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Friday, May 12, 2006

Trying Train Ride

To my readers:
Please bear with my through the following little rant. I need to get it out of my system. I hope to get back to my regularly scheduled programming soon.

It's bad enought to have to take the Long Island Railroad into the City. The unbelievable slowness at which the local branch of the train travels is enough to drive a Type-A-mom-of-four-on-speed sort like myself to extreme frustration. And that's without the added joy of yesterday's seatmate.

I was happy enough to get a window seat yesterday, planning on getting a little paperwork done during the commute. Until a woman chose to occupy the aisle seat next to me. She oviously had other plans for her commute, ones that didn't include letting me get a little paperwork done. Those plans were as follows:

1. Picks up phone. Dials. Reads off shopping list. A long one. Loud. Entire train car now knows what kind of milk her family drinks, that she is serving chicken, broccoli and rice for supper, and her name, address, and credit card number and expiration date. This lady isn't just considerate, she's a real brainy one, too.

2. Picks up phone again. Dials. Yells into phone in the way that I've heard many an obnoxious housewife talk to their English-as-a-second language nannies (note to woman: non-English speaking is not the same thing as deaf. You want her to understand you better? I have a tip. Learn Spanish. Don't scream.):

"Hi, Maria? Yes. Hi. It's ____. Everthing OK? Baby is OK? Baby eat? Yes? You give baby bath yet? Yes? Good. Maria? Listen. Put baby sleep, then maybe groceries come. When groceries come? Yes? Then you clean chicken, wash vegetables, and put everything else away. When you finish that? Yes? Clean the house, do the laundry, and do all of the ironing. But, Maria? Listen for baby while you do. Okay? Maria? Yes? You understand? Commprendz? You commprendz, Maria? Yes? Yes? Okay. You need anything, you call me cellphone. Okay? Yes? Okay Maria. Bye."

3. She then proceeds to unwrap her sandwich. It's (you could have guessed, I'm sure) tuna. Very pungent tuna. She eats it. Entire train car now smells like tuna and pickles. She balls up foil and throws it discreetly (she thinks, at least) under the seat in front of her.

4. Takes out her bulging makeup bag. Proceeds to apply every type of makeup product known to womankind. Including (!) tweezing her eyebrows. Is it just me, or are some things just not for public consumption?

5. Opens her newspaper. Did she somehow not notice that everyone else reading the paper on the train uses the "commuter's fold", so as not to annoy the hell out of their seatmates with the rattling of the hugely unfolded paper? I guess not. Skims (either that, or speed-reads) paper, tosses it under seat in front of her (not quite as indiscreetly this time).

Train pulls into Penn Station. I offer silent thanks to God that the ride is over.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Yells into phone in the way that I've heard many an obnoxious housewife talk to their English-as-a-second language nannies (note to woman: non-English speaking is not the same thing as deaf. You want her to understand you better? I have a tip. Learn Spanish. Don't scream.)"

LOL! Been there. You're a scream today.

11:26 AM  
Blogger LkwdGuy said...

I'll never forget a bus ride from Yerushalyim to the Dead Sea. It was a very quite ride by Israeli standards. About 30 minutes into the ride my friend pulls out a Bonker's tuna bagel. We were sitting in the back. From the front of the bus a 60 year old Israeli woman with white hair stands up, turns around and shouts "mi ochel tuna".

11:40 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Lol. Tuna is just NOT a food for close, unventilated quarters.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic work Ortho-Mom. THIS is the kind of stuff we like better than your ranting on the school board crap. I for one personally like to read this kind of stuff. With no more Chewing Gum and Krum on his pseudo-intellectual rants - we need a good outlet for this kind of stuff!!

PS. I bet the woman next to you was Red Shul :)

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You would have really loved the travel companion I had last week. :)

My daily commute involves an express bus in Miami from a major bus depot to the downtown area. This ride runs around 25-45 minutes, depending on traffic. Once the buss leaves the depot it gets right onto I95 and there’s no stopping until we get downtown. It’s usually a peaceful ride. However, we do have our “Miami moments.”

Last week, I rush to get on to a bus (I’m running late) so I kind of ignore that fact that another prospective passenger on the platform is acting a bit odd. I get on the bus, and get a seat right up front (the bus is pretty full). The odd fellow gets on the bus, picks a standing stop right in front me, and starts ranting in incoherent Spanish the moment the bus pulls out of the station.

He first starts making racial comments railing against a black passenger, who wisely lets it slide. Then he notices the yarmulke on my head. He spend the next 30 minutes pointing at me, laughing, and making incoherent comments that probably weren’t complimentary. At one point ranting guy rolled up his shirt to show me his VERY large Jesus tattoo on his chest (NOT a pretty sight).

Of course what really had me (and I’m guessing most of the other passengers) a bit concerned was the CHAINSAW case he was holding. One can only assume that the chainsaw case actually contained a chainsaw.

