Eating on Public Transportation

Eating on public transportation makes me feel guilty somehow.  I don't know what it is.  It's my food. There's no rule against it.  Something about it makes me feel rude or something.  Once I was taking a very short flight in North Carolina.  The plane was a very small plane that barely had room in the cabin for carry-on luggage.  I firmly believe that there is a rule in the universe that mandates that I sit next to an obese person in a situation like this.  I  looked at my ticket... F4... F4.  I scanned the plane and saw a woman in one and a half seats.  I knew the half was F4.  This was a short layover.  I had hurriedly stopped by Burger King on my way to my gate.  I didn't have time to eat it, but whatever, I'd eat on the flight.

I counted the rows as I approached the half seat.  I hoped there was a number between 3 and 4 that I hadn't ever learned about.  There wasn't.  I was in the half seat next to the obese woman.  She had a box of Cinnabon cinnamon rolls on her tray.  I couldn't make this up.  She smiled an apologetic smile.  I scanned the small aircraft.  It was full.  The flight attendant shrugged.  I'm not a small dude.  She's the opposite of a small woman.  Just my luck.  I squeezed in and hoped we could just get going.  The point of the story is, I didn't dare to eat my Burger King.  She didn't dare to eat her delicious smelling Cinnabons.  We both sat there in the cinnamon-fried aroma trying not to offend each other by eating food that WE BOUGHT!  It's ridiculous.

I walked all the way to the subway yesterday before realizing that Swedie had borrowed my pass.  Imagine my annoyance.  On my way back home I would pass my kebab spot.  This was a sign.  I was supposed to get a kebab with bread (allting på)! I ordered it and went home to get my pass.  I hurried to the kebab spot and got to the platform as the train pulled in.  I got a seat across from a guy who was completely occupied by his phone.  I looked down at my plastic bag.  There was a warm kebab wrapped in foil staring up at me with pleading eyes.

       - Eat me, Jon.  Nobody cares!

Yes they do care, suicidal kebab.  My Sprite was shedding extra beads of sweat just to look more refreshing.  I looked over at another group of seats.  A lady was looking at me and shaking her head.

       - If you eat it you're rude.  You're greedy.

Now I was sweating.  I was hungry.  Waiting would leave me with a cool kebab and a warm soda.  The train ride was going to be 20 minutes.  They'd understand.  I thought about that flight that resulted in me eating cold ass fries at baggage claim.  Burger King fries are the best, but even those are nasty when cold.  "Never again!", I vowed that day in North Carolina.  Now was time to show and prove!

I opened my kebab with determination.  That lady was judging me harder than ever.  She could go to hell for all I cared.  There's no rule against eating on the subway.  I went for a big bite.  Kebab with bread (allting på) is a messy sandwich!  There's a pepper on top.  There's slaw, onions, sauce and kebab meat.  You can't just eat the pepper with the stem.  I pulled the pepper out.  Sauce almost dripped from it.  I caught the sauce in my mouth.  Now I looked like I was on the commercial.  I ate the pepper and put the stem in the foil.  Now for the kebab.

Bites one through three went smoothly.  I had my technique down.  Take a bite, roll back the foil/paper.  Then bite four.  Lots of slaw in this bite.  It fell from the sandwich in slow motion.  I shot my right leg to the right instinctively.  Don't want to get my pants dirty.  Then I'd be a slob!  The slaw hit the ground and naturally bounced over to my busy neighbor.  He never looked up, but he twitched his foot out of the way so his shoe didn't get messy from this barbarian with no manners across from him.  He never looked up.  Neither did I.  I was staring at this kebab with complete intensity.

I was so glad when I got past the slaw.  I powered through the rest of my kebab.  The bread/meat part at the end was easy.  I felt like everyone watched and judged me the entire time I ate.  Whatever.  I had a warm kebab in me now.  I hadn't dared to open my Sprite.  That seemed like some advanced public transportation eating there.  I'm not an animal, you know.  I opened my drink slowly as if I didn't want my Mom and Dad to hear it in the other room.  I drank it and neatly placed it in the bag with my foil, paper and napkins.  I had done it!  I ate on public transportation and everyone was okay.

I haven't conquered that feeling just yet.  I'll only eat on public transportation as a last resort.  I know it isn't rude, but it's just too awkward.  Maybe I'll buy enough for the people in my quad next time.  Then at least I was nice enough to ask before I morphed into a barbarian.  Whatever I choose to do, I'll let you know.  Until next time...


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