During the entire decade I lived in New York, the worst thing that I ever witnessed on the subway was Santa Con. In retrospect, this is nothing short of a miracle; I vividly remember, for example, reading Jenna Sauers’ account of a man masturbating across the platform at her (and I do mean at her) on Jezebel in 2011 and how the NYPD did absolutely nothing about it, and marveling at how lucky I was that nothing like that had ever happened to me. And Sauers is not alone. The most recent AskReddit thread to eat up my time asked the site’s users, “What is the worst experience you’ve had on public transit?”, and… wow. Just wow. From groping and unwanted attention to a surprise Mace attack and an awful lot of nudity, it’s a wonder most public transportation systems are still in business. These tales are enough to make anyone swear off riding the bus or taking the subway again as long as they live. The horror. The horror.
Don’t believe me? Read on — but consider yourselves warned about the awfulness therein.
1. Bodily Fluids
Just about every other story in the thread involves bodily fluids or other… shall we say, organic matter. I’ll spare you the gory details by summing it up with this one comment. Because seriously. What the eff, you guys.
2. “Anybody in There?”
This is far from the worst thing that could happen to you, but it’s a little awkward all the same.
3. Pepper Spray
Oh, come on! Who gets onto the subway, unloads a can of Mace, and then leaves, just because they can?!
4. Beware of Shiny Things
I don’t know what kind of person is in the habit of slapping random people’s arses, but whoever they are, they would not be my friend.
5. Sexual Harassment
Nor is the U.S. the only country things like this happen in, because…
6. Sexual Harassment, the Sequel
TL;DR: Italian dick in the butt. Did not want. Somewhat bizarrely, the thread is full of stories like these taking place specifically in Italy. Hmmmm.
7. And Again
TL;DR: She got off, and then she got off. Let me be very clear about this:
8. Embracing Your Not-So-Inner Five Year Old
TL;DR: Accidentally sat on a little child. Some people never grow up.
9. Animal Instinct
The dog is not the problem.
10. The Naked Man
It works one out of three times. This... was not one of those times.
11. The Baby Powder Incident
I… don’t even know what to do with this one.
12. The Porn Watcher
TL;DR: Large, scary man sat on a bus next to me for two hours watching hardcore Asian porn. I support porn, but while riding public transportation is neither the time nor the place to watch it.
13. The Legend
Happily, this one probably isn’t real — it’s a relatively well-known creepypasta with tons of variations floating around on the Internet. Although according to Snopes, it’s not without certain elements of truth, sooooo… be careful out there.