So here I am, sitting on a bus, being accosted by a (probably) drugged out, anti-Semitic, ranting loon with a chainsaw. My eyes are half shut to avoid his provocations, but no way in hell am I taking my eyes off of him. And if he reaches for the chainsaw I’m taking him down REALLY fast.

It was a fun trip.

First stop down town is right in front of Miami police headquarters. My new friend was escorted off the bus by some nice policemen.

Welcome to Miami.

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was once taking the bus and an obese woman was sitting in the seat next to me and was making faces and getting angry at me because she said "I was in her space". I could not wait to get off the bus and i cannot understand why somone who is taking up more than one seat can complain that someone else is in her space when she was the one doing it.

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Women gets on at Cedarhurst with he Nextel phone and leaves it on two-way walkie talkie. At least we all got to hear both sides ofthe conversation.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Classic 5T dweller. I had the pleasure of sitting next to a woman with non-english speaking help myself this week. I know of what you speak.

12:44 PM  
Blogger MUST Gum Addict said...

Oh, the stories I have... OM, this has ALWAYS been a favorite rant of mine, although in truth, I don't ride the train nearly as much these days as I used to.

But one time stands out in my mind. I remember it like it was yesterday. I had to get into the city early and took a 6:30 AM train. At that time, you'd imagine most of the sounds you'd hear would be people snoring. But that was not to be.

A man sitting near the front of the car (I was in the middle of the car) got a call and answered his phone in the usual way that people do on the train: "HELLO?!?!" -- quickly followed by the comment that EVERY SINGLE phone conversation from the train contains: "hello? can you hear me? (pause) I'm on the train... (pause)... the TRAIN -- I'm ON THE TRAIN"

Anyway, we (meaning the entire train) find out that this man is a wholesaler in a variety of goods. His worker told him that an order of 300 argyle socks had just arrived. The man was livid. "WHAT THE $%#@$%@ AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH 300 PAIRS OF ARGYLE SOCKS?!" and which point a man stood up and yelled towards the front -- "I'LL BUY THE DAMN SOCKS, IF YOU AGREE TO JUST SHUT THE HELL UP!"

Did you know that in Japan -- which has the most advanced cell phone technology in the world -- it is improper to use a cell phone in public? In Tokyo there are phone booths that are empty -- no phone in them -- they are meant for people who want to make a cell phone call.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have tears running down my face from laughter at all the commenters' stories, as well as yours, OM. I really feel for all of you. I was a driving commuter for the past few years and now about to become a train rider...not really looking forward to sharing the morning and evening with these people. Oy.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


1:40 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Mr. anonymous - you hope the rain will just wash all the fat people away? I have a better idea - poison! Jeeze, listen to what you're saying - do you really have such genocidal hatred of fat people? And who's to say that you won't be fat someday? Get a life!

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are a lot of inconsiderate people out there. I wear Bose QuietComfort 2 headphones and listen to music while I ride the buses in Manhattan. It drowns out most of the cellphone yappers, but not entirely. In addition to defensive measures, when the bus is pretty empty except for me and a cellphone yapper, I have a unique way of silencing them. I sing! Opera. Libiamo from La Traviata is excellent, yappers find it repellent. It stops them mid-yap. If I'm listening to Chopin, I sing along with the piano, though it's not really meant for the voice. This is what they do at Penn Station, play classical music to repel criminals and anesthetize the aggressive. Cellphone yappers cannot talk while someone is doing operatic runs and roulades. They find it extremely disturbing, take it from me! Yes, I have to be a bit uninhibited, I have to be willing to be thought eccentric. But I won't sit in misery through a bus ride and listen to yapping. Here's another measure that works when someone tries to take up two seats when they paid for one: I get up for the first large-sized person who gets on the bus. Please, take my seat. Anyone who squeezes me off my seat on the bus will have worse trouble. We take all too much bad behavior, and as a result, we write rants, rather than get even. These two, non-confrontational tactics work for me, and I love confounding the inconsiderate.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon of 11:55

Red Shul folks don't take the LIRR - they have cars pick them up!

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, but Red Shul folks definitely talk to their help that way!

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With your agreement of my statement it must mean, that while Red Shul folks do talk to their help that way, other people talk to their help that way as well....ergo - no need to point out the red shul people in the first place! Genius, just genius.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Romach said...

I'd have told her not to litter

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so funny. Do people really think they live in invisibility sheilds? Did she really think that NO ONE would see her throwing her trash under the seat in front of her, and that no one would hear her say her complete credit card number? Not real bright is an understatement. The only fitting punishment for her is to have someone park next to her house late at night and blast rap music. May it be so.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Red shul haters-get a life. You seriously need friends. It is amazing that almost every post and opinion on this blog is twisted to rip the red shul. Why are you so jealous and full of hate? BTW-we are in middle of the days of sefirah, think about that for a bit.
In the immortal words of Rodney Dangerfield:
"My wife's jealousy is getting ridiculous. The other day she looked at my calendar and wanted to know who May was..."


