Murder on the Metro (JK)

by Roo on November 21, 2012

in storytelling

I have to travel to NYC pretty frequently for work-related/blog-related events + meetings.  I drive to my local train station, hop on the platform, buy my ticket from the automated machine, get on the train, and arrive in NYC in under two hours.  Sometimes if I catch the right train, it’s closer to 90 minutes.  And then I cabbage patch a lil bit.

They just remodeled the inside of just about all of the trains.  They’re *beautiful* now.  Clean, fresh, bright, outlets in every row so I can charge my phone and fully abuse it the rides down and back, and shiny new bathrooms.

Let me just say that prior to the remodel, I avoided the bathrooms at ALL costs.  I treated a ride on the Metro like a trip at the movies.  I’d ease up on the liquid intake and hit the bathroom right before going on the train.  THE BATHROOM MUST BE AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS.

Last December, prior to the train remodels, I was traveling into the city with a friend of mine (whom I’ll call Eric to protect his privacy since this blog post could potentially embarrass him) to an event for business-type people.  Eric is super business-y and extra entrepreneur-y and wears suits for fun-sies.  We agreed to meet at the train station – head into the city together, then meet up everyone at the event.

The trip there was fine, and the event was fine, even though I was pregnant and standing in heels for hours long than I should have.  People around me were getting pretty trashed and I sipped my water and listened to a guy talk about how he’s manufacturing a line of cases for pot users, since that’s going to be in high demand once it’s legalized everywhere.  In the middle of sipping my water and going, “Uh-huh, uh-huh, hmm,” I decided, yeahhhhh I’d like to go home now.  Eric and I had split up, and he had left with ‘new’ friends.  We text to coordinate a time.  One cab ride later and I find Eric on the train, face red thanks to some cabernet.

I do the groan, “Ungghhhhh you’re not drunk, are you?”  And his face is all “:) :o) :D NO why do you ask??  :) :o) :D” and we sit on the gross train and wait for it to pull out of the station.  I remembered – as I always do – to hit up the ladies’ room at the station prior to hopping on the train because, as I said before, THE BATHROOM MUST BE AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS.

I chat with Eric about the people we met, the weird-o business ideas that we heard, our spouses (he’s known Jack for-ev-a), kiddos, and how much wine he did or did not drink.  I check my phone – it’s getting late.  By the time I get home, it’ll be close to 1:00am.  The fluorescent lights on the train are bright, and my pregnant self cannot figure out whether to be overheated or freezing.

I think about using the bathroom, and immediately tell myself that I’ll be home in an hour, just hold it, this is the METRO, you don’t use the bathroom on the METRO.

Suddenly, the train grinds to a halt.

Not at a train station.

In the middle of nowhere.  In the woods.  In the winter.  On a train.  At midnight.  SO MURDERY!

We’re not moving, and people start giving each other these “This isn’t right, right?” looks.  The door at the back of the car flies open and train attendants start running – I mean RUNNING – up the aisle and through the door at the front of the car.

Crazy thoughts run through my head – someone’s hijacked the train, there’s a shooter on the train, the train has been set on fire, I should fear for my life, also, I have to go to the bathroom.  Finally, the conductor comes on the intercom.

A tree fell across three of the four tracks.  We have to wait.



So, I used the bathroom on the train, which is breaking one of my top five rules in life.  There is a reason why I tell you not to use the bathroom on the train.  I won’t even explain in words how terrible it was, but I will say that I would rather lick a public telephone or see Meryl Streep do a three hour monologue naked than use the bathroom on the train.

Turns out to be a three hour delay.  I had to use the train bathroom AGAIN, and didn’t make it home until 4:30am.  D:

Took the train on Sunday (by myself, sans Eric), and it’s the clean, freshy-fresh, remodeled train.  Felt sick, so drank lots of tea.  Had to use the bathroom.  Locked.  I wait in line behind two other people.  The door opens, a head pops out, pops back in, and the door closes again.

Uh, what?

So the boyfriend of the girl in front of me starts banging on the door.  The guy opens the door.


I gulp and wait for a punch to be thrown.  Instead, the guy walks out and he’s obviously trashed and smells like he drank a ton of cheap beer and then went to the bathroom all over himself.  He’s been hiding out in the bathroom since the train left Grand Central.  (Sometimes people do this because attendants come by and collect tickets, and they don’t have them/don’t want to pay for them.)

