Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

The Commuter's Lexicon

After years of fieldwork, I present to you the essential guide to the trials and tribulations of the everyday life of a straphanger.

Anticiputz (n) - A person who, when a train slows to enter a station, gets up and stares intently at the doors on the wrong side of the train.

Aural Tickle (n) - Almost, but not quite figuring out what the person sitting next to you is listening to on their headphones.

Cage of Doom (n) - Upright turnstiles that look like Spanish Inquisition torture devices.

Cellujerk (n) - A commuter who has very loud conversations on a cell phone.

Choke Point (n) - The moment in which a commuter begins to first experience homicidal tendencies towards any representative of the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Clutterbug (n) - Somebody whose MetroCard is located underneath every other item in their carry-on bag.

Confestion (n) - The apologetic announcement for a delay.

Cork (v) - The act of pausing and slowly looking around the station as soon as one has gone through the turnstiles, even though it is rush hour and there are thirty people right behind.

Corkee (n) - A commuter trapped in an upright turnstile because the previous person corked, thus stopping the gate from turning when it was far enough over have recorded the fare. Particularly infuriating with an unlimited ride MetroCard, which won't allow one to re-enter the station for seventeen minutes without a manual override.

Crapola (n) - Any bag or possession taking up a seat on a crowded train or bus.

Dipsway (v) - The uniform movement made by all persons on a train platform as they lean forward to see if the train is coming.

Doorjammer (n) - A commuter who thinks that just because they managed to get one of their pubes into the train doorway that they can fit the rest of their mass into the car, regardless of what the laws of physics might have to say about it.

Doppelhänger (n) - The one other person on the bus or train that if a commuter sees, they know that they're definitely going to be late for work.

Doppelräge (n) - The seething hatred a commuter secretly and irrationally harbors for their respective doppelhänger.

Dutch Oven (n) - A train car with no air conditioning.

Easy Mark (adj) - Tourist.

Eau de Metro (n) - The stench left behind in a subway car by a homeless person.

Eau de Metro North (n) - The stench emanating from the backed up bathrooms on the Metro North and/or Long Island Railroad.

Escawaiter (n) - The one jackass that hasn't figured out that the right side of the escalator is for people that ride up and the left side is for people that walk up.

F & V Syndrome (n) - A common confusion brought on by the bizarre incestuous relationship between the two train lines. Similar to "Kate & Allie Syndrome," but with more dire possible complications.

Fuckhead (n) - Any young, able-bodied commuter who doesn't give up their seat to a disabled person or a pregnant woman.

Full Body Press (n) - When commuters are packed tightly. May have caused the aforementioned pregnancy.

Gleemonex (n) - The drug administered to the L.I.R.R. announcers in order to keep their voices so calm and peaceful.

Guiltigator (n) - A person who goes from car to car with their sob story about why you should give them money even though panhandling on the subway is illegal.

Hag Search (n) - Those bizarre days when you see the transit police searching only old ladies. We're not really sure what's up with that.

Hitting the A.T.M. (v) - Mugging a tourist.

Holdmaster (n) - People who sit in an aisle seat in the hopes that nobody will sit next to them.

Holdmaster Shuffle (n) - When the Holdmaster's plan fails, they get up and let the other person take the window seat as so to imply that they had some sort of ulterior motive for sitting in the aisle seat other than that they didn't want anybody sitting next to them.

Hotblocker (n) - The person who is standing in just the right spot to interfere with a commuter's ability to check out an attractive member of their preferred gender.

Hunchback of MetroDome (n) - A commuter who doesn't take off their extremely large backpack.

Inebriatilism (n) - A special discipline allows certain drunks to be able to projectile vomit into the seat in front of them without getting a drop on themselves. Rare, but impressive to see.

Lubricine (n) - The special protective layer of bum urine that coats subway stairwells.

Lysolian (n) - The crackhead who shit himself and hasn't noticed yet.

MetroTard (n) - A person that spends five minutes trying to swipe their MetroCard.

Navigator (n) - A commuter who walks into a train, finds out it's not the one they want, and gets stuck on it anyway.

Newsleecher (n)- A commuter who reads the newspapers of other commuters rather than getting their own.

Nomad (v) - The act of walking purposefully through every single train car just to make sure that there really aren't any seats left.

Optimizer (n) - A commuter who positions themselves strategically on the train for the correct car and/or proximity to the door for their stop.

Paper Ass (n) - A person who elbows the people around him in the process of reading their newspaper.

Quesonastiness (adj) - The level of pungency of the gross rotting cheese smell that graces many subway stations.

Regular Riot (n) - A conductor making announcements who thinks he's George Carlin.

Revoluter (n) - A person who pushes the turnstile but doesn't go through after they swipe and ends up locking themselves out of the subway.

Ringtwerp (n) - People who leave their audible ringers on but are wearing headphones, so they can't hear their phones ring.

Routier (n) - A person who travels in the other direction on a train or bus during rush hour to be assured of a seat on the way back.

Second Avenue Line (n) - A pie in the sky that is just way too high.

Snuffle-uphaputz (n) - A person having a very heated argument with themselves.

Squawkment (n) - The bizarre sounds that occasionally are emitted from a malfunctioning P.A. system in a train car.

Straplesser (n) - A commuter who attempts to balance unsupported in the middle of a bus or train.

Straplesion (n) - Any injury caused by a falling Straplesser.

Student (n) - A typically younger commuter who enters through the rear exit of the bus despite the fact that they have a pass to ride it free.

Taking of Pelham One Two Three, The (n) - Forget about the cable movie and the stupid remake, the original 1974 film is the single best film yet produced about the New York subway system (and in the running for most New York film ever made).

Tetrass (v) - When a commuter tries to squeeze their fat ass into a skinny space.

Threatenator (n) - A person who goes from car to car trying to intimidate people into giving him money even though panhandling on the subway is illegal.

Thrill (v) - Somebody's phone is on vibrate during the Full Body Press.

Toxic Waste Area (adj) - Subway rest rooms are disgusting, second only to the rest rooms at Washington Square Park.

Track Change (n) - The pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters on the track that a commuter often idly imagines retrieving.

Train Schedule (n) - A document that seems to exist solely for the purpose of destroying Brazillian rain forests. (Unless you lived in Italy under Mussolini)

Twofer (n) - A really... um... copious commuter who takes up two train seats.

Wrigley's Extra™ (n) - The official chewing gum of the token booth clerks.

Wrong Guard (adj) - Some commuters already stink at 7:00 in the morning.

Please appraise me with any omissions you feel I might have made. I intend this lexicon to be comprehensive.

Thank you.
Tags: lists, new york, subway

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