As many of you know, I have begun to commuting to NYC via train instead of bus. The bus was just too damn expensive and at least I know WHEN the train will get in at night
Much to my chagrin, I have learned that one problem has followed me from the bus to the train: the dreaded curse of the large tabloid.
There was ONE kind of person I hated to sit next to me on the bus: anyone with a copy of the New York Times or the Newark Star-Ledger. Let's take annoying editorial policies aside (that's enough reason right there). The freaking papers are BIG. Too big, if you want my opinion. They are big and think, and have 100 sections in each because both papers seem to think people still have about three hours to read the newspaper in the morning.
It seems that any time a guy with The Times or The Star-Ledger sits next to me, they always do the same thing. First, they start disassembling the paper like some kind of sophisticated spy puzzle: this section comes out, goes back in the bag. This section stays on top. This section is not going to be read at all, so it gets folded and crammed under their seat.
Then, they whack and smack the paper into several readable folds. Of COURSE, they ALWAYS sit with their elbows at thier sides, flush to the seat - so that you get dug in the ribs with their freaking elbows for the rest of the trip. Then, the turning of the pages...grrrr. Perhaps the number one, most-annoying trait of the large tabloid reader. Since the dopey papers are so big and unruly, the pages can't just be TURNED...oh no, the have to be snapped, slapped, pounded, twisted and crinkled...in a cacaphony of noise specifically designed to disrupt and bring to an end the extra hour of sleep that I like to squeeze in en route to a day at the salt mill.
Naturally, it's logical to assume that the lack of respect for personal space and creation of all sorts of unnecissary noise just go hand in hand with that "I'm a Times reader" or "I'm a Star Ledger" reader attitude. "I'm better than you because I read a paper the size of a 1950's-era Mobil roadmap", the Time reader being the more arrogant and oblivious of the two.
At least the Star-Ledger has a couple of comics pages.
Some good advice from the legendary Ray Stevens.
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