Thursday, January 28, 2010

GO Train Archetypes

Over the past several years that I've been trucking it back and forth on the GO train, I've come across many different types of unnaturally annoying people.

In my travels, I've observed these folks from afar. And now, for your benefit, (should you choose to ride the GO train one day), I will document said archetypal GO train riders. Be sure to watch out for the following:

The Slurper
This type of rider is the guy that's so caught up in his own little world that he doesn't notice (or doesn't care) how loud he's being while sipping his morning cup of java (or any other hot beverage of his choosing). I had the pleasure of sitting next to this guy one day. Let me tell you - while trying to read a book to pass the time on your commute, there's nothing more annoying than listening to "Slllllllllurrrrrrrrrrrrppppp.... Aaaaaaah!" after each. And. Every. Single. Sip. I'm not kidding. EVERY sip he took from his cup would be accompanied by a LOUD slurp and a sigh of pleasure.
Best way to deal: I tried shooting him annoyed glances. Didn't seem to have any affect on the dude. My advice? Put your headphones on and listen to some music - cause this guy is NOT going to stop enjoying his beverage for you.

The Loud Yawner
One morning (again while trying to read), I encountered this lovely rider. She seemed to be unfortunately suffering from a lack of sleep. It happens. Not going to fault her for that. However, she also seemed to be suffering from a lack of volume control over her yawns. She yawned in very regular patterns the entire train ride - and each yawn concluded with a very loud, very annoying sound that can only be described as a half-sigh, half-snore type noise. So. Yes. I sat there, trying to ignore the odd noise that she uttered over and over again. But - much like Chinese Water Torture - the regular pattern of yawning noises eventually got to me.
Best way to deal: The Loud Yawner may notice your annoyed glances, but they seem to have no control over the whole experience. She looked at me as if to say "I can't help my yawning!" And even though I shot her a look that said "I know you can't help your yawning, but could you do something about that sigh/snore noise you're uttering?" she kept right on doing it. Go for the music/headphones again.

The Arm Rest Stealer
Kind of self-explanatory with this dude. He has no concept of personal space and absolutely NEEDS to spread out in his seat - much further than is socially acceptable. He doesn't care if you're crammed and uncomfortable in your seat. Nope. Not one, little bit. So don't expect a little arm shove or a loud sigh to have any affect on him.
Best way to deal: There's not much you can do if you have the unfortunate "pleasure" of sitting next to this rider. Might as well just suck it up. And next time, make sure you look before you choose your seat. If you see The Arm Rest Stealer spread out - keep moving. Also, watch for these guys: The Long Leg Stretchy Rider and The Heavily Laden With Bags and Other Paraphernalia Rider. Just as annoying as The Arm Rest Stealer.

The Crazy Cat Lady
This rider isn't usually found on the train during rush hour. She keeps irregular hours. So, I encountered her one day after I had an appointment, when I was commuting into work much later than normal. Crazy Cat Lady was covered in cat hair from her knees down. She had a giant bag of cross-stitch materials and was designing some lovely cat art to pass the time away. Her big, grey hair was swept up into a very messy bun. The crumbs on her Northern Reflections sweater seemed to call out to the world "I don't care how I look. I'm eccentric, dammit!" And her loud, awkward humming and toe-tapping (to no music, mind you) confirmed that she was in her own little world.
Best way to deal: Try to avoid eye-contact with Crazy Cat Lady, lest she involve you in a lengthy conversation about her 22 cats or the finer points of cross-stitching. Just put your head down and go about your business. Of course, if you want to be polite, you can offer a small smile in her direction as you're leaving the train. But, again, you want to avoid as much contact with her, just to be on the safe side.


  1. Interesting people you ride to work with every day... you are going to miss them all!

  2. Ah, you've reminded me of my own days spent riding the Go Train. I never would have made it through all eight years without music and a good book.

  3. haha! love the crazy cat lady.. if this was the subway, you could have added "The Crazy Poker" who jabs you in the ribs if you don't pay them enough attention.. I love driving to work each day - it keeps me from dealing with these people.. Or, the Annoying Pusher.. the people who push you as you enter/exit the train!

  4. Oooohhh...the pusher is the worst. So glad I don't have to take transit anymore.
    Please, my beautiful little Ms. Ghetto - don't die on me!