Annoying Straphangers: The Head-Bobber

People on the subway who furiously bob their heads in time to the music they’re listening to on their headphones annoy the shit out of me. Wow, guy – you like it when musical notes are strung together in a melodic way? That doesn’t make you ‘cool’ or ‘ hip,’ it makes you a sentient human being with ears that work and a beating heart. Stop pretending that you’re Avicii DJing MSG when we’re both just two schmucks riding the 3 train home from our grunt administrative jobs.

Why I’m Against Rolling Backpacks

I would rather my kid have a scoliotic back for the rest of his life from carrying heavy textbooks as a tween than for him to have to carry the internal shame of having been the kid with the rolling backpack, because that shit is way heavier. Once I saw a kid with a rolling backpack fall head-first down a flight of stairs, and let me tell you, that backpack was close to lethal when it landed on top of him. I’ll never forget the tableau of the poor guy as he lay in a crumpled heap at the foot of the stairs, his cuffed sweatpants exposing his skinny ankles in all of their tube-sock-clad glory, the fallen backpack open next to him with papers falling out. This truly depressing sight crystallized my opinion that the rolling backpack is more a form of cruel and unusual punishment than a helpful tool to prevent your child from slipping a disc.

What I’ve Learned from Compulsively Watching True Crime for 20 Years

1. If you absolutely have to go to Washington state, do everything in your power to avoid going to Snohomish County. Nothing good happens in Snohomish County, Washington. Just look at Ann Rule’s body of work – she made an entire career out of writing books about horrific crimes that have been committed in this one small region of the country. (Seriously, she wrote, like, 50 books about terrible, random murders that have all taken place in Snohomish County.) Judging from the Ann Rule canon, which I am deeply familiar with, if you spend enough time in Snohomish County, there’s an extremely good chance that you will be viciously attacked close to your bus stop and battered about the face and head by the light of the Washington moon.

If you’re a sportier type and prone to hiking, you could also get killed on Snoqualmie Pass. Snoqualmie Pass seems to be a mountain that is extremely dangerous not because of its treacherous terrain, but because it attracts psychopaths like moths to a scenic flame. If you absolutely have to go to Washington state and you absolutely have to go hiking, do everything in your power to avoid hiking Snoqualmie Pass – that is, unless you’re in the mood to grapple with a knife-wielding, AWOL soldier who thinks he’s still in Vietnam.

2. If someone seems like a pervert or a killer, he might very well be a pervert or a killer. Humans have a sixth sense for a reason – that little voice in your head is millions of years of evolution telling you that it’s probably a good idea to quicken your pace when passing that gentleman who’s dressed in a soiled trenchcoat and scratched aviators and screaming expletives at no one. Is there a weird dude driving your cab? It’s okay to get out of the cab if you feel like you’re about to get Bone Collectored in it.

3. If you discover that the lock on the window of your ground-floor bedroom is broken and you’re missing a few pairs of underpants and your hairbrush, leave the apartment immediately. There’s clearly a creepy teenager loose in your neighborhood who may very well have masturbated into your sock drawer while wearing one of your hats. Go stay with a friend or a relative until that lock gets fixed and call ADT.

4. Always be extremely punctual when going anywhere and never miss or cancel any plans with anyone. Also, pick up your cell phone every time someone calls you. That way, people will realize pretty quickly if you go missing. They’ll say things like, “Well, I knew that Sarah must have been in the trunk of a sadomasochist’s Kia when she didn’t text me exactly at 11pm like she always does.” What I’m trying to say is, don’t be a fucking flake like me, or else if you do get kidnapped and call someone for help, your lifeline will just be like, “Yeah, sure, Sarah, you’re in the trunk of a sadomasochist’s Kia. It’s always something with you. I’m just going to order without you,” and hang up.

Daily Aggravation 53: Public Denture Removal

The other day on the 6 train downtown, I sat across from a woman whose shrunken face and whopping height of 3’2″ made it obvious that she was 180 years old. Her eyes contained centuries of wisdom, but apparently, none of that wisdom pertained to how to act on a New York City subway.

At first, all she did was eat sunflower seeds – so many sunflower seeds. I was wondering what she was doing with the shells; they seemed to disappear as soon as she spat them out, which, quite honestly, I was thankful for. Then, I turned to my right, where I spotted a gaggle of young, Italian tourists all staring in the general direction of the old woman with their mouths agape. Clearly, something of note was going on with her –  and it turned out to be the most disgusting act I’ve ever seen on the subway (and I was born and raised here).

