When being a Hipster..isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

We’ve all seen them.

The “cool kids”  in their you-are-never-going-to-be-able-to-have-any-kids -if-you-keep-squeezing-your-nuts-into-those-jeans.

The  I-direct-airplanes-at-JFK-in-my-spare-time headphones blaring some obscure Brooklyn band that has yet to be signed, with the top of their PBR tattoos just peaking out of their ironic t-shirts.

They are the one’s who stare down the “suits” at 7am, with their running shoes and scrunchie socks. They are the ones that block the doors as you are trying, oh so carefully, to step into the over crowded train.

They’re the ones that….Well…pull this stunt on a Tuesday morning rush hour  train. (no joke)

Oh ironic Hipster. You have truly outdone yourself this time.

Note the hipster-cum-prepster blazer with the giant yellow crest? The tips of the argyle socks (um shoes??? What happened to his shoes?) And behold, the crowning glory–the awesomely ironic facial hair.  Way to carry on the Hipster torch sleeping dude. Well. Played.

(Side note: This guy was most certainly not one of our city’s homeless folks who occasionally ride the train for comfort or warmth–his wallet with gobs of bills and coins, which continually fell to the floor, was bulging out of his too-tight pocket. That and the ipod cord draped across his chest were dead giveaways.)

Holding that…there…is really not going to help

That seems like a REALLY good place to store your blackberry.


So you know how there are all those reports our there about cell phones causing cancer?

Well, what do you think happens when you nestle one up against your ball sack?

Yeah.

The tale of the long lost bag

My husband affectionately calls me the “Bag Lady” because  I’m like Mary Freaking Poppins.

I carry pretty much everything any single person could need–shoes, clothes, make-up, bills, books, computers–everything.

Call me a crazy New Yorker, but I lived through 9-11 and the Great Blackout. There’s no way I’m getting stuck in Manhattan without options.

It was late on a Friday night. I was tired and distracted. Another long week in the salt mines sent me  to the comfort of my smart phone.

I was busy having an inane conversation with a friend via text and I suppose it was engrossing.

So engrossing, in fact,  I nearly missed my stop. (Who misses their stop because they are screwing around on their smart phone? Seriously?)

The doors dinged, I looked up,  grabbed the bag I’d plopped down beside me and raced out, barely squeezing through before they closed behind me.

Half way across the parking lot, still deeply connected to my smartphone and ignorning everything in the frigid parking lot around me, I had this creeping sensation that something was  missing.

I meandered to the car (because first of all, I’m incapable of walking in a straight line with or without a smartphone, and second of all, I was avoiding the massive snow-piles-cum-glaciers macerating all over the parking lot) , fumbled with the keys, threw my bag into the passenger seat and got in.

I sat there for a minute, looking at my bag.

Studying it.

Wondering why something felt “off.”

CRAP!

I left the office with 2 bags.

Now I’m down to one.

I left the bag on the train.

Every shred of personal information I had, was all over it….receipts, bills, coupons, some of my work–all with tons of personal information EVERYWHERE.

I’d lost stuff on the train before. I even put in a Lost and Found Request . None of it ever came back to me.

It was lost forever in the black hole of MTA Lost and Founded-ness.

I could stand to lose umbrellas and gloves,  but this was  FAR worse. What was I going to do?

I called my husband, who thought something really terrible had happened (Was I hurt? Where was I? Did he need to come pick me up?).

Finally after 5 minutes of blathering like an idiot, he  figured out what I was trying to tell him. Calmly he told me to relax and that he would call the railroad.

“But how can you be the bag lady without any bags?” he asked, trying to lighten the moment.

In spite of myself I laughed.

I couldn’t believe I was such a moron.

Bag. Train. Lost. Forever.

Or…so I thought.

Sunday night rolls around and I get a call from a number I don’t recognize. Being the antisocial wierdo that I am, I let it go to voicemail.  Five minutes later I pick the message up.

“Hi, umm, my name is Joe, and I found a bag on the train. I think it’s yours.”

