nothing but time

In New York you spend a lot of time waiting for the train.  Even though they come every couple minutes you will inevitably lose a sizable chunk of your life just sitting and waiting.

There are several things that you can do to pass the time while you wait, if you’re by yourself that is.  If you’re not, I suppose you should talk to the people you’re with, though depending on your company, that’s debatable.

Your first option, and my personal favorite, is to people watch and make fun of them in your head.  For example, this morning I saw a woman walk past me with really short pants, so in my head I said “Hahaha – look at short pants!”  I’m witty and mature.

Another option is to play games on your cell phone. This is always good if you want to fool people into thinking that you’re checking emails and doing things like Someone Of Importance.

A solid third time waster is to check out all the ads that line the walls.  I do this because I work in advertising and I like to act like I care about my job, but also because I sometimes come across quality items like this:

I know it’s crappy, but I didn’t exactly want everyone around me thinking that I needed to remember this number so badly that I had to take a picture.

If you can’t make it out, the ad is for a podiatrist who has some kind of revolutionary bunion removal technique.  It says “As Seen On TV” but I haven’t seen it.  Though I will be staying up all night tonight in hopes of catching the infomercial.

My favorite part of this ad though is clearly the copy reading “Free Consultation.”

I love how they think that’s an enticing move on their part.  Listen, no one goes to the podiatrist and ends up leaving thinking, “Huh, must’ve just been some lint!”  

You simply do not go if nothing is already wrong.  I don’t know about you, but I never look down at my foot and think, “Everything looks great! I better get to the doctor.”  If you’re going to a foot specialist, there is something wrong with your foot.  Giving people a free first look is not exactly spicing up the deal.  

But at least it’s entertaining, right?  

There’s only so many things you can do while waiting for the train before you get bored out of your skull.

I guess you could be productive and start a to do list and so forth, but I think insulting people, playing PapiJump and looking at stupid ads is much more fun.  I like to think it adds character.  Or something like that.

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39 Comments

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39 responses to “nothing but time

  1. Ben

    A friend of mine came to me for advertising advice – she was helping a friend market fall makeovers. Her suggestion? A sandwich board with neon pink letters spelling out FALL MAKEOVERS with maybe some clip art of a leaf or scissors.

    Then I died.

  2. If you wait for the R train, as i do, you could probably solve world hunger. for me, i like watching the crazy people, the couples that fight or might start fucking, and i like to look at women.

  3. I usually stare at people who are staring at me and then they stop staring at me. It’s called the Stare Down DC Metro Game.

    How lame is DC?

  4. I am so good at making fun of people. Ask my Hub Hub, he hates having to be with me in public, mostly becasue I can’t make fun of people quitely, I have an issue with my volume button. It’s slightly damaged, permantly stuck on “wow you shouldn’t say that so loudly in public, unless you are asking for a beating”.

  5. I’ve always wondered what proportion of the folks boasting “As Seen On TV” were actually just featured on their local news’s “Scam Watch” segment? Or maybe their founders were caught trolling for underage booty on Dateline?

  6. “hahahaha – look at short pants.” Was that the best you could come up with?

    Details, Man! What kind of short pants? Short shorts, high waters, knicker short? Capri’s that just look bad?

    This information is needed in order to take certain messures in “making fun of people”.

    Haven’t gotten out lately myself, I was hoping to help make fun of short pants. 😦

  7. What if her pants were short because she was being proactive. You never know when the big flood is going to strike NYC 😉

  8. Red

    I like the “Music Quiz” function on my iPod. But I don’t live in NYC anymore. I would probably only use that function, or my iPod for that matter, at certain subway stops at certain times of day. Late at night, I don’t worry about entertainment; I’m too busy making sure no one’s gonna get me. Did I mention I used to live on W. 148th St.?

  9. Does it add character – or does it ad character?

    See what I did there? Ad because of ADvertisements?

    I’ll stop.

  10. Matt

    I hate papijump….

    stupid red ball.

  11. I make up anagrams out of my friends’ names and then tell them about them, which always ensures an interesting reaction (“umm, are you autistic?”) An anagram of my name is “One I Hear” and one for my older brother is “I Harm Aloe”.

  12. liz

    my commute is so long. i take a train and then bus to work, time totaling about an hour and a half. i usually people watch, SO amusing.

  13. I generally make up stories about the people – my favorites are the mismatch couples (usually great looking woman with total slob of a guy, though the same could be said of my relationship). But seriously, who the hell are these lunatics and what the hell are they all doing?!

