Terrifying tales of public transportation - let's share!

I don’t drive (yet) so I pretty much rely on the bus and train to get me where I’m going, and Chicago’s public transportation is pretty good. Eighty percent of the time it’s run of the mill, but once in a while you encounter people or situations on the bus or train unique to the circumstances. Today’s lunch bus ride was one of them.

I just started a job about a mile from a grocery store (the Dominick’s east of Cabrini Green, if you’re familiar with the area). I was running a bit late on the way back, so I hopped on a bus to get back to work. I sat down directly across from a large man who was rather disheveled and dirty, and he had a two-wheeled shopping cart next to him filled with various and sundry items – children’s sweaters, empty grocery bags, helium balloons, used paper plates, etc. He stood up in a bit to get off the bus, and tried to pull out his cart, but it was caught on something. He bent over at the waist to try to free it, and tugged and tugged at it. At this point his butt was barely a couple of feet in directly front of my face, so I began to get up to move, thinking if he lost his grip he’d wind up in my lap (he wasn’t what you’d call a small man). Before I could stand, however, he gave an especially hard tug on his cart, grunted, and let fly a fart so incredibly raunchy, ill-smelling and moist-sounding that I my eyes simultaneously teared up and rolled back in my head. It was loud enough that the other passengers stopped talking and turned to see what generated the wet-chainsaw sound. The man, however, did not even seem to notice that he’d just cracked ass in my face, he just kept on tugging away at his cart. Still gagging, I stood up weakly to move to the front of the bus and the bus driver looked at me wearily and said, “I’m so sorry…this motherf-er gets on this bus ever goddamned day dragging his damn cart with him, but he sure as hell never did that before.” Now, I’m not a nelly when it comes to farts…I’ve encountered from family and friends some pretty rank ass before. But I’m here to tell you that just-baked bum farts are truly born in the bowels of hell. I have never in my life smelled anything so diseased smelling. I do know that I will be avoiding the Division Street bus around lunchtime, that’s for damn sure. I’ve caught enough ass in the face for a lifetime.

Whoo. So. Your stories?

I was on the Green Line last week – Boston’s subway system dips above- and under-ground in certain places, and most of the Green Line is actually an above-ground trolley west of Kenmore Square – when I noticed a man on the train wasn’t wearing any pants.

He was wearing a shirt, coat, even a tie. But no pants. He wasn’t acting creepy or anything, but it seemed he genuinely did not realize he had no pants on.

I got off at the next stop. On my return trip, waiting for the train out in the cold (remember, this is above-ground so no heated underground subway stops this far west), was the same man with no pants on. I’m amazed the cold didn’t bother him.

A friend and I occasionally go into NYC on Saturday nights - a club there has a “goth night”, for lack of a better term, and we dig it. We don’t dress in an extreme fashion or anything - we wear black and appropriate make-up. I always crash at her place when we do this, as we usually don’t get back to our train stop before 6AM

Until she got an apartment in August, we used to get off at a stop where we could catch a bus back to the college she attends.

Lemme tell you, we were constantly stared at. Scary, non-blinking stares. I dunno if it was because we looked like heathens, because we were obviously coming home from a night out, because we use wheelchairs, or some combination of the above.

Once we got on a bus and were unblinkingly stared at by the entire population of said bus from the minute we got on until after we got off and the bus pulled away - a good ten minutes, in all. I got off first, so their stares switched solely to me. I was pissed, so I gave them a big, false smile and a Miss America/Queen Elizabeth wave.

No effect whatsoever.

Man, am I glad my friend moved.

For a few months I had to ride the bus in Denton, Texas. It’s a town of around 65,000 (I think). Lotsa ummmmmm…“different” people on the bus.

On one ride, a lady was telling me that she had steel rods replacing the bones in her forearms. He had a speech impediment, and seemed a little slow, so I thought she might have meant she had steel pins. Nope. she had the bones replaced with steel rods. Why?? Well, a grenade was thrown in her car. OK, it makes sense now. I was thinking she had been a nurse in Vietnam and maybe her ambulance was ambushed. I asked where it had happened. I was expecting to hear Saigon, Thon Sohn Nut, someplace in Vietnam. Nope. She said “Eagle Drive” (a busy street in Denton). She went on to tell a story about how everyone was trying to kill her. It involved James Taylor, Prince Charles and Princess Diana (Chuck pushed her down a stairwell and Di stabbed her). King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, Elizabeth Taylor and her adopted son. Geez it went on forever. I was with my brother and it took all our willpower to keep from laughing.