My heart skipped a beat.  I dialed Joe’s number and waited while it rang.

“Hello?” a friendly voice said.

“Hi, Um. You called me. You said that you found my bag on the train?”

“Yeah, are you TheCrankyCommuter?”

“Um. Yeah, thats me.”

“Well listen, I  found your bag in the office when I came in for my shift. I figured since I found your number on the stuff inside, I’d give you a ring. I can send the bag back to Penn on the next train and it will probably take a week for you to get it back, or if you are close by, you can meet me at the train station and I can give it to you here.”

I thought for a minute.

1. It was late.

2. I was by myself.

3. Its dark at the train station when it’s late. And even worse when I’m by myself.

Two minutes later I hear myself saying–

“Sure, when should I meet you, and where?”

I figure I’m safer in a pair, so I call a friend.  When 8:30 rolls around and he comes to pick me up, I’m nervous and antsy.

What if this is some ploy? What if I get murdered or kidnapped? What if we both get murdered? Will anyone notice?

Despite my endgaming, my friend assures me I’m mostly insane and drives us off to the train station (but only after getting us lost). We find a place to camp and wait.

A few minutes later, an LIRR truck cruises by, a guy in the driver’s seat peers around at all the other cars waiting to pick up passengers headed back to school after February break.

“That’s Joe!” I exclaim and dash from the car to flag him down,  flailing my arms  like an idiot.

He climbs out. He’s all LIRR’d out.  LIRR jacket, hat and an orange vest. The real deal.

“Joe?”

“Hi. Cranky?”

“Yes, Oh god, I am so glad you found my bag. Seriously. I can’t thank you enough. Really. My whole life is in there. ” I gush as he hands over my ratty canvas bag. (Seriously, who would ever want it anyway?)

“Hey. No big deal. I figured you’d want it back.” (he kind of winks at this. I suspect he probably spied the random receipts, bills and the short stories I was working on.)

I  smile sheepishly. . I guess if I’m gonna write, I better get used to people nosing around in my stuff.

“Thank you so so so very much, Joe. Really. Seriously.” I gush.

The next thing I know, I’m hugging Joe and continuing to thank him profusely.

He turned red and made an excuse about heading back to work,  climbed back into his truck and waved goodbye.

And….despite my fears of murder and evil plots….I had my bags.

Mary Poppins and her spoon full of sugar be damned.

“Are you running from kissing she?”

I dunno.

Are you?

Courtesy R. Gowing

Welcome to 2011. The year of train stalking…

Welcome to the New Year, Crankys!

In the era of information overload (and far too many smart phones)  a savvy entrepreneur (who I could ironically only find one article about and even that was a bit strange) decided to take train stalking to a whole new level.

Welcome to SYOTT.com

(and no, I am not going to link to it because for some reason every time I try the site in FF it tells me that the url isn’t trusted–and I just can’t do that to my fellow crankys. If you are desperate–Google it.)

Great...just what we need....

Yeah.

So, ok. You are shy. You’ve been riding the rails for some time now, and found that the days of card games and the bar car are LONG gone. Maybe you think that guy or gal across the aisle from you looks particularly, I dunno, interesting? But, gosh, talking to them…it’s just so 20th century.

So, you just log in to SYOTT, upload the best picture of yourself (no not the one of you guzzling beer), and post a nice note about how you were traveling on the Babylon line on Monday evening and you wanted to talk to this person but just couldn’t find the nerve.

Umm…so let me ask you this…what are  the chances that the cute girl across the aisle has any idea you just professed your undying love to her, via email? Or better yet…do you actually think she’ll turn around and jump your bones?

Yeah…ummm…sorry. Not a chance in hell.

Trust me. Cranky Commuters are creatures of habit. We know when there is someone new on our regular train, and we definitely know when they are in “our” seat. Talking to a stranger is OK (being nice and courteous–even better) but stalking online?  BAD idea.

Sure we are a connected bunch, but most of us just want to zone out, sleep and get through the commute without being stalked.