The old woman had removed her dentures, leaving a puckered, anus-like hole in place of the normal-looking mouth she’d just had, and was proceeding to suck and lick her dentures clean. I honestly didn’t even know what to do with myself besides continue to stare at her, trying to figure out how to make sense of this horrific display.

It was then that I caught the eye of a younger gentleman, who broke into a big grin and whispered to me, “Disgusting, just disgusting,” in a thick accent, referring to our friend, the immortal pig. Turning to my left, I saw that a middle-aged man was absolutely dying with silent laughter; tears were rolling down his face as he tried to contain himself. The Italian tourists got in on the fun, too, as did a beautiful young teenager who was, unfortunately, sitting right next to the old woman as she worked her dentures like this was her last meal for the next six months. We all grinned at each other, totally horrified but bonding through mutual disgust.

At long last, we arrived at my stop, and I got off the train, both utterly scarred and glowing with the satisfaction I get from having real, human interactions with strangers on the subway. We may have the weirdest people in the world living here, but damn, do I love this city.

 

Human Ken Determined to be Fiercer Than Human Barbie

The real, human versions of Barbie and Ken met each other for the first time the other day, and The Daily Mail wrote an article about how much they each hated the way the other one looked. See the news story here.

Here’s the problem, though: Human Ken isn’t Human Ken as much as he is a clone of Janice Dickinson. Go look at the photo of him in the link above and then come back and click on this one. Am I wrong? They have the same face, for crying out loud.

It would’ve saved this guy an awful lot of time if he’d just taken a photograph of Janice Dickinson throwing shade to his plastic surgeon and said, “Give me that face, but make it even FIERCER.”

Daily Aggravation 52: Having to Work Past Your Prime

I think I had the somewhat dubious honor of being the passenger of the oldest cab driver in New York City today. My initial fears about his competency were confirmed when I said, “I’m going to 78th and Madison,” and his response was a confident “78th and York!” 

My first thought was, ‘Well, maybe he just didn’t hear me,’ because I’m sorry, but there is NO accent or weird moment that could make ‘Madison’ sound even remotely like ‘York.’ Then I thought, ‘Oh, God. What if he just has no memory left? Now I have to spend the whole time worrying that my cab driver is going to forget how to drive while we’re crossing Central Park.’ Luckily, we got home just fine, and after shouting and repeating directions about where to pull up and let me off, I was out of the cab and on my merry way.

It is a grave injustice that my extremely elderly cab driver is still needing to work at 154. Sounds to me like someone danced with the devil in the pale moonlight!

A Threatening Cypriot Surprise from Sophia

The e-mail subject line “Just don’t let the days past you by without enjoying them to the fullest!” seems vaguely like a threat. I can imagine a silver-haired witch saying it with an Eastern European accent and a toothless smile while handing me a cursed trinket. So obviously, when an e-mail with that subject line arrived in my inbox, I really had to click on it. I was met with the following missive: 

Hello, mighty man! How are you?
I feel so lonely these days! I guess you would make a hot company for any playful babe like me! Why dont we meet online to get each other better? I have a number of thrilling nude pics at this dating website. Please be there for me! The registration is free. I will tell you everything in a private chat, sugar!
Cannot wait to see you! >>>>>>>   

Now
———-
To not receive this message again, visit the page below:

or write to:
Nautell Capital Limited, Stasinou, 1 Mitsi Building 1, 1st floor, Office 4 Plateia Eleftherias, Nicosia Cyprus 106

It took me a few reads, but I finally came to the realization that there is a singular line that makes this e-mail creepier than most ridiculous spam. Yes, there, in the middle of all this sex chat and weird adjectives like ‘playful’ and ‘thrilling,’ is the sentence, “Please be there for me!” 

This is the point at which the e-mail goes from being a funny romp in the world of cyber solicitation to something out of an episode of Law & Order: SVU, Cyprus Edition. Does anyone actually think that watching some chick take her clothes off on a webcam constitutes ‘being there’ for her? That person is a shitty person. Or is this a plea for help? Most importantly, why are you making me feel weird and responsible for this bot’s safety, weird sex website? This is a very bad marketing campaign, seriously.

Also, please notice that the e-mail ends with the words, “Cannot wait to see you…Now.” That is fucking terrifying and undoubtedly threatening. Is the Sophia of the e-mail address about to show up at my apartment dressed like a rabbit, or pick me up tonight in a converted taxi cab like the Bone Collector? Jesus. Way to give me a panic attack, Nautell Capital Limited. I’m going elsewhere for my viruses.