Frisky Rant: If You’re Eating Smelly Food On The Train, I Hate You

I ask very little of the New York subway system. I want trains to come when they’re supposed to, I want them to not break down while I’m riding them, and I want to feel safe traveling from Point A to Point B. Sometimes we’re shoved up against some sweaty man’s wet armpit because we have no choice but to pack into the 6 train like sardines in a can, and other times we must endure the drunken mumblings and rants of fellow riders— this is all to be expected. Some disgusting humans even pick their noses and clip their nails on the train, which is almost forgivable knowing that those individuals will never be loved. But if there’s one thing I DESPISE, it’s stinking up the train with your food. Please, for the love of God, stop.

Trains, whether subway or metro, have a way of trapping in scent. We’re all prepared for what we may smell once we step off the train platform and onto that car: men doused in cheap cologne, alcohol seeping out of someone’s pores, piss from a homeless person and/or drunk frat boy … you name it. So imagine my frustration when those scents, all of which are terrible, then have to share that stale, captive oxygen with someone’s stinky McDonald’s, Chinese food or seafood salad. The more fumes in the air, the less “fresh” air (and by “fresh,” I mean polluted) for me and my fellow passengers to inhale. “But McDonald’s smells delicious!” you may say. “Lo mein isn’t really that stinky!” WRONG. When scents are literally competing for air space, the greasy smell of your quarter-pounder with cheese mixes with everyone else’s BO, pukey nursing scrubs, farts, array of perfumes, and every other scent that should be included in the next grotesque jelly bean collection. (Side note: Remind me to write to Jelly Belly to create NYC Subway Smells gag collection.)

I understand that sometimes people don’t have time to eat after their commute. We live in a fast-paced society where everyone is on the move, and we’re lucky enough to find time to eat at all. Personally, I find train-eating revolting, mainly due to the fact that touching anything on the subway is probably the germ equivalent to licking a toilet seat, but I also understand that it’s often the only way to accommodate meals into your schedule. Here’s a thought, though: why not eat something that doesn’t stink up the joint? Try a bagel. Or a banana. Or, HEY, a fucking breakfast bar. We can’t help it if other people stink, but what we can do is not make matters worse by bringing fragrant foods onto the train, where everyone else has to deal with the stench of whatever it is you’re eating. Be courteous. After all, if that train breaks down and tensions are high, the first person I’m going after when I lose my shit is the dude who ate the fish sandwich.

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