I’m sighing, wishing I hadn’t had so much tea.  Wait for the first guy in line to use the restroom.  Wait for the girl to use the restroom.  Finally!  GLORYYYY!  My turn.

I pull the handle.  Locked.  I pull the handle again.  Locked.

“Oh no, I’m sorry!  I think I accidentally locked it and slammed the door,” says girl.

als;gdkhalskdgh a;sdghaskgha;glaskjg.

Walk two cars up on a moving train to find an empty bathroom and discover that public bathrooms, no matter how fresh and new, are still gross.

I have no idea what lesson I’m trying to teach you here.  Maybe I’m looking for pity.


{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly November 21, 2012 at 9:53 am

Maybe you need to invent something that makes the bathroom less gross. Like glasses that make it look all fancy and smell good.

I hate public bathrooms, and freaked my kids about them well. DON’T EVER TOUCH ANYTHING, but I do like to go to nice restaurants and look at their bathroom (even if it’s just to wash my hands). I always find the bathroom says a lot about a place.


Roo November 21, 2012 at 9:56 am

I love bathrooms in nice restaurants and swanky hotels! They are the BEST.

We implemented a rule for public bathrooms which totally helps when I’ve got the two potty trained girls IN a stall with me. I say “hands on your tummy” and they both have to keep their hands on their stomachs. I’d always gag when they touched doors and handles and such.


Annie November 21, 2012 at 9:58 am

oh wow, Roo!! I don’t know whether to laugh or scream or both! That GIF is perfect for this post though :)


Roo November 21, 2012 at 10:18 am

Will Smith always has my back. ;)


Amelinda November 21, 2012 at 10:13 am

This story was worth the wait :-D

I hope you’re feeling better


Roo November 21, 2012 at 10:48 am

Far too long. Total brain explosion. Forgive me, Amelinda.


Tamara November 21, 2012 at 10:38 am

At my university, there were plenty of nasty bathrooms. Which irritated me to no end.

How can adult, university educated women still not know how to use a toilet without making a terrible mess? It was even worse when I would head out of the stall to witness women who did not wash their hands at all, or just splashed them under water. Wet and clean are not the same thing people!

I think correct washroom use (i.e. don’t pee all over the seat, keep stall walls clean) and hand-washing techniques should be degree requirements. But I’m probably asking too much.


Roo November 21, 2012 at 10:48 am

Grossssss, and you PROBABLY are. But it really shouldn’t be that way. :)


Tamara November 21, 2012 at 10:39 am

In better news, one of the malls in Toronto added a nifty feature to their stalls. A dispenser of toilet seat cleaner. You can squirt some on tissue and wipe the seat down. Thus reducing the number of squatters/sprayers. Yay, progress!


Roo November 21, 2012 at 10:49 am

There’s this casino in Connecticut that has automatic seat covers. You press a button and a fresh sleeves goes right onto the seat. So great, but probably pretty wasteful. :P


Christina @ Homemade Ocean November 21, 2012 at 11:09 am

DANNNNNNNG that is a very fancy looking train! And hoorah for outlets!


Roo November 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Love dem outlets.


Krys72599 November 21, 2012 at 11:20 am

PITY you? I’m still green with jealousy over the outlets in every row! Unbelievable!


Roo November 21, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Pretty ballin’ right? Thank God, because my iPhone loses battery like ca-razy.


Megan November 21, 2012 at 11:28 am

So first of all, I have to say that ever since I read the title of your post I have had “Riding on the Metro” stuck in my head!!

At least for your train delay, you weren’t pregnant with a full bladder by yourself on the murdery train. I would have called my husband and my mom and anyone I could think of so they would know I was still alive if that happened to me! Thankfully most of my family and friends are 2 hours behind me, so I would have had plenty of people to call, in my theoretical pregnant-and-alone-on-the-stalled-train situation.

And yes, public bathrooms are the grossest. I like your “hands on your tummy” idea – I’ll have to remember that!


Roo November 21, 2012 at 1:48 pm

I didn’t think of that! Thank God I wasn’t alone. Sheesh!


