If you live in a big city, it’s a safe bet that you use underground transportation, be it the subway, the underground, or the metro.

After years of using the Metro here in the Washington, DC area, I’ve noticed that a culture has developed through the years. I like to call it a Metro “Sub” culture. After prolonged observation, I have identified a few of its inhabitants:

1) The “Territorial Tyrant”: Leaves bags, books, etc. in the next seat, intentionally making it impossible to sit there.

2) The “Sonic Invader”: Has the volume of the audio or video device up so loud that the sounds leaking through the headphones invade your right to some form of relative peace and quiet.

3) The “Magnetic Personality”: These people seem to be joined to you at the hip the second they enter the train car, standing or sitting. The longer the ride, the stronger the attachment!

4) The “Newspaper Monger”: This person assaults you with his or her reading material with every turn of the page.

5) The “My Life Is An Open Book” Person: These folks get on the train and proceed, either by phone or conversation with another person, to tell his or her life story, good or bad, loud enough for everyone in the train car to hear it.

6) The “Unfeeling Ones”: Will let anyone who deserves a seat, children, the elderly, the disabled, pregnant women, stand at all costs.

7) The “Toll Gaters”: They absolutely will not stand to let you have a seat, or let you leave a seat when your stop approaches. Instead, they shift both legs just enough to let you by, forcing you to contort your body like a limbo dancer (lord help you if you’re carrying a bag!)

You will encounter a few of the above people sooner or later. When you do, practice self-control, and say a quick prayer for a kinder Metro “Sub” culture.

Horace W. Morris, Jr.

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