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People who wear backpacks on the subway are the worst New Yorkers

Tom Hislop

Generally speaking, I think I’m pretty patient. Most asshole-ish habits common to New Yorkers don’t faze me. (Loud talkers, line cutters and subway-pole leaners, I’m looking at you.) There’s one group, however, that makes even me—a relatively calm citizen who usually tries to avoid conflict—want to let out a primal scream on a daily basis: people who wear backpacks on the subway.

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You know who you are. And even though we haven’t met yet, I sure as hell don’t like you. As I write this, I’m being sandwiched between multiple backpacks whose owners seem oblivious to just how intimate I’ve become with their swinging canvas accessories.

First of all, it’s common sense that you need to take that thing off. Aside from the fact that the MTA does a solid job of broadcasting that message loud and clear, just take a moment to think about it: New York City trains get crowded. Bags take up additional room. You and your backpack, filled with everything you need for the day, are preventing people from getting on. Those riders get angry. Congratulations! You’re responsible for other straphangers’ awful subway commute. Thanks a lot, man.

Not only do you take up valuable real estate, but you have no idea that while you’re doing it, you are giving the poor people behind you a thorough frisking with your Herschel. How about the next time you’re on the subway, try holding the bag in front of you so you’re aware of what it’s doing? You’ll also have less of a chance of being robbed! Or better yet, put it on the floor beneath your feet so it’s out of everyone’s way. You’ll help make the ride a little less crappy for all, especially the folks standing behind you.


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