Thursday, January 16, 2014

Hell is Other People

Some days I wonder about the rest of humanity. The other day, while riding the Washington Metro to work, I found myself across the aisle from two women. They talked in an unfamiliar language and I ignored them. Then I heard a familiar throat-clearing sound, the phlegmy sound that one associates with heavy smokers. Surely she wasn't...?

But she did. The woman turned her head to one side and spat on the carpeted floor of the train. Then she blew her nose, wadded up the tissue, and blithely tossed it on the floor.

Although I held my tongue, that was one disgusting step too much for a man standing in the aisle, who politely suggested that depositing one's trash on the floor was socially unacceptable.

I'll have to say this for Metro: in a world increasingly filled with rules, Metro has stuck to six: no eating or drinking, no littering, no listening to music and such without headphones, no pets except service animals, no smoking, and one more I can't recall at the moment. Just six, and the number of people who can't be bothered - usually involving eating, drinking, or littering - is astounding.
Give them this, though: until that day, I never saw another passenger spit inside the train.


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