Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Pole Dancing

Rush hour – no seats. Even with my super Seat Vulture powers, I’m stuck standing. Clinging to the pole, which after a full day of being clutched by various hands, has become a germ paradise. A veritable biosphere, a bacteria culture, seething with all kinds of surprises – sticky patches, interesting streaks. Luckily, I’m tall enough to explore the outer regions of this urban ecosystem, the cooler, polar zones located above head level.

The worst pole moments are those generated by Pole Pirates. Not content with simply holding the pole to maintain equilibrium, they feel the need to hug it. Caress it, if you will. Smother that pole with generous lovin’. Rub your backs on it. In short, prevent any and all other riders from coming near.

Recently I suffered a traumatic pole-jacking involving a huge smelly man in a brown leather jacket. Without warning he leaned sideways onto the pole and before I could recoil, my hand was buried in the rolling plains of his body. The retreat operation consisted in ungluing my hand from the pole, then extricating it from his generous, doughy flank. The pole was, unquestionably, his territory. And not worth fighting over, anyway.

3 Comments:

Blogger Emily said...

This is my number one pet peeve, and I've taken it upon myself to teach these poll-huggers a lesson or two.

If a woman leans back on the pole, squishing my poor hand, I've been known to accidently tug some of the woman's hair when I yank my hand away. When she gives me a dirty look, I say, "I'm sorry, I just needed to move my hand."

Also, if you position your hand in the small space between the person's head and the pole, nine times out of ten, when the car rocks, his head will knock against your knuckles. With any luck, they notice and move.

My other method, if the pole-hugger is there before me, is to forcefully jam my hand onto the pole. Again, they're not happy, but they move.

I'm changing the metro, one pole-hugger at a time.

7:02 PM, April 09, 2005  
Blogger Nicolas said...

Emily, you are a fierce pole crusading queen.

I've tried the tactics you mentioned but it never does any good... I guess I'm just not intimidating enough.

1:16 AM, April 10, 2005  
Anonymous DDJ said...

Such a dilemma, particularly since I'm not fond of the germ-ridden poles on any form of transport. Do you hold onto the pole, or try and do a balancing act against the side of the metro without holding on to anything?

If there aren't any sudden movements of the metro, you get away with not touching anything. But if there's a sharp braking or acceleration, you might have to grab on to something more disgusting than the pole.

4:45 AM, April 10, 2005  

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