March 06, 2008

Random Commuter Observations

Dee Cee's metro system continually broadcasts various courtesy and safety messages over its intercom system. This morning, something odd about them occurred to me.

One of the messages is a gentle reminder not to block the left side of the escalators so that people may walk up and down if they wish. It starts, "Hi! You may have noticed we have a lot of escalators in our system. Most people prefer to stand to the right." (It doesn't include the interjection "Golly!" at the beginning, but you can sense that from its general tone.)

Another message is the result of 9/11 and heightened security. It starts, "'Is that your bag?' These little words can mean so much...." It's so fubsy that one half-expects an outburst of baby-talk or the rhyming of "June" and "moon".

But the third message that has started airing lately is about food. "Would you pay a hundred dollars for a burger? I wouldn't. But that's just what will happen to you if you get caught eating in the metro system." Also, almost all the free-standing signs at the stations are of the same ilk: Eating and drinking is prohibited in the metro. "It's the law." This is as close to Achtung! as you're going to get there.

Now as a matter of fact, I fully understand the anti-consumption policy. Metro is relatively free of rats and other vermin and the authorities want to keep it that way. All well and good. But I would also think the serious, almost hostile tone of its messages would be equally applicable to the detection of suitcase bombs or other IED's. And I would especially take such a tone when it comes to the matter of clueless tourons clogging up the escalators.*** If it were up to me, I'd have a continual loop of Holly Hunter yelling, "Stayund to thu' raaaight!!" playing on all of them.

Just sayin'.

(***A sure sign of spring in Your Nation's Capital: Robbo starts his annual bitching about the tourons.)

Posted by Robert at March 6, 2008 09:32 AM | TrackBack

What I never got is the hundreds of people who don't think their Starbucks is in violation of the No Eating or Drinking policy.

Regardless, a more militant voice might be just what's needed. I would get behind the Holly Hunter idea.

Posted by: beth at March 6, 2008 10:03 AM

I wish that the Tube over here on the other side of the pond would offer some consistency in which way to walk. You see as many "keep right" signs whilst moving down the passageways to the trains as you do "keep left." Not that anyone seems to pay much attention to them either way.

Posted by: Jordana at March 6, 2008 11:45 AM