So do your fellow crankys a favor, and don’t stalk. Be nice. Talk to people, and stop being creepy.

Got a cranky rant? Email me at crankycommuter@gmail.com.

The Twelve Days of Commuting

I know it’s been awhile since my last post and I apologize to all my fellow crankys out there, who rely on my regular dose of cranky-dom to get them through their days. I plan to be a more regular cranky going forward.

That being said–you’d think that the holidays would give those of us who ride public transportation a reason to be jolly–to be less abusive to one another–to, you know, bust out a “Thank You” once in awhile.

Alas, that’s not the case.

So in the spirit of the season, a fellow cranky @Bill_Beck composed a fine little ditty to help you on your way home.

Sung to the tune of the Twelve Days of Christmas….

On the first day of Christmas my commute gave to me One Unauthorized Person on the tracks.

On the second day of Christmas my commute gave to me….Two late trains, and an Unauthorized Person on the tracks.

On the third day of Christmas my commute gave to me…Three duct tape expresses, two late trains and an Unauthorized Person on the tracks.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my commute gave to me….four cell phone squawkers , three duct tape expresses, two late trains and an Unauthorized person on the tracks.

On the fifth day of Christmas my commute gave to me five conductors gabbing, four cell phone squawkers, three duct tape expresses, two late trains and an Unauthorized Person on the tracks.

On the sixth day of Christmas my commute gave to me, six feet on seats, five conductors gabbing, four cell phone squawkers, three duct tape expresses, two late trains and an Unauthorized Person on the track.

On the seventh day of Christmas my commute gave to me….seven added stops, six feet on seats, five conductors gabbing, four cell phone squawkers, three duct tape expresses, two late trains and an Unauthorized Person on the track.

On the eighth day of Christmas my commute gave to me… eight broken switches, seven added stops, six feet on seats, five conductors gabbing, four cell phone squawkers, three duct tape expresses, two late trains and an Unauthorized Person on the track.

On the ninth day of Christmas my commute gave to me….NINE SUSPENDED LINES…eight broken switches, seven added stops, six feet on seats, five conductors gabbing, four cell phone squawkers, three duct tape expresses, two late trains and an Unauthorized Person on the track.

On the tenth day of Christmas my commute gave to me….ten slip-slide conditions, nine suspended lines, eight broken switches, seven added stops, six feet on seats, five conductors gabbing, four cell phone squawkers, three duct tape expresses, two late trains and an Unauthorized Person on the track.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my commute gave to me…eleven stinky eaters, ten slip-slide conditions, nine suspended lines, eight broken switches, seven added stops, six feet on seats, five conductors gabbing, four cell phone squawkers, three duct tape expresses, two late trains and an Unauthorized Person on the track.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my commute gave to me, twelve percent fare hike, eleven stinky eaters, ten slip-slide conditions, nine suspended lines, eight broken switches, seven added stops, six feet on seats, five conductors gabbing, four cell phone squawkers, three duct tape expresses, two late trains and an Unauthorized Person on the track.

****

Happy Holidays Crankys!

One person + one bag= three seats! AKA: “The Lean”

Yeah. It’s Friday night. Yeah. We’ve all had a long day.

Yeah. This would be considered a late train.

But, I’m not sure that these facts justify this kind of largess-in-little-seats. I mean, really?

Do you mind if I just point out to you–ahem–You aren’t hanging out in your living room with a can of Keystone in your hand, waitin’ for the wife to cook you some dinner. And that pose, ain’t the most flattering. In fact, I’m sure they guy across from you isn’t too pleased with the all-in-crotch shot he’s getting too.

So here’s an idea. I’m gonna go out on a limb here-just try to keep up. Ok?

Let’s pretend that we’re all in a public place, hmm? And let’s say that you are really trying to make a good impression?

Does this look like its the best way to communicate that you are the successful commuter you are?

So let’s just sit up like a big boy and look like the well dressed person you are. I mean, really.

"The Lean"

How old are you?