Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Let's Go Surfing Now . . .

I almost killed someone on the bus today. No, it was not some grand case of bus rage.  I was aisle surfing when, during a sudden stop, I went flying into a lady seated near me.  It was early, I hadn't had my Diet Coke rush yet, I was hauling my usual 47-pounds of miscellaneous purse-stuffs, and I foolishly took my hand off the pole to scratch a mosquito bite on my elbow.  In short, it was a perfect storm for a near-miss bus-icide.  I nearly knocked my fellow passenger out with my bag before landing in her lap. Luckily, I'm agile like a cat!

I would say I go aisle surfing at least once a day.  For the uninitiated, aisle surfing is when you're stuck standing in the aisle of the bus or train.  You can hang on to one of the poles for dear life as the bus careens around corners, but you'd darn well better brace your feet too.  This usually involves standing with your feet at least shoulder-width apart (wider if there's room and you can claim the space).  I can't speak for others, but I always wear sensible shoes during my commute for exactly this reason.  Tottering in the aisle is hard enough in flat shoes, but add a pair of four-inch spike heels and your balance ratio is significantly decreased (it's simple physics--I think, I never took physics because I was a literature major). 

And speaking of four-inch heels, I always marvel at those women who wear their fancy shoes for the commute.  Besides the fact that it's really quite treacherous to ride the bus or train in hot shoes, walking the city sidewalks can really do a number on a pair of heels.  I've walked the tips off of more heels than I care to count going to and from work.  It can get expensive having those little rubber tips replaced, which is why I don't anymore.  But at least I can walk in them.  Have you ever seen that poor soul who just can't manage a pair of heels, try as she might?  This woman teeters around, head flung forward, rear stuck back, stomping heavily down the street with her ankles wobbling, her equilibirum thrown all off by the height of her shoes.  You know this woman, the one who looks like a stork on crack. 

Now, put the awkward Stork Woman in the aisle of the bus and you've got a recipe for disaster.  Trust me, I know.  I've seen this poor lady attempting to aisle surf at least once a week.  And at least half of the time she ends up either taking someone out with her 24-pound handbag or sliding down the aisle into another passenger.  I'm not saying that one shouldn't wear heels during her commute, in fact, I say more power to you if you can manage it.  But, ladies, can we at least concede that there are a good portion of us who really should just wear a sensible shoe (and please take note, a sensible shoe does not include any of the following with your skirt suit: sneakers, those weird monkey shoes with toes, or espadrilles--and yes, I did recently see some sad woman wearing espadrilles on the bus)? 

Tyler's Toes
Photo by Dru Bloomfield via Flickr

To sum up, when surfing in the aisles, sturdy yourself with a wide stance (if possible).  Hold onto the pole (and not your BlackBerry, iPod, Kindle, mosquito bite).  Wear sensible shoes (no monkey toes, please).  And for the love of all that is good and holy, watch where you're swinging that small piece of luggage that we all insist on lugging to and from work each day.  Commuting's dangerous enough without the harm we can do to ourselves.  Surf's up!


  1. I can totally agree with your post!! Public transit is always eventful.

  2. "Wide stance" Now where have I heard that before?,2933,300820,00.html