Another time in Denton, we were at the transfer station and a lady got off the bus and took off her backpack. She pulled out her pet crawfish and let it swim in a big puddle of water :o

Thankfully I soon left for the Army. Yikes.

Yesterday there was a woman on the bus drinking out of a one-litre bottle of what appeared (to both the visual and olfactory percept systems) to be a cocktail of gin and Pepto-Bismol®. Nice.

Listen to this: Last week my wife and I were walking downstairs into the subway platform when we heard a gunshot. Now, we were just clearing the stairs so we didn’t see anything, and we noticed that while people looked a little nervous, no one was moving.

Okay… so we thought what the hell was that and kept walking farther down the platform. Then we heard it again. And again, people looked scared but didn’t move. They must have known what it was. And then we saw it: about five kids (probably early teens) had fireworks. And they were throwing them at people. They were those Cat’s Eyes, I believe they’re called, the ones that just kind of explode right there and make a huge noise.

They were throwing them at each other, laughing as they dusted the powder off of themselves, throwing them into trains as soon as the door closed so they would go off inside the train, it was ridiculous. And no one was coming to stop them.

Now, I am not a big guy, and I know it was probably stupid, but I was just about to walk over there and try to put a stop to it when our train came. Okay, what the hell, just get in. So we did, figuring that was the end of that… it’s too cold for them to hang out outside so they have to come inside and wreak havoc.

Well, about a minute into the ride all of a sudden the door opens, you know, not the main door that you walk in and out of, the door that connects the cars to each other, the one you’re not supposed to open while the train is in motion. And this flood of people comes screaming into our car with this look of fear on their faces that could only be rivaled by 9/11. Mind you, I’m not trying to compare the two incidents, but this is what it reminded me of: just pure chaos in a very enclosed space.

Babies were crying, people were shouting, “Where’s my bag, has anyone seen my bag? Please!” and the people running weren’t telling anyone what was going on, they just wanted out of that car. So of course the kids had gotten onto the train and were lighting these things and throwing them at people…

I wish I had a more climactic ending to tell, but the truth is, nothing happened. Freaking unbelievable. The kids never actually came into our car, they were still in the next one up, the one the people were running from, and we got off at the next stop (which we were supposed to do) and got the hell out of there.

The next day my wife called the Transit Authority and told them that no one had done a single thing… no police had come when there were “gunshots” downstairs, nothing on the train, nothing at all. I mean it was a Sunday night but come on.

Anyway, about a week later they called her back and told her that they had been apprehended. And that’s my story.

Jesus Krispy Kreme, DooWah, that’s freaking ridiculous.

When I was about 3 my mum took me on the bus. A few stops after we got on, this teenage girl got on the bus. She was wearing head-to-toe leather, had a purple and green mohawk, multiple facial piercings and a nasty look on her face. My jaw just dropped because I had never seen anything like it. Mum kept hissing “Don’t stare at her!”. It was quite a spectacle.

I loathe Chicago.

Mostly because the 2 weeks I spent there one March is possibly the closest to freezing to death that I’ve ever come. “Lake Effect” my ass, that’s a freakin’ Icy Breath of Doom Effect… but, I digress.

While on my way home from the Green Room or Green Mile or Green… Lounge, some bar, the El train we were in stopped. For at least 10 minutes. Underground. With just those emergency lights. I really had to pee and it was so hot and cramped and stuffy and ugh. There was a very smelly homeless person slumped against me.

He slowly stood up, and took out his… equipment… rather surreptitiously. He then proceeded to PEE ON MY BOOT.

Before I was fully cognizant of what he had done (“Did that fucking bum just piss on my boot???” rattled through my head a few times…) he had tucked himself back away and was shuffling down the car. No one blinked. No one looked startled. No one beat him senseless for me.

I shook the pee from my boot, and haven’t set foot in that godforsaken city since.

At least in NYC the bums are cultured. :wink:

Wow… I have never encountered anything like these stories described here on public transit, but then the city I live in is small compared to the ones stated.

