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Old Feet and Other Commuter Pet Peeves

I hearby make a citizen's arrest. In the name of cleanliness, manners and plain old decency, I proclaim this fellow commuter guilty. Guilty of assuming that his seat aboard a Metronorth train doubles as a Lazy Boy recliner. Last I checked, thousands of people sit down exactly in the spot where those foul looking feet were parked today. And trust me, while I managed to sneak in this shot, you should have seen him go to town on his ear wax.
I know when you step on a train many of us get lost in our own world - listening to music, watching a DVD, reading the newspaper, a great book, or in my case, meeting my favorite girlfriends for the most enjoyable part of our day. So when I see someone plant his feet on the very spot where Robin, Mardene, Susan, Lauren and I sat earlier today, I just get utterly disgusted.
There have to be some commuter rules to follow and if you violate one of them, you get taken to task by the commuter police or by me and my 8:48 posse. So here are seven tried and true commuter rules to live by and if you happen to have been riding the 4:23pm train to Scarsdale today in your bare socks, I hope you're paying attention:
1. Do not under any circumstances take your shoes off on the train and stretch out your odor eaters on the seat in front of you.
2. If you choose to sit in a six seater and five talkative women nudge their way in so they can launch into their early morning coffee klatch, make sure your bags are off the seat and do not roll your eyes when they cover 10 topics in 33 minutes. Besides, you may learn a thing or two if you decide to eavesdrop on the conversation.
3. If someone is talking loudly on their cell phone, you are allowed to tell them to keep it down. If a working mom is talking on her cell phone - back off Buster - she's either on a conference call or trying to take care of all the loose ends in her day and make it home in time to relieve her nanny. If you attempt to rattle her cage, trust me, she'll bite your head off.
4. If you accidentally spill a beverage on the floor and the liquid proceeds to roll down the aisle and seep next to the leather briefcase of a fellow commuter, don't pretend you don't know whose drink it is. Use those extra napkins you swiped from that Dunkin Donuts dispenser and mop up your mess.
5. Don't leave your newspaper on the seat after you leave. Who do you think is going to clean up after you? Your mother? It's your responsibility to clean up after yourself - not the train conductor.
6. Don't interrupt the poker players. If you see them congregating in their favorite four seater with their oak tag spread out on their laps, a serious game of five card stud is taking place - either observe and be amazed or move to another row - those poker games can get rowdy.
7. Deodorant may be bad for the ozone layer, but it's required for rush hour train rides.
The commuter code of ethics isn't tough to follow - so think before you do something offensive aboard your train, subway or cross town bus - you never know when the undercover mom is watching.
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Posted in: Blog, Undercover Mom on 12/13/2007

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