Tricia Hicks November 21, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I have never been a “afeared of germs” kinda person, UNTIL, I went on a cruise and we had stops in Mexico. I knew we were in trouble when on the itinerary it says “Bathroom break”. Turns out that there are ladies (?) who stay in the public restrooms & make you pay them money to use the bucket in the floor that they call a toilet. The tour guide had arranged ahead of time to have us all use a particular restroom & he had already paid the pee pee fee. Myself and another lady got separated and we weren’t able to go with the crowd. When we went a few minutes later, the nice bathroom lady wanted her pee pee fee to use her bucket in the floor that they called a toilet. In my best English to Spanish translation, I told her politely “No, I paid my pee pee fee to the tour guide”. After much back & forth of English/Spanish, she finally agreed to let us use the bucket in the floor that they call a toilet. Afterwards, I felt like I’d rolled in a mud hole and used an entire bottle of Pocket Bac to try and convince myself into thinking my hands were clean. Moral of the story….if you’ve pee peed in a bucket in the floor in Mexico, you’ll pee anywhere. I’m in NYC once a year and I always look for a Starbucks when nature calls. Their bathrooms are the best!


Roo November 21, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Ohhhh Tricia, this comment is so full of gross. “Bathroom break” on the itinerary? Red flag! Red flag!

I swear every NYC Starbucks I venture into has no public restrooms. Bah.


Katherine November 21, 2012 at 2:10 pm

ewwww. i feel like i need to take a shower now. metro bathrooms- ick.

i pity you.


Roo November 21, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Nose dive right into a vat of Purell. Fo’ real.

Thanks for pitying me. :)


Valerie November 21, 2012 at 3:19 pm

This one time…long ago…my family of 6 was on a road trip to WDW. Happiest place on earth! Yay! We stopped at this super shady gas station (did I mention we were 5 girls and my dad). The girls all went to the bathroom together, because that’s what girls do. Mom says, “Don’t touch anything. When you use the toilet, don’t let your butt touch the seat.” What? I understood her reasoning…diseases live on public restroom toilet seats. That’s a fact, I mean, it’s science. All this to say…2 of the 4 sisters had to change clothes, toilet was too tall for some of us. Public restrooms can die…unless they’re nice. I saw your pity, and raised you a pity in return. Although, this was yeeeears ago, so scratch the pity in my direction.


Roo November 22, 2012 at 9:26 am

When I was potty training Remmy, I kept a little portable potty in the trunk. I know that seems weird, but it was SO much easier/cleaner for her to use than some weird gas station bathroom.

Sending belated pity your way. ;)


Jennifer November 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm

This is how I feel about the bathroom on the ferry. Thankfully I’m only on the ferry once in a blue moon and I can only remember HAVING to use the bathroom once in my entire life.


Roo November 22, 2012 at 9:28 am

Some bathrooms would make me opt for dehydration, I think.


Julie November 21, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Seriously. Murder on the metro.


Roo November 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Hahahaha I love this YouTube video. I think about 10 people have sent this to me, which makes me wonder what impression I’ve left on people. ;)


Danielle November 22, 2012 at 7:13 am

I have IBS so I’ve had to deal a lot of icky bathrooms. Many times I have had to pull off to some gas station and run to the toilet. Or quickly shell out some cash for a water or pack of gum before I’m even allowed to use their nasty bathroom, that’s the worst! I do love me some fancy resturaunt bathrooms though. The kinds with the lounges and full length mirrors before you even get to the actual toilets.


Roo November 25, 2012 at 1:18 pm

I’ve done the pack of gum thing before!! Bah. So lame.


Jess November 22, 2012 at 4:26 pm

LOL I can tell you right now, trains in Australia are much worse and this story really hit home when I used to commute on a daily basis using the trains here. I think the worst part was when people went in there to smoke, or do whatever else they’re doing except actually use the bathroom. Ah, public transport!

I really enjoy your blog and I am your newest reader :D


Roo November 24, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Smoking on the train. Yuck. :P

Hi Jess! Thanks so much for finding me and reading the ol’ blog! :)


KamiKaze November 26, 2012 at 11:57 am

My boyfriend is a gamer. He is pretty great hygienically speaking. However, that can be rare when you couple a bunch of gamers in a store with maybe 1/2-1% girl ratio. Those bathrooms usually looks like something died a horrible death and often smells like that. I’m lucky if the darn door locks behind me!

So knowing this, and being a supportive/cool girlfriend–I’ve started to carry my own Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer for the lack of soap in said bathrooms, and even toilet paper. Actually, I also do this for some of the disgusting gas station restrooms I’ve had to use on the trip to said game store.

I absolutely try to avoid port-o-potties though. But since I have a fubar bladder, I sometimes have to break that rule.


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