My story isn’t so much terrifying as kinda cool…

One day I was heading to school like I usually do on the trains, I noticed that the car I was on switched to the next track for the stop I got off at. Getting off we found police, EMT’s etc etc scattered across the platform and looking up at another car that was stopped just past the platform. Everyone was asking what was going on, if there had been an accident etc etc…

I found out talking to the police that were there that it was a training exercise. For if anyone had a gun and tried to terrorize the train. It was pretty much done when I got there, and there had been signs about it going to happen around for the past week but I hadn’t thought on it.

my tales here

it’s one of those… not funny then, but funny now that i’m not in that situation type stories

We had a regular from riverside park at 72nd-the “preacher” That relieved herself when she was on the street in the gutter.I saw her squat one day-sounded like a cow wizzing.So I guess,that shows a little “culture”

But as to transit stories- One day as I get in the train I notice the far end of the car seems roomy.I ankle down there for a seat,and before I hit the far door this absolute** wall** of stench tears my eyes.My dog got skunked one time and this odor had the same qualities.One of our “cultured” street pople was racked out on the long seat opposite the conductor’s booth,while the seats across the aisle were unoccupied,without a tired rider willing to risk the stench for relief from an allday standing routine somewhere.I was ** hoping ** the bum would fart-it probably wouldn’t improved the air quality in his personal aura.

I’ve smelled a dead animal somewhere in my life and that was ike airwick,next to this ones “cultured” aroma.

Mabe your guy was vacationing from the city,seeing how the other half lives :slight_smile:

On a get back at 'em vein,the first time I ever ate derma (kishkas) I tried some in a kosher deli where the owner proudly told me he made them himself,no store bought little appetizer slices.

So I said I’d try them since I liked everything else in the deli.Before eating this I had no idea what went into it.After eating a double order (2 thick slices each time) because it tasted so good,esp.with the brown gravy,and eating whatever else I had ordered for dinner,I’m starting to burp.

The owner’s chuckling and tells me I just consumed about pound of grease soaked matzomeal.These things apparently are made as appetizers-too much of a good thing you know.

Anyway after dinner we’ve got to head back downtown via the 2nd?Ave.bus.We get on in the low 60s and the nextstop is 59th street.This is around 11PM when the late shows are leaving out so a big crowd is about to enter-all the downtown people going home from their night uptown.

As the door opens a blast of noiseless heat starts filling my drawers,and by the time the first newly arrived fellow passengers get to my station (hanging on the bar about 3 seats back) this vapor has managed to seep under and over my overcoat (this in the dead of winter-you know all windows closed) and released to the general populace.As the stench hits one of my unkown journeymates (the guy directly in back of me,who’s so far had a pleasant trip while contemplating whatever’s waiting for him at the end of his ride),mutters to me "beans"in a disapproving voice while cocking his glance at one of the newbies who’ve just passed our over the seats rail station.

** YES ** !! not only have I managed to drop one of the most potent bombs known to the ride after the moviedate crowd.The g next to me has started a mini rant/revolution (aided by some prodding by me) among other riders about this suspected flatulator,that by the time we hit around 42nd-34th st,the busdriver is pleading for some order on his bus.

How I managed to hold the bombs and the guffaws in until we got to St Marks pl,I’ll never know,but when I got home my GF thought I was on some whacky weed until I could control my laughter long enough to tell her the tale.After dropping one at home,tho,I don’t think she appreciated the humor in the incident.

Yeah…I’m sorry, I don’t understand the problem you had. Was it a particularly nice boot? :wink:

Well, I don’t loathe New York, but it is the one and only place a bum asked me for money, then tried to grab my boobs. I jumped back enough that he missed, and then he said, “Bitch!” and walked off muttering. So…attempted boob grabbing, farting in face…I’d say they’re about even.

I was taking the bart home and this man who had gotten on after me kept looking over for some reason. As he got off he banged on the window and stuck out his middle finger. I know nothing really exciting.

A (former) coworker of mine was on a crowded Muni train during the morning rush hour when it caught fire. The driver refused to let people off the train because they weren’t at a designated station!

I once rode a train from Birmingham to London, and it broke down in the middle of BFE, England for 45 minutes.

