Friday, March 25, 2011

Not-So-Fine Dining

I love the news. And I hate the news. I like to know what's going on in the world, from politics to world news to celebrity garbage, I want to know it all -- even though it alternately makes me laugh and despair for society.  So imagine my surprise when I was sent this story by my friend the Policy Lawyer earlier today.  Something ridiculous that I had not seen!  And on one of my favorite topics, too, public transportation!  Complete with video!

I especially like the part where the Spaghetti Eater gets up to fight, but doesn't stop eating her spaghetti (I'd like to know where she got it, that it was so good she just couldn't wait till the fight was over for her victory meal.  And while we're at it, I also wonder where they were going that there was a full three minutes and 52 seconds between stops).  The article goes on to discuss etiquette on the subway . . . which is something I know all too well. My favorite part of the article is the description of the video:
"What kind of animals eat on the train like that?" says the woman across the aisle.
The diner snaps back with an epithet, and the exchange quickly degenerates into a fistfight.
"Chill out!" shouts a man as he tries to pull apart the two combatants.
Apparently the kind of "animal" who eats on the train is in the same class as the kind who starts a fistfight on the train.  And the poor "chill out" man. He was probably just trying to get home from work, maybe to a spaghetti dinner of his own, cooked by his long-suffering wife.  I know just how he feels, having witnessed a full-on picnic on the bus not too long ago.   But what I don't understand is how someone could even want to eat on the train or bus. I mean, think about it . . . it's hardly the dining room at Citronelle.  Bumpy, jerky, smelly.  It does not make for a dining experience (or at least a positive dining experience, anyway).  Even on its best smelling days, transit still mostly smells like a barn.  And I don't know about you, but I've been to a barn or two in my day (hard to believe, I know), and they also are not someplace where I want to enjoy home cookin'.

Maybe that's the real reason Metro doesn't allow eating and drinking on the train . . . they're trying to save us from ourselves.  Because who wants to get deep into a meal, then get a whiff of feet, urine, or unidentified excrement of some sort and spontaneously become The Sick Passenger?  Or worse, publicly berated and then socked in the head?  And besides, as the article puts it, you get a free "dose of weird" with every fare -- because what else would entertain us during our daily commutes?

What's your take on the Subway Spaghetti video?


  1. This video is AWESOME. But you know what I think? If this happened in DC, I'm not confident that many people would help out! I was impressed by that.

    I once watched a woman furiously shoving a tuna salad sandwich in her mouth on the train, as pieces of tuna flew all over the ground. I don't think I ate any dinner that night.

  2. They were most likely on an express train. But I think the woman who asked what kind of person eats on a train is right in bringing up such a thing to the girl who was eating. If I remember correctly, eating and drinking also isn't allowed on the NYC subway but people pay it no mind unlike the majority of folks in DC (from my experience). The PATH train up there has signs like WMATA does saying that eating and drinking are against the rules/law. Having a coke or coffee on the train never bothers me when people do it but food is an entirely other beast because food is SO invasively fragrant.

    It's interesting to see how aggressively the two young women escalate the situation, egging on violence to be brought upon themselves. I'm surprised so many people jumped in to help out the older woman as it all came down to fisticuffs.

  3. I see both sides of it... I mean, Spaghetti on a train is kind of... rude... but then I started to think, maybe the girl works two jobs and this is her only opportunity to eat or something... Yeah, I know, that is unlikely, and it's probably more so that she just has no regard for anyone around her... I can say I've been guilty of eating and drinking on the metro (but it was like, juice and a granola bar) ... I do think fighting was... unnecessary and I can't believe the girls would instigate it... Oh well...