Overheard on the ‘L’

April 6, 2016 at 12:39 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Scene: The Chicago Brown Line

Time: Way too damn early for this (~7:15am)

Woman to man sitting next to her: “Excuse me. You’re encroaching on my space.”

Man: “I’m just sitting here.”

Woman: “Your elbow is clearly in my personal space. It’s extended because you’re on your cell phone. You know how people move their arms out when they use their phone? That’s what you’re doing. To me. Right now.”

It should be noted at this time that the woman was on the outside seat and could have theoretically moved a bit towards the aisle, as there was plenty of room.

Man: “I’m as close to the wall as I can be.”

Woman: “Well, I think I deserve the personal space allotted to me on the train. And I would really appreciate it if you would move your arm back into YOUR personal space.”

Man (under his breath): “In three years of living in Chicago and riding the ‘l’, I’ve never had anyone complain about this before…”

Woman: “They probably all felt too uncomfortable to speak up since you could so easily elbow them in the neck.”

Man: “This is ridiculous. You’re on public transit. You can’t expect to have a ton of space. I’m not putting my phone away and I’m not moving.”

Woman: “Typical man. This just figures.”

Cue passive aggressive stares and sighs for the rest of the train ride. From every party involved plus a few onlookers.


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Hard Times

November 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

You know the city of Chicago is running on broke when you see the Mayor on the train during your morning commute:

Why hello there

At least, that’s what I thought when I looked up this morning to see Rahm Emanuel standing nonchalantly in my train car.  He was accompanied by two security guards, one giant tough looking dude and a small yet mean seeming female.  I really wanted to talk to him  (specifically, I wanted to discuss the state of our city’s libraries and museums and plead with him to quit cutting funding) and when I remembered how he was President Obama’s right hand man in the White House until becoming Mayor, I really wanted to bend his ear about some of my concerns.  Unfortunately, his security guards looked about as friendly as a cactus and they stood around him in such a way that made approaching him rather intimidating, to say the least.  So they stood around and secured a rather large space for him to stand in (especially considering this was during the morning rush commute) and the woman continually whispered into a little hand microphone every time we came to a new stop.  This prevented me from my usual morning nap on the train but since she looked like she could snap me in half with one hand tied behind her back, I let it slide.

I wasn’t the only one who noticed our atypical passenger this morning nor am I the only one who snapped his picture (he was reading The New York Times, in case you were wondering).  However, I may have been one of the only ones to make eye contact with him long enough to share one of those It’s-Monday-morning-and-neither-of-us-really-want-to-be-here half smile grimace things.  So that was something.  Perhaps I should start carrying around a letter full of polite suggestions for him in case I ever run into him again.  Though if I tried to hand it to him, chances are his security goons would think it was full of anthrax and that might not work out in my favor.

Oh well, it made for a more interesting Monday morning nonetheless.  Maybe I’ll run into him doing his own laundry next?

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