5:46 PM  
Blogger Orthonomics said...

This is the funniest thing I've read in a while. Keep it up.

6:54 PM  
Blogger nikki said...

ROTFL! i've been there too... at least you weren't sitting backwards in a four-seater as well!

2:11 PM  
Blogger YMedad said...

Uh, is anyone going to comment on the Lakewood incident or have Orthodox Women (including Moms) already repressed it?

3:56 PM  
Blogger kasamba said...

I am sorry I disturbed you.
Next time I will be more thoughtful.

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, I'll talk about the incident. A young lady was raped. It is terrible. The end.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Friday’s Petty 5:46pm Anonymous Red Shul Defender:

Don’t you get it? Orthomom loves the fact that she can allow “anonymous” posters to do her dirty-work. Orthomom can still keep her precious little identity a secret, and her precious little unidentifiable (to most) reputation, squeaky clean. Heck – as long as she didn’t say it, she can still look herself in the mirror and not feel as if she Parnessed anyone. She hasn’t raised the YTT issue on her blog, right? What a Tzadekes.

Why should OM be concerned about the Red Shul and its reputation? Has she ever claimed to have friends in the Red Shul? Oh, yeah, maybe she did. My bad. But big deal? Why should she feel the need to protect her friends’ reputation? Remember, anon, she left the Shul (or moved outside its walking distance limits), so why should she give a damn? Get over it.

Orthomom is sooooo concerned about the school board elections. It dominates her posts and her life. Yes, having certain candidates win will be extremely beneficial to the frum community, and keep a few extra dollars in her pocket for the Ortho-expenses (and maybe even get some of those special needs services from the district for the Orthokids so she can have more time to focus on blogging).

As long as she’s trying to save people a few bucks by warring with the thieving neighbors, having an entire Shul maligned on her blog should not be her problem. It’s Hatten/Kaufman, anonymoron, and they must win this election at all costs! We’re talking about our children’s education! If the other candidates win and our children’s special needs are not addressed properly, who knows what might happen?! Our kids may grow into anonymous hermit-bloggers who lack the essential social skills to properly and effectively interact with society. And their blogs will probably allow “unorthodox”-like attacks of others on their blogs. We desperately need those services, anon. And if you need convincing, OM is Exhibit A.

Take my advice, anonymous poster, and stop criticizing OM. We have better, more important things to worry about than the divisive within the frum community being created and facilitated on her blog. As Rabbi Feitman said this past Shabbos, we have a duty to go out and vote – let’s stay focused on that and not on Orthomom’s shortcomings as a person. Let’s use OM as our poster-adult for the failure of our predecessors to properly educate their youth. Give OUR children some hope.

OM has no identity, remember, so what’s the point? For now, at least.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oy. Enough already!

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oy. Oy. Enough already? What are you adding to this blog stupidity? Enough blogging already!

Stop giving people a forum in which to anonymously rip REAL people. Look at what's going on other "frum" blogs. This stuff is so outrageously pointless.

At least those other blogs have an actual purpose -- attempting to bring someone who the author believes to be guilty to justice. This is just a total and complete waste of everyone's time. Real, competent, identifiable people are working hard on the school election. Hatten/Kaufman will do just fine without OM's two cents.

The only reason I check this c**p is to make sure I'm not OM's latest target. Can't you people find something to do that won't hurt innocent people? What are you not getting?




Go out and hand out elections flyers instead of sparring with Fitzsimmons.


This stuff is priceless.

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My friend's daughter used to speak to her Polish housekeeper in mangled English (Olga, you want to go park maybe?), but only when she talked to the housekeeper. To everyone else she spoke normally. They used to joke that she spoke Polish.

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL! Reminds me of a story with this guy in 47th street photo. And a story with a pickle.


8:45 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

i know i must have met you someplace. either that, or we have the same neighbors.

1:07 PM  
Blogger blueenclave said...


3:10 PM  
Blogger blueenclave said...

B"H this never happens to me on the bus. The worst thing that happens is two or three people talking to one another very loudly.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no different than standing on line in Starbucks and having 2 members of our community talking on cell phones while the server is trying to get them to order. They are ignoring the server, talking loud and holding up everyone behind them. Then of our community walks in with her unruly children who push and shove the customers standing in line.

If you don't like the Far Rockaway Branch, move to West Hempstead!

11:58 PM  
Blogger the sabra said...

"This lady isn't just considerate, she's a real brainy one, too."


gosh this post really reminded me of a bus ride i had one day to work... (dont know how to link it-sorry!- http://altishalioti.blogspot.com/2006/03/i-love-hashem-on-bus-to-work.html)

1:57 AM  

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