  14. Dude, you should take up knitting. That’s what I do. Completely absorbed in this potential scarf, people totally leave you alone. Except random old ladies. Though, I attract them anyhow. It’s the rosy cheeks and curly hair.

  15. I just download every book ever recorded onto an iPod and pretend like I’m paying attention to them and becoming much smarter each second while I focus most of my mental acuity on making fun of people in short pants.

  16. Wait, why are you spending time waiting for trains with people you don’t want to talk to? You are weird (duh).

  17. I was close to writing a whole entry dedicated to PAPIJUMP!

    I love me some Papi.

    (Also, get Anaconda.)

  18. ben – So she’s very creative, that’s what you’re saying.

    jay – Well, of course. I think looking at women doesn’t even need to be mentioned.

    marie – DC isn’t lame, but the Metro is.

    yoyo – I am like this too, just ask Ari.

    justin – I’d say about 79%.

    duhn – Hey, it was 6:20 AM when I thought of that, gimme a break!

    stacy – True, it is an island.

    red – I’d be freaked out too if I lived all the way up there.

    unbearable – He’s a persistent dude.

    narm – You did that because you know about advertising!

    matt – No way man, I love that game.

    aine – Yeah, that’s kinda weird.

    liz – It’s the best way to make it through the hell of public transportation.

    bmoney – I don’t care enough to make up stories, I’m much better at just insulting people.

    heather – Somehow I don’t think knitting and I would get along.

    pistols – That’s the spirit!

    mindy – Why don’t you ask them!

    rachel – You should! I will look into Anaconda – it’s free right?

  19. Damn! That sounds as painful as being in the waiting room of a doctors office. Don’t you have an mp3 player? I wouldn’t have been able to survive everyday waiting like that without music.

    ^Also, Narm’s corny joke above FTW!^

  20. I wonder if this “revolutionary” bunion removal is only available in New York. A free consultation is a pretty good deal…

  21. I would call any place with Bunion in it.

  22. i like to stand around and judge people even when i’m not waiting for anything.

  23. I’m always too busy staring at the ground hoping nobody talks to me. Because I am a social butterfly.

  24. yup..i’m definitely the asshole on the cell phone. sometimes if i want to feel smart, i’ll bring an STAR magazine.

  25. I don’t think I would go to any kind of doctor who advertises in underground tunnels.

  26. Pants

    Of course you’re witty and mature…that’s why I read you!

  27. haha that picture is awesome. and i agree with the above, it’s your maturity that brings us all back to read, haha. i love it 🙂

  28. I prefer the “dibs” game… my bff and I even assign point values. you should try it.

  29. I like the play the “I think I’m better looking than that person” game while waiting for the subway. There’s also the “If you had to push one person onto the tracks, who would it be?” game. Lots of fun. Try it sometime. The game, not actually pushing someone onto the tracks. People tend to frown upon that.

  30. tia

    i like to talk to strangers.

  31. My cousin and I always play the rat game when we are waiting on the platform…we try and spot the biggest rat….

  32. “In New York you spend a lot of time waiting for the train.”

    There’s something about this sentence that’s so true and, I don’t know, meaningful? Is this the oddest comment ever? When I steal this as the first line of my groundbreaking novel, I might or might not credit you.

  33. You think waiting for a train in New York is life shortening. Try it in London, you will need to learn reincarnation to get through it….

  34. In the category of making fun of people in your head while waiting for things, I have two “games”: I play “pregnant or fat?” and “Is it man, or is it woman?” Nice? Not so much. Entertaining? Um, yea.

  35. Hmmm, I don’t play games while I’m waiting for the train, I play them once I’m inside:

    -I choose an ad and then count how many times I see the same one in every station we pass.

    -I look at (read: make fun of) people’s shoes.

    -I play “Where’s the damn music coming from?!”

    -And there’s also “Don’t look at the panhandler or breathe.”

    Fun times. No, not really.

  36. I used to do people watch all the time while waiting for the train (subway) in Tokyo. It always worked. Actually I do still love watching people at restaurants, cafes, mall and the gym.

    I have seen guys doing golf swing – which is pretty funny, too.

  37. I found you through your guest appearance for Tia and I am glad I did – hilarious. I used to go to the websites on the adds on my phone while waiting because it served 2 purposes: I looked like Someone of Importance and I got to see the ridiculousness of what was being sold in FULL detail.

  38. I always go for the witty and mature option. They make for great blog material when I’m bored at home.

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