The Daily Dump

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Wednesday, February 1

In Light Of Having Nothing Constructive To Say About The State Of The Union Address Other Than “WTF?”


This morning I was late for work (surprising) so when I got to the subway station and heard that a train was coming in, I ran down the stairs, through the turnstile and, to my surprise, saw that the subway car right in front of me was practically empty. My station is usually so crowded at rush hour that when a train rolls up you see the faces of the people inside the car pressed up against the windows like a cartoon. I was pleased as I jogged, seemingly in slow motion, onto the car surreally desolate train.

I quickly realized two things: that the reason the subway car was almost empty was because there was a homeless man asleep on one of the benches, and that the reason I felt like I was moving in slow motion upon entering the train was because the crippling stench coming from the homeless man had stunned me. My knees buckled as the doors closed behind me.

You know those movies where someone is trapped in a booby-trapped room that is filling up with water? Now I know what that feels like. Only instead of water, it was the odor of rotting evil. There’s no real concrete way to describe to you what this smell was, unless maybe I grabbed you by the back of the head and forced your face into a spackle bucket full of crap. To say it was overwhelming is an understatement – it was overwhelming in the way that a gunshot to the face is overwhelming.

I got as far away as I could from the source of the smell, avoiding any attempts at keeping my composure. I tried to pass wind to cover the stench. I couldn’t. My body was shutting down. The few other people on the train gave me looks that said, “I’ve been here since 125th St. – I’m too weak to escape. Save yourself!” The one man sitting down, reading his paper like nothing was happening around him was the sole anomaly. I can only assume that he lost his sense of smell in the War.

30 seconds in I was clawing at the doors, beginning to hallucinate. My thoughts came like lines from Finnegan’s Wake. I had to keep myself focused on the singular goal of getting off the train and the only thing standing in my way of that goal was dying before 68th St. Finally we roll into the station and as the train is slowing to a stop I ready myself along with a few people around me. There was one elderly woman standing to my right who, instead of grasping her purse and tightening her headscarf for the escape, sat down in the empty seat in front of her and sighed. The look on my face must have been curious because she then says to me, “Oh it’s not that bad. I’m used to this.”

Right then the doors opened and I rushed out, taking a huge breath of air, which is saying something considering I was still in an underground subway station. I turned, looked at the elderly woman and, like Rose letting go of Jack, watched the doors close and the train roll away. When I got to work I scoured the internet for news reports of subway lines shut down while a dead body was removed from a number 6 train, but I found nothing. I only hope that the old woman made it where she was going. Unless where she was going was heaven. Because you’d have to be crazy to try to take the 6 train to heaven; and everyone knows crazy people don’t go to heaven.

29 Comments:

"It was overwhelming in the way that a gunshot to the face is overwhelming."

Oh my...

By Anonymous Kelly, at 5:10 PM  

Hahahahaha....you are a mess!!

A soon as I read "My knees buckled as the doors closed behind me." I had to laugh out loud!
YOU R A FOOL!!! lol

Truely a funny story to the true commuters of the "underground" world in which we commute

-R.A.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:36 PM  

OMG - I almost spit out my Coke on the keyboard laughing! I just randomly stumbled upon your Blog, but I must say it is truly entertaining!
Wish I lived in New York, but I'm on the West side! Maybe one day, I'll know how it feels... although this story is a definite deterrent... :)

By Blogger lena, at 6:19 PM  

I can only imagine. That kind of stuff doesn't happen on the DC metro. It's too repressive and expensive.

I do hope that you've recovered.

By Blogger Momentary Academic, at 6:49 PM  

You know how those who have been to war remember their war stories forever. One day, you'll be telling your grandchildren about how you survived the Stinky Subway Car 2006 for the 150th time. What a traumatic event for you!

By Anonymous Neil, at 7:03 PM  

sorry. i had a rough night Tuesday. so i shit and puked myself and slept on the train. i had nowhere to go.

By Blogger Lozo, at 7:07 PM  

It must be the same the world over. I know them smell and the way it can fill a space - especially a closed space like a train carriage.

When I come across people like that, my mind can't help but wonder what they possibly have to do to smell that powerfully bad! Not wash for a few years yet pee in their pants every single day? I think aversion to that smell is in our gentics. It smells dangerous!

Once after an experience in a newsagent, the woman behind the counter sprayed deoderant that she must have ready for this stinky woman's visits!

