Etiquette on the GO

This is the GO train, aka the Green Monster. (Ok, I may be the only one who calls it that but I’m trying to start something here. Work with me people!) Anyway, it gets me from A to B, and sometimes C if I fall asleep and miss my stop. It’s common knowledge that those who take this commuter train into work are superior to those stuck in the underbelly of the city on the subway. Well it might not be common knowledge, but that’s me on my high horse. It’s quite fun way up here, so please do come and join me for a moment, won’t you?

My reasoning is quite simple. We have multi-level cars complete with spacious seating. Armrests to separate you from your fellow travellers who may be contaminated with whatever the current plague is. Washrooms. Although any public washroom is to be shunned, especially those of the mobile variety. In addition we get email updates about delayed and cancelled trains. (Of course most of the time you’re stuck on said train, or are standing on the platform waiting for it, but that’s beside the point).

Aside from all that however, there is something else that you’ll find on the GO train that is worth the higher fair. Etiquette. Those of us who take the train on a regular basis, adhere to a set of “rules” that govern travel and make life’s commute a big fluffy cloud with butterflies and rainbows.

For those who are newbies, or have lost their way and forgotten they’re not alone on the train, let’s take a moment now to review the fundamentals, shall we? 

  1. The first rule of the GO Train is, you do not talk loudly on the GO train.
  2. The second rule of the GO Train is, you DO NOT TALK LOUDLY ON THE GO TRAIN.  There are talkers and there are talkers.  If we can hear your entire conversation down the length of the train, or even worse, from another level of the train, tone it down just a few decibels.  If you’re speaking on your cell phone and we can hear both sides of the conversation, turn down the volume on your phone, get off the train, then head to your nearest Otolaryngologist.  (Side note: An IPod is a great way to drown out your fellow passengers.  Be a boyscout – Always Prepared.)
  3. If you are listening to an MP3 players of any kind, I don’t want to know that you’re listening to Richard Marx, let alone hear it.  There’s no need to break the sound barrier.  Keep it down.  And if you’re singing along, get off the train.  And if you’re singing without the aid of a portable music device, you need to follow!
  4. Personal grooming is a no-no.  I understand that in your rush to leave you forgot to put on your mascara.  Please, feel free.  However if you’re applying it ever morning, along with your foundation, blush, eyeshadow, and that new lipstick shade Travelwhore, get off the train, go to bed, so you can get up earlier to do it all at home, or wherever you slept.  This also goes for manicures and pedicures.  Oh yes, I’ve seen it all.  Aside from the nauseating smell of nail polish remover, the last thing I want is your toenail in my morning cup of joe.  Get off the train, and head to the nearest corner in Scarborough.  Mai Ling would be happy to help you.  “Ahhh, beautiful, gorgeous, sexy nail!”
  5. Consumables.  I think it’s unfair to limit people’s need for sustenance.  I understand you may be diabetic, or you may have worked late and just grabbed a quick bite at the station.  (This is also known as I-had-a-few-too-many-after-work-and-need-to-absorb-some-of-the-alcohol-before-I-get-home food.  It’s ok, we’ve all done it.)  If you should find yourself in this predicament, please be kind and masticate quietly.  Cows and other farm animals are not permitted on the GO train, and neither should you be if we can see and hear your dinner going down.   Shut your mouth, then get off the train!  And you loud gum chewers can fall in behind.
  6. Your bag did not pay for a seat.  Nor did your purse.  There is a space under your seat for these items.  Or your lap.  I realize that this means you don’t want anyone to sit there.  Well, let me tell you, I will seek you out.  It’s like a homing beacon.  The entire car could be empty and I will sit next to you, just to piss you off.  And if you do not move your items quickly enough, I will sit on them, so move your shit, or get off the train.

When the train comes to a full and complete stop, and you are one of those people that feels compelled to run to your car at the speed of light, please be mindful of others.  I have no desire to be tackled linebacker style by some impatient moron who’s single-minded goal is to get out of the parking lot and avoid the 5 minutes of congestion.  (I’d imagine that an aerial view would look like a hoard of cockroaches scurrying to get away from the light.  “Shelter!  Darkness!”) To each his own I guess, but know this – if you knock me down, you’re going down with me.

The remaining items are not really rules, so much as guidelines.  Things that common sense would dictate.  Don’t put your feet up on the seats.  If you’re a teenager, limit the amount of “likes” you use per sentence.  No bikes during rush hour; this is an actual GO Train bylaw.  If you fall asleep, beside someone, do not use them as a pillow.  And if you’re  a drooler, carry napkins at all times.  Let the handicapped, elderly, and pregnant actually sit in the area designated specifically for them.  Although, being grossly overweight does not allow you to sit here.  You are not disabled; you are simply Shamoo.  Did you pay for two?  (I actually had this happen).

If you adhere to the list above, you’ll find your GO train ride a much more pleasant experience.  Actually, I’ll find it a much more pleasant experience, and you might be slightly perturbed.  But, c’est la vie.


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