Wednesday, October 10, 2007

seen on last night's commute home

I got on the 4 train at Fulton St. There was a little girl hanging onto the pole in front of me, and she was swinging around and bumping into me and a few people around me. I moved to the center of the car to get out of her way and went back to reading the TMQ column I'd printed out for the ride home. After another stop I moved further into the car, and now I was standing in front of this little girl (who was sitting down) and her (I assume) sister and grandmother. Grandma was in the middle, and the two girls were on either side of her. The first girl kept bouncing up and down and bumping the lady next to her. Then she started saying "Excuse me!" to the few people standing up in front of her, including me. It seems she wanted to tell me something important about her sister. I had my headphones on and did my best to ignore her. After another few minutes of this, she swatted her sister a couple of times, reaching across Grandma to do so. Grandma didn't seem to care. This girl was also sucking on some hard candy and coughing a lot, so I turned around and faced the other way after another stop. At 42nd St. a kid selling candy stepped into our car. The girls wanted candy, so he stopped in front of them and they spent a few minutes picking out Snickers bars and Skittles and begging Grandma for money to get more candy. Now these girls were clearly hopped up on enough sugar already, and didn't need any more, but Grandma didn't care. To her credit, she told them they could only get two candy bars each from the kid. Girl #1 broke into her bag of Skittles as soon as the transaction was completed. I got off the train at 86th St., glad that I didn't have to find out how much worse those kids would be by the time they got to their stop.

OK, so after I wrote that it's hardly the worst thing I've endured on a subway ride home. And I admit I don't have kids, so I don't know what's involved in keeping them from bothering other people. But Grandma should have known, and done something, but she was practically asleep while these kids were jumping all over the place. I see this kind of behavior all the time on the subway (and the city, for that matter). Parents let their kids run around on the trains or on the sidewalk, and I have to dodge them to keep from knocking them over. I imagine that if I ran into one of these kids by accident, the parents would blame me for not looking where I was going. And who knows what would have happened if I or one of my fellow commuters had tried to tell Grandma to get her charges under control last night.

Mostly, I just hate people. They're the worst.

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