By Blogger Mathieu, at 7:19 PM  

I'm surprised that the stench, as brutally powerful as it was (and I could almost smell it through the computer), didn't latch onto you or anyone else who was in the car, like an evil, unseen parasite.

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By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:14 PM  

I love it! You Rock. I pissed myself, good thing I was on the shitter with my lap top...

Once I was on the MAX (Oregons attempt @ mass transit) and this dirty Hispanic gentleman sat next to the fella across from me. He started speaking to the guy in Spanish and the guy says "Dude I don't speak Mexican"...but thats not the funny part.

He gets up and moves across the isle to sit by this other poor Spanish fellow and smiles, sniffs, grabs the guys coat and procedes to blow his nose! The guy doesn't even flinch! Next stop, dirty beans gets off and snotty Spanish man remains, he didn't even know the guy. Not that that would make it OK, I'm just saying...

By Blogger Wild*Hen, at 6:59 AM  

AWESOME! I'm in Chicago, and I have had, more than once, the misfortune of encountering Mr. Stinky on the Red Line. But the guy disappeared sometime in late 2004. This posting rocks, because it answers a long-lingering question: what happened to Mr. Stinky? My fears for his fate are gone, since I know he relocated to NYC. Tell him hi from the Red Line riders of Chicago.

By Anonymous Warman, at 10:26 AM  

Perhaps he was wearing P. Diddy's new Perfume, "Unforgivable."

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:32 AM  

Yeah, stinky guy sure does get around. We have him on the tube over in London too :(

Luckily we also have doors between carriages to make a quick getaway!

:O)

By Blogger doobrie, at 11:35 AM  

wow. i'm surprised i haven't seen/smelled this guy in boston. but then, in winter, the smells don't come off quite as strong ...

what i wanted to say, though, was - i love the photo you posted. is it yours?

By Blogger romy, at 8:06 PM  

“Oh it’s not that bad. I’m used to this.”

I can totally see a little old lady saying that! That's great!

By Blogger The Mayor, at 10:46 PM  

I can't take credit for the photo. For that I credit the great people at Flickr for giving the public access to everyone else's pictures. I will take credit for stealing an awesome picture though, thank you.

By Blogger the belligerent intellectual, at 11:59 PM  

What I don't understand about stinky homeless guy car is that people will run out of the car without warning you as you step in.

At least give me a sign that I should move to the next car before the darn doors close.

People lets be considerate. That type of info should be shared.

By Blogger pantrygirl, at 4:20 PM  

Empathetically funny as hell. I think that guy was train hopping back when I lived in NYC last year. I know that smell you described, and it IS about as subtle as a gunshot wound.

I feel your pain. If the MTA had more staff on the cars, they might get those guys along with the trash as they swept from car to car.

By Blogger Lord Boinkingham, at 1:26 PM  

I'm commenting on this post 3 weeks later because this very incident happened to me this morning at 77th. I was walking to the spot I get on when the train arrived and I was psyched to see empty seats in the next car so I (and a few others) opted for that car, took one step in and OH THE HORROR! The guy behind me was able to escape, but it was too late for me. The homeless man who was clearly lying in his own filth assaulted my senses that even now I heave a little thinking about it. My only option was to crowd to the other end of the subway where all the other riders had migrated and hold my breath.


I thought of you.

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By Blogger haoran, at 1:18 AM  

The bad news is, Sportsbook this will be the last post for The Daily Dump. There have been some big changes in my life recently (including being homeless and alone in a world of pain and confusion) and these sorts of things don’t make for good writing, especially when what you’re writing is frivolous attempts at humor relying on an overuse of similes and copious run-on sentences. I’m not going to tarnish the good memory of this blog by allowing myself to get drunk one night and publish a post entitled “FUCK YOU, WORLD”.
The good new is, you guys are awesome. bet online Honestly, everyone who’s ever come through here. Obviously if you commented I like you more, but you’re all heroes in your own way. So to everyone who has ever taken the time to read what I wrote, I just want to say thank you. On more days than not, writing a blog post has been the most fun hour of my day, and not just because I’m consistently thrilled with myself, march madness but because every so often you guys had as much fun as I was having. It’s hard to say with a straight face, “The Daily Dump has been so rewarding for me,” but it’s the truth. So again, thanks for being awesome.
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