TTC - USED AND ABUSED PUBLIC SPACE
It's absolutely mind blowing how a city like Toronto uses transportation like TTC, but you know what else is mind blowing? How offended people get about taking a f*cking knee during the national anthem. *TTC subway chime (ding, ding, ding)*
But it's not only our transit system itself or the respective logistics issues... It's the people that ride TTC that make people hate TTC.
The signage is not an effective means to improve etiquette.
We need thunder slapping, head-butting, and maybe a little bit of compassion.
These are some the different types of passengers that make the TTC... interesting:
You pretend to be sleeping or balls deep in a video game so you don't have to give your seat up for those who are disabled, elderly, or struggling with children. I am in a constant battle with my yin-yang over whether or not to punch your face.
Dear nosepickers and belchers, AKA vessels of filth, we all hate sharing the limited air supply with you. Your complete disregard for public space and those around you makes me question the notion of basic human rights. You make us all uncomfortable and we wish you a Michael Jackson nose of fragility that your finger can not challenge.
The TTC Belongs To Me
I do what I want. My dad owns the TTC so I sit with my legs spread as wide open as possible as I am trying to increase my flexibility. I have a large - or many bags that I use to assert my importance in society because some people need reminders that they are in fact peasants. Sometimes, I feel more entitled than usual and refer to minorities as 'these people'
Karma is en route to you and patiently awaiting the moment to smoke you with an overly sized backpack. You prefer to push through narrow passageways - leaving behind you, a path of WTF disbelief from all you've disheveled in your journey to becoming a real life Peter Griffin.
I would also like to say that those who don't move at all - are equally worse. I.e. sitting in the aisle seat and holding the window seat hostage, not making space or moving back on buses or streetcars.
Ludacris made a whole song about you.
You ruin things. Things people like and need. Things like seats, floors, the calm / quiet. No one cares to see how much you need to overcompensate for your life. You're pathetic and smell bad. It's never been easier to make it home - so take an Uber. I hate your puke. And your guts. Get home safe though.
The Stare Bear / Creeps
"It's your right to be able to stare at people's breasts, booties, faces - anything you want - for as long as you want. The world is yours and everything in it. We are all here for your pleasure and satisfaction." - Your thoughts, minutes prior to being arrested.
Maybe you're just zoned out or paying silent compliment to the person uncomfortably trying escape your gaze. Or maybe you have absolutely no shame or social awareness and YOU'RE A CREEP. Women are not excluded, but they are most often the victims of this random, stranger-type harassment, assault, and even violence.
The best way to deal with people like you is to stare back like a psycho - or simply - take a picture, because it lasts longer.
The Homeless / Mentally Ill
TTC is one of the only spaces where the general public is forced to confront this city's homeless population. Most find comfort in staring at the ceiling or floor to avoid eye contact. Humanity is collectively cornered and only few emerge - thankless. The challenge is that a significant portion are suffering from addictions, mental health issues, etc. And Ontario continuously fails at sustaining mental health resources and facilities. Either which way, these passengers often roam the subway in search of the few charitable passengers that happen to have coin on them in our cashless society.
No, I will not wear earphones while listening to music or watching videos on the TTC. I forgot my earphones today and it's now everyone else's problem too. It's my world - you're just living in it.
Am I being loud and disruptive? My level of entitlement can't even comprehend this question. If you could all just silently rage, that would be great.
Every so often, someone emerges in the most desperate of TTC times to offer a seat, help the elderly, be a shoulder to sleep on, prevent you from publicly losing your shit through a kind gesture, and other heart warming things.
These people are most often times, the least suspects - i.e. covered in tattoos. And it is because we least suspect them to rise to the occasion due of our programming, that their good will means so much more.
On a crowded bus during rush hour, it just takes that one person to get you through the ride home and remind us that we're all in this together. And we're not alone in this passive aggressive TTC persona war.
Yes, the TTC is an equitable space - inclusive, accessible, etc., but it is also PUBLIC transit.
And with that, comes the lingering smell of urine. Sorry, challenge. I meant challenge. It's a challenge for us all to ride together.
Just remember --
How you handle passengers on the TTC is an indication of how you're handling life.
*TTC subway chime (ding, ding, ding)*