Thursday, September 20, 2007
Adventures on the CTA
I have never heard the word "vomit" so many times in a 35-minute period as I did yesterday on the trip home. Apparently one of our esteemed homeless people or drunk party boys (or, to be fair, a hapless CEO with the flu) had left some barf on the floor of the train, rendering a seat unusable. The train was its usual packed self, but that pair of seats remained mysteriously vacant. At each stop, a member of the entering horde would file into the car, spy the empty seat, and make a beeline for it, only to stop in horror, mumble the word "vomit" to their companion, and take off for the opposite end of the car. Finally a brave, defiant soul plopped herself into the aisle seat, but in so doing became the Gatekeeper of the Vomit Seat. At each stop, someone would get on, head for the empty seat, and say "Excuse me" to the Gatekeeper. The Gatekeeper would respond with a gesture, "There's vomit." "What?" the seat-wanter would blink. "VOMIT," the Gatekeeper would repeat loudly. "Vomit," the seat-wanter would mumble, heading for the opposite end of the car. Finally a different Gatekeeper took the job, but her method was to state in a stage whisper, "It's DIRTY," and the vomit litany came to an end.