Jerks on the train
There are five types of jerks on trains and each one of them makes the commute to and from work a nightmare, writes Nicky Bryson.
NRMA just released the findings of their annual Seeing Red on Rail survey and I was surprised by what got commuters’ knickers in a twist. Food and drink splashed about, dirty graffiti-painted carriages, useless announcements, crappy ventilation and over-crowding topped the list.
I catch the train every day during peak hour and while each trip is made up of a series of small miseries, I’m not bothered by anything in NRMA’s official top 5. I expect to fight my way through filth, look out for myself and stage a battle royale to get my ass on a seat.
What really bothers me, are the five varieties of ‘Jerks on a Train’. Every minute of my journey is made worse by one or all of these jerks and it occurred to me this morning that maybe they don’t know how jerky they are? Maybe I need to get the word out there and help these jerks? Maybe one of these jerks is you? Read on and find out.
Jerks who let tinny music leak out of their earbuds
This morning I moved three times to escape these jerks and the third time I landed with another raver and a phone booth talker (more later). Are you one of these jerks, disturbing the carriage with music so loud that it seems like blood should be running from your ear drums? Just stop it. You are the jerk I fantasise about strangling every morning.
Jerks who won’t share the seat
Are you the jerk who sits down in the middle of a two-person seat, takes up one whole seat with your bag or spreads your legs so wide that a basketball could fit between your thighs? Everyone hates you. That’s right, they walk past your seat, too timid to tell you to move but they hate you for the rest of the trip.
Jerks who subject fellow passengers to their entire makeup routine
If you are this jerk, then you are gross. Your makeup bag is always grimy, your brushes are always dirty and here’s the thing – you look worse after you’ve completed your paint job. Caked on foundation, uneven eye shadow, hideous blush, tide marks everywhere. Plus, do you know how many filthy things you touched before you put your hands all over your face? Nasty.
Jerks who think the whole train is their phone booth
This morning I was treated to a girl loudly counselling a friend all the way from St Leonards to North Ryde about a mutual friend’s divorce.The only people who didn't hate her were the oblivious jerks leaking music from their ear holes. If you are this jerk, I want you to know that in addition to hating you and judging you, I am laughing my ass off and posting everything you say on Facebook.
Jerks who start pushing onto the train before all passengers have alighted
You guys are the absolute worst, jerkiest of the bunch. We all have somewhere to go, we all want to sit down while we do it, but do you have to actively make people fear for the lives as you surge forward in a human wave?
Once I was pushed so hard one of my feet slipped down into the crack; it was then that I devised a new way of getting off the train. I set my shoulders hard with my elbows turned out and I do not stop for obstacles. If you are waiting to the side you won't get hurt, if you are pushing in like a giant jerk, then chances are I'm gonna body block you like an offensive tackle in gridiron football.
I’m giving you jerks the benefit of the doubt. Until you read this column you may have been unaware of your level of jerkery but there are no excuses now. Do your makeup at home, share your freakin’ seat, get a better pair of headphones and stop trampling your fellow passengers like you are running from a concert stadium collapse... for my safety and yours.