Certain behaviors will concern your fellow riders

I have this problem.  Wherever I am, subway, street corner, the line at Starbucks, I am in observational mode.  And, if the need arises, I will whip out my cell phone and take a picture of whatever ridiculous thing I just saw on the subway or street corner (for the record, I’m not a hooker, but there’s no other way to phrase where I was standing.  It was the corner of the street.  I can’t help that).

So this morning on the train I was able to plop down into a seat at around 59th street.  As I was plopping I noticed a guy tousling a girl’s hair out of the corner of my eye.  When I was finally situated on my bench (making sure I didn’t sit on anyone’s coat and no one could crush my sandwich) I looked up.

The tousler and his girlfriend were still there.  (Okay, I assume girlfriend but it’s New York–they could have met at 105th and gotten cozy by 77th for all I knew).  So anyway, I’m watching them and I’m wishing I could pull out my phone.  Because at this point they are violating one of my transit rules: Do not lean against a pole during rush hour. Pole space is limited and leaners take up the space of 3 or 4 other people’s hands.  Plus, they’ve made their lean worse in that Girly was leaning and The Boyfriend was hugging her and holding the pole behind her.  Double whammy.

I pulled out my phone.  The woman next to me was sleeping and it seemed like I could maybe snag a shot of them.  I like to have some means by which to illustrate a post and if I was going to try and explain how they were ignoring all rush hour etiquette, then it would have been helpful to have a reference.

As soon as I pulled my phone out I realized the situation was worse than I’d originally suspected.  Because at that moment, The Leaners started macking.  The Boyfriend was specifically interested in smooching on Girly’s neck and it was WAY more than what is considered appropriate for the morning (for the record, couples who ride part way together and give a quick goodbye peck are okay by me)–or for a crowded train!

So while just seconds before I may have been facing the internal battle–to snap or not to snap–I was now settled on a decision.  This MUST be photographed.  While I was trying to tip my phone to just the right angle I realized I had no choice but to abandon my normal attempts at cell phone photographic subtlety (aka using one hand to cover the screen so the victim subject doesn’t get wise).  I was sitting there, wiggling my phone around but as we were pulling into the next station, I realized it was now or ever so I shot.  And I missed.

Unfortunately for me though I didn’t realize that the guy standing directly in front of me (and therefore dangerously close to The Leaners) was watching my blatant attempt at being a paparazzo.  I happened to look up and I saw he was giving me one of those “wow, did you just see those 2 going at it?!” looks and I smiled and we did the whole “yes, we’ll acknowledge how weird some people are” thing. But I was still busted.  I couldn’t exactly say “oh, by the way, that’s not as weird as it seemed.  I’m not just some creeper getting her jollies by taking pictures of people making out. I’m a blogger,” because, well, A) Girly was still there and would probably have been offended and B) that’s just not okay to say.

So what choice did I have?  I pulled out my little notebook and started jotting things down.  I figured if I was taking notes and occasionally glancing in Girly’s direction then maybe he would figure out that I was actually just trying to make note of the event and not being a weirdo (not that taking notes like that isn’t being weird but whatever).

And because I couldn’t just write one sentence and be done with it, I wrote the following:

Places where PDA should be avoided–train (in case he was trying to read my notebook).

Also, try to be less obvious when taking pictures on your cell or people will think you are weird and not a writer.


In fact, I feel compelled to keep writing to look less like a freak.


I need help.

Yeah…I think it’s safe to say that I do, in fact, need help.  Either that, or I need a less conspicuous cell phone.


11 thoughts on “Certain behaviors will concern your fellow riders

  1. If I ever get busted like that I’m just going to say

    “It’s ok, I’m a blogger!”

    and hopefully everyone will understand.

  2. i agree with matt.

    also, if i were to ever start doing this thing, i would definitely need to get a different phone. the camera on the one i have now is awesome, but it focuses. this is good in stationary, still-life instances, and produces great quality (for a phone) pictures, but if i had to take a picture of something happening, i would need a good 2 or 3 second head start, and since i can’t really predict the future, i’m stuck until my plan is up and i can get a new phone for cheap.

    ps. the woman with the fingernails?!? seriously!? people like that just piss me off, no respect for anyone around them. the subway is not your own little world!

  3. hahaha
    what would be even worse would be if that piece of paper fell out and someone picked it up but read it as they were handing it back to you. imagine the look on their face.
    good times

    … and for the record, make-out in public is never acceptable, no time, no place

  4. Matt: Maybe I could get a shirt that says that–save me some trouble.

    lucklys: Oh, trust me, it was one of the grossest things I’ve ever seen and the people around her were completely losing it.

    NSJ: Oh, yeah, that could have been very bad haha!

    sour: Sometimes you just have to shoot and run. I always like seeing weird stuff right before my stop.

    andhari: Haha maybe next time I will!

  5. oh god, that’s exactly the sort of thing that would happen to me . . . which is why i tend to resist the temptation to take photos of everything I fancy because I KNOW I would get caught out!

  6. My blackberry seems to want to flash whether I want it to nor not. It has made some surreptitious photos less so. So yes, get a pen camera (I’m sure you can order one from wherever James Bond gets his stuff) and one with an adjustable flash.

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