Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Beware the Taffy Pull on the Train

Train riding.  DH is sitting right next to me but THERE WILL BE BLOOD if I post any pictures of him, so just picture how cute he is sitting next to me, M'kay?
We live in Chicago.  We have a pretty great transit system here, The Chicago Transit Authority, which my smarty pants husband tells me what the original name of the band, Chicago, until people got all uppity with them about rights and such and they just went with "Chicago".

Anyway, we mostly take the Brown Line these days as we live on Sesame Street and the cute little train station is literally right across the street.  It zips us downtown in about 40 minutes if all goes smoothly. 
It's pretty cool that after 20 years of taking the CTA, I still get a kick outta going over the Chicago River when we get into the Loop.  I just do.  And at night too when it's all lit up?  Gorgeous. 
This is a status I posted yesterday, and inspired this post, as it's pretty incredible:
I just emailed DH that I left my bag with my lunch and Spinning clothes on the train and got all the way to the office before I realized. Ran back to the platform, not really sure why, but lo and behold, there was my bag just sitting on the platform. I'm sure someone was yelling at me about it when I walked off, but earphones, you know? Now I just will be paranoid that there's anthrax or gingivitis some shit in all my food. God Dammit.

Anyway, DH's response is "do I need to pin your keys to your coat when you leave the house?" I said, "No, I have my keys, asshole. LOVE YOU". THE END. *curtsies*
I'm still pretty amazed that happened.  And that my husband is so god damn funny. 

Now, there are some crazy things that have happened over the years in my experience on the train.  Back in the day, I would ride in blackouts and not remember a thing.  At 3am, by myself.  MIRACLES have happened in my life.  I know.

The rush hour commute is all just hipsters and yuppies and folks like us schlepping back and forth to work.  The real fun happens on nights and weekends.  That's the CTA money shot, if you will.  And I look forward to going out late or on off times, as it increases the chance for crazy.

The most concerning story I have is back when I lived in Oak Park, which is just west of the City. Morning commute, roughly 7:30am.  Packed train.  Me, sitting by window, guy sits next to me on the aisle.  With a newspaper.  I was reading a book, so I didn't pay any attention until the newspaper started making noises and started bobbing up and down rapidly.  Yes, this dude was having a taffy pull right next to me.  I looked up and saw horrified passengers looking at me.  I will never forget this woman's face and she mouthed, "GET UP".  And I did.  I got up and off the train and told an Officer what had happened, but the train was already off to the next stop. 

Needless to say, I don't trust any guy who reads a newspaper on the train now.  I GOT EYES ON YOU, BUB. 

I have a little friend who loves to ride the train because when she's sitting, she gets the perfect view of a standing gentleman's package.   Little perv.  Whatever floats your boat, right?

There are many reasons the city is great, and the CTA is just one.  You don't get the up close and personal crazy anywhere else.  Most days it's fine, but sometimes if you are lucky you get a truly heartwarming or gut wrenching story.  I actually like the crazy, I crave the crazy.  But I don't get it as much as I used to.  Maybe I'm not putting myself in dangerous situations as much as I used to and that kinda makes me feel old and sad.  But in another way, it makes me feel like I'm maturing and taking care of myself.  I used up about 8 lives when I was drinking, so I need to make this 9th one last. 

I will pass on the public taffy pulling, but I would take some crazy Jesus nonsense spouting now and then.  I have to seek out the crazy on the train these days.  But they still find me - on the street and in the alley - in my life. Sometimes in my mirror.  I attract the crazy.  I'm grateful for that.  Keeps me on my toes. 

Well, this is my stop.  Keep your pervy ball-balls to yourself Mister.  Or at least in your pants.  Nobody wants to see that.  Especially not at 7:30 in the god damned morning. 


  1. I attract the crazy. I'm grateful for that. Keeps me on my toes.
    I don't know what it is about these closing words, but they made me beam and tear up at the same time. I love your perspective, lady. I love the perspective it gives me!

  2. I've seen a mid-day taffy pull, a late night taffy pull, and an early evening jostling of junk. They can keep those. But I do miss the Preacher Lady, the Satan Lady (best CTA story I have), and the regular crazies. You're right - there has been a decrease. And I'm still on the red line, which is Crazy Urine Soaked Haven. Where'd all the nutjobs go?

  3. You should have called the guy out... "OMFG, are you really masturbating ON THE FUCKING TRAIN?? WHAT is wrong with you, freak! Someone get the popo on the line, this fucker is going to JAIL!!!"

  4. Deb, thank you. You always tune into the deeper meaning. ♥

    Corrbette, Ew. And yeah, where have all the crazies gone? Sung to the Where Have All The Cowboys Gone song.....

    E - I was way too flustered. And I did tell the PoPo. He just couldn't do anything about it. And you know how often people could have told the PoPo about me and didn't? Karma baby.

  5. While 99% of my time spent in Chicago has been in different shades of gray (read under the influence), you make me miss the City. One of my most gut-wrenching experiences happened in Chicago in 1994. I felt that the city I loved had turned on me and destroyed everything. I came to realize that the CITY didn't do anything to me - it was the people I was with and the situation that I allowed myself to be put it that did it.

    Perhaps someday I'll be able to come back to Chicago for some soul cleansing. If I do, I try to find your train station and stand at the platform just in case you forget anything else and can't hear the lady yelling at you. I got your back like that. :-)

  6. You're making me miss Chicago. Kind of.

  7. This post reminds me of when I lived in Japan. It's such an uptight culture, but somehow the "train culture" is completely different from regular culture. You see a LOT of taffy pulls on the train... a LOT. Some businessmen even cut their pockets out to get better access. I thought it was a sick urban legend, but had the unfortunate front row seat to it more than once. Pretty hard to get out when the train's that crowded so I was stuck for what felt like an eternity. I just don't get it... they're too busy to masturbate so they do it on their commute??? And they get off on being watched?? Messed up. Hope you don't have to deal with THAT kind of crazy shit again!

  8. ew on the taffy pull. The worst thing I experienced on the El was a fellow vomiting on the floor, and then it sloshed up and down the aisle as the train drove away. I sort of miss the crazy. Not the smell of vomit, though. I get that enough with my kids. At least their vomit doesn't smell like cheap whiskey. Usually.

  9. I start my day off with a good ole dose IWADB. You are amazing and i applaud you for overcoming all that you have. I am a PROUD diver and I thank you. Keep on being FUCKING AWESOME!!!

  10. I have never ridden a train..now I am almost sure I don't want to. Can't stop laughing!

  11. I've visited Chicago only twice, but I recognize both those pics...as for taffy pull, er...yeah not candy :/