Okay, that doesn’t sound so bad, but it was kind of the last straw, the one that pushes you from “irritated” to “laughing hysterically because this entire trip has been such a nightmare that laughing is the only thing we can do to avoid going insane.”

Flew from Tel Aviv to London. Flight was delayed an hour out of Tel Aviv. Grr. London was too foggy to land in, so we flew to Birmingham. Unfortunately, every plane in Europe, or something like that, had also been rerouted to Birmingham, so the terminal was full. We ended up sitting in the plane on the tarmac for a couple hours. Grrr. Finally got off the plane and through customs, tried to figure out what to do. Eventually, we were informed that a coach (British for bus) would be sent round to pick us up and take us to London. In six hours. Grrrr. So I hopped on a train with some other passengers from the flight. I was sooo happy to be on my way.

And that’s when the train broke down. Grrrrr.

Also, one time a girl (maybe 14 years old) started hitting me on a bus in Jerusalem. She was with her friends, and it was obviously some sort of adolescent prank, but it pissed me off. I went over and started yelling at her to cut it out, and she started yelling that she hadn’t done anything (which wasn’t true, cause I could see her out of the corner of my eye), and finally the bus driver yelled at us to sit down or he’d kick us off the bus.

That was fun.

Not quite sure whether this qualifies as terrifying but it sure was one of the grossest encounters I’ve had.

I don’t drive, I live in a city that has great public transportation, and I’m on the bus to work each day. Pull the string for the next stop, go stand at the back doors just like I’m suppose to, when I catch a wiff of something awful. I’m looking down to see if I’m stepping in anything or someone is having their dinner, but can’t find the culprit. I look over at the guy standing next to be to get off, and he has his hand covering his mouth. Appears he has vomit in his mouth and he’s trying to hold it in til we get off the bus. The smell is totally giving me dry heaves, and as soon as we both get off he starts puking, which of course causes the dry heaves to be worse for me. There’s nothing worse for me than to smell or hear someone puking, ugh, gagging as I type this.

Just remembered an old one.

'Nuther smelly drunk story. He was standing (swaying) next to the rear exit of the bus. As my stop approached, I went up to the exit-- but we got caught at a light, so I found myself standing in the stepwell, right underneath the guy. He groaned a bit, and I turned around to see his eyes losing focus, and his mouth hanging open. Mudd’s inner voice speaketh:

He didn’t. He drooled. Copiously. Down the back of my neck. I was about five blocks away from a shower. They were long blocks.

I got offered money on the bus to masturbate (and perhaps some other things) for a sleazy wannabe pornographer once.

I thought the bus driver was going to attack me when he came charging down the aisle after I, using my fifteen-year-old brain, decided to light up a cigarette.

A few times I was pretty scared of some of my fellow passengers and spent trips in fear that one or more of them would get off at the same spot as me.

No lie, when I’m upset I usually end up dreaming of this, in some weird variation.

I was taking a trip with another person who lived in another city. Our first-leg flights met in Chicago, and then we were flying on out from there together. Only my incoming flight arrived at O’Hare, but I had to get over to Midway for the connection. I had over two hours, though, so it didn’t seem too tight.

Caught the CTA at O’Hare, took it to the transfer point for Midway; everything was clicking right along. Until the train stopped, just stopped, about four stations out, right in the middle of the yards, amidst nothing. And we sat. And sat. And sat, for almost a half hour.

I was sweating razor blades but there was absolutely no place to go. I couldn’t even get off and hail a cab. Finally we got rolling again, and pulled into the Midway station 10 minutes before my flight was due. The station is to-hell-and-gone across a huge parking area, so I took off at a flat-out dead run, suitcase rattling behind, shouting “Excuse me! Excuse me!” to warn hapless bystanders.

By pure stupid luck I skidded into the door nearest the proper airline counter. Fortunately my frantic travel companion was right at the counter, pleading to hold the flight, so they hailed me as I galloped past, wild-eyed and sides heaving.

Bless 'em, they had me cleared through and down the ramp within 3 minutes. Fastest, nicest security clearance and check-in ever. I was a twitching mess for at least the first hour of the flight.

As I said, the scenario still crops up in nightmares when I’m stressed out: stuck on the train, running and not getting there fast enough…


[sub]I took an expensive but reliable cab for the connection on the return trip.[/sub]