Friday, April 4, 2008

Cy hates whatever the hell those seats on the El are made of

It's night, long after rush hour has ended. You hop on the Red Line to head home, one of maybe 10 people in a single car; everyone has a row to themselves. You notice that the seat facing the priority seating is open, the most comfortable spot on the train. You'll have plenty of leg room and a place to put a foot up if you want it. Before you sit down, however, you check with your hand to see if the seat's clean. The seat covering seems cold and maybe a little damp. Is it wet? Did some vagrant just excrete some bodily fluid onto it? Is it just your imagination? You decide not to take a chance and move on to another row, checking to see if this one is clean. Nope; damp again, maybe a little warmer than the last one. You check another. Something's not right about this one either. "Fuck it," you think, gingerly lowering yourself into your original choice, all the while dwelling on what revolting substances are undoubtedly seeping into your jeans from the contaminated seat cover.

Sound familiar? OK, maybe not. Maybe you don't worry about other people's urine and other various excretions getting all over your clothes. I do. And this happens to me every time I ride the El. The seat covers are disgusting feeling, looking, tasting, and the worst part is they don't even make any sense in the first place! Why would you put any absorbent fabric on something where everything from homeless people to wasted college kids are going to be sitting? I've witnessed three people urinating on the El (one was a girl, which I have to admit was kind of impressive) and have heard of at least one incident of public masturbation. Really? We should put something on the seats that'll soak everything up?! This is a good idea?!

What purpose do these things even serve? They don't provide any cushion, contrary to what any rational person might expect from a seat cover. They don't provide any decoration, unless you think seventies and eighties style color schemes, stained and faded beyond all recognition, really add something to the fluorescent-lighted ambiance. As far as I can figure, their only goal must have been to equally distribute as much semen, urine, vomit, and ass sweat as possible, until everyone is equally contaminated. This way, those of us who are able to control our bladders and colons can no longer look down upon those who can't; now all of our pants smell like pee. It's a pretty ingenious social experiment if you think about it, but I'm pretty sure we haven't learned anything from it in the last twenty years (and judging from the patterns on the seat fabric, it's been going on at least that long).

The CTA needs to rip those disgusting cesspools out already, and replace them with solid plastic seats. That way, when I get on, I can just see the fluid pooling in the bottom of the seat and move on to the next one without playing the touching/feeling/guessing game. Then, at the end of the run, you can just hose the whole car down and it'll be good as new; ready for another day of carting Chicago's disgusting and apparently incontinent population around the city.

12 comments:

anna said...

I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

Mikey K said...

oh, and by the way, the CTA just raised el prices again.

Lamis said...

This is just one of the many reasons why I'd rather walk then take public transportation.
Also, it's not like standing on th el is any better. Every time I have to stand on the el, I leave with the feeling that someone owes me dinner.

Cy said...

Ugh, I hate holding those poles too. I don't even want to put my hand in my pocket afterwards.

Lita said...

Ok, not being from Chicago...I wasn't really fond of getting on the El in the first place. Thanks, Cy. I will never get on it again. *gag*

crash-dev said...

I'm sorry.

Real men sit in other men's urine...Deal with it

crash-dev said...

Or at least that is what my dad told me when I was growing up...

Kathleen said...

I don't remember if they had these on the El, but in SF they have little holes drilled into the middle of each seat on the MUNI - I imagine so that all of the urine/ass sweat can drain out onto the floor . . .

Brian said...

couple of weeks ago there was a perfectly piled load of shit on a seat on the DC metro with a tiny old asian woman sitting in the seat next to it... maybe she was oblivious... maybe she was the culprit.

Candice said...

When I was in high school, the public school support staff (janitors, assistants, nurses) went on strike. The students, in an attempt to get school canceled, intentionally made messes of the schools, including expelling all forms of bodily fluids and solids in hallways and public areas.

My point is, maybe the people who poop on El seats are trying to make a point, kind of like your blog post, but in a more physically substantial form.

What ended up happening was they canceled school alright - only to tack on an extra month during summer vacation to make up for it.

Ha!

Janelle said...

why did you taste an El seat?

Cy said...

There was a Flamin' Hot Cheeto on it, and I was wearing white gloves. You try to resist Flamin' Hots, it's impossible.