you let go of the pole before the train stops. So you're standing over seated people, holding onto the pole so that you do not fall down on the swaying subway train as it barrels down the tracks. As the train approaches the station, the person seated beneath you starts to stand— and gazes up at you expectantly, in an indication that you should release your grip from the pole so that they can stand all the way up and make their way towards the doors. Easy for them to say: they're seated. You, however, are standing, and exposed to the perilous motions of the train, which is not stopped yet. Never ask someone to let go of the pole before the train is stopped, just because you want to save yourself a couple seconds on your way to the doors. That's like asking a man to kill his dog.
6. The people who act like they're the only ones who are going to get off at a major stop. "EXCUSE ME! EXCUSE ME! GETTING OFF! EXCUSE ME!" says the crazy person and/or tourist elbowing forcefully through the crowd of passengers as the train approaches the station. This is Union Square, dumbass. Everyone is getting off. Chill.
7. The people who stand on the narrowest area of the platform. There are certain parts of New York City subway platforms— where staircases come down, for example— where there is only a very, very narrow area for pedestrians to walk, because the rest of the platform is blocked. These areas often consist of less than a foot of space, bordered by the yellow "warning" area, and then the void of the tracks. Some people, for reasons unknown, decide to stand in these narrow areas to wait for the train, thereby forcing all pedestrian traffic to walk on the warning strip like so many Wallendas, just inches away from falling to their deaths, where one false step could send them plummeting towards the third rail. These people literally value having a wall to lean on more than they value the lives of pedestrians. I'm not saying that these people deserve to be thrown onto the train tracks just to illustrate the enormity of their crime, but I am saying that they are exactly the type of people who enabled Stalin in his unblinking campaign of terror.
8. The people who stop hurrying down the steps once they see it's not their train coming. Walking briskly down the stairs in a subway station is a good idea, because everyone wants to be sure not to miss their trains. If you see that the train below is not yours, guess what, that doesn't mean you should slow to a crawl, because THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE BEHIND YOU TRYING TO CATCH OTHER TRAINS MOTHERFUCKER, IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT YOU. YOUR ACT IS INDICATIVE OF A FUNDAMENTAL SELFISHNESS DETRIMENTAL TO CIVIL SOCIETY. Also, please walk down the escalators.
9. The people who eat cooked food. You want to eat a Snickers bar on the train? Fine. You want to stank up the entire subway car eating a huge styrofoam container of Kung Pao Chicken? That is rude. If the food you are eating is stank, do not eat it on the subway. Eat it before you get on. Eat it after you get off. But do not eat it while we are all stuck in this tiny confined space for the next half hour or so. A simple and effective rule we can all live with. (Homeless people can be exempt.)
10. Teenagers. Stop yelling.
[Photo from Getty.]