Illustration by Zoe Cheng

 

Or: How Not to Ride the Subway and Other Modes of the TTC

I’m going to be honest—the best part of my day is my morning transit. I absolutely love the TTC (compared to transit systems in other parts of the world, the TTC is admittedly really bad at doing things, but they’re our terrible transit system. 6ix represent.) despite its infinite shortcomings and inefficiencies. No, I never take issue with how bad the TTC is. What I do have a problem with is when the people on the TTC do dumb or annoying things and ruin the one time in the day I feel truly happy. I guess I just have a problem with people. But if you’re new to the TTC or in general just an inconsiderate person, the following are things you should refrain from doing on the TTC:

1.Noise pollution

This is for everyone who plays their trash music loud enough that other commuters can hear it. Music nowadays encompasses so many obscure, outlandish, even odious things that it’s almost impossible for anyone on your bus (or at all) to have the exact same taste in music as you. That means that, even if whatever you’re listening to gives you pure, unadulterated happiness and prevents your spiral into severe depression, to everyone on the bus it’s just a lot of ugly horrible noise, the cause of which is you. It’s worse than babies crying. It’s worse than listening to people in my grade complain about their high 90s in math. It’s probably worse than the background noise in hell—but at least in hell there are other like blasphemers.

2.Manspreading

Boys (and men), nothing you have between your legs is big enough to warrant you sitting with your legs more than 20 degrees apart. Like really. A couple weeks ago I was sitting across from two women, between whom there was a seat. This man (let’s call him Richard, or Dick for short) comes and sits in the seat, as is his right as a paying commuter, but then he angles his legs outwards like 90 degrees apart (I swear to God), making the women on either side of Dick have to turn so as to not contact his leg too much. And let me tell you, I was screaming at Dick in my head, but I was too tired to do anything about it—though if Dick had done the same to me, I would’ve squished his legs together. I would’ve crushed him. Honestly, I feel like the TTC should have a bylaw requiring that all commuters have a protractor on their person (in addition to proof of payment or whatever) so that they can measure the angle between their legs. If the angle is greater than 20 degrees and they are physically capable of closing their legs, they can either close their legs or just STAND.

3.Backpacks

If you keep your bag on when you’re on a considerably crowded bus or train, you are a horrible human being and you deserve to know it—but being the obtuse, ignorant person you are, you’ll wonder: why? Why am I a horrible person for not taking my bag off on a crowded vehicle? Well, because most people who are conscious and have functional nerves don’t enjoy being clobbered with ridiculously heavy sacks of other people’s stuff. And why do you need to turn so much? Yes, DEREK, we’re still on the same bus. Literally nothing has changed. You are hitting someone. Every. Time. You. Turn. So stop. Also, if you hit me with your school bag, I will take it personally. My head is already about to implode from being bombarded by numbers and equations and chemical formulas—to be hit in the face with a bag full of math and chemistry textbooks is a personal attack. I will literally burst into tears. So please take your bag off when on the TTC.

4.Lonely people

Why are you sitting next to me when there’s a whole row of empty seats two metres away? No, really, why? Why do you want to literally feel my warmth and breathe the air my body rejects when you could, I don’t know, sit on the other side of the bus and have three seats to yourself? I don’t want to be near anyone when you have twenty other seats to choose from. If you’re just lonely and want to pretend that you have someone, instead of sitting right next to strangers on the TTC when there are tons of other seats, buy a sex doll and lug it around. It’s easier for everyone that way.

5.People talking on the phone super loudly but in a language I don’t understand

This one confuses me a little. I mean, you’re screaming at the top of your lungs on a phone that is no more than 5 cm away from your mouth, so clearly you want other people on the bus to hear what you’re saying. I totally get it—I, too, am an attention whore—but does it have to be in a different language? I’m getting mixed messages here. Do you want me to listen to your conversation or not? On one hand, you’re screaming. On the other, I don’t understand Mandarin. So to me (and everyone else on the bus), it’s just a whole lot of noise.