Friday, March 16, 2012

Urban Survival Tips - Part 1

Most people are not prepared to deal with the realities of living in a gritty big-city environment. They're probably from the suburbs or from Iowa or the suburbs of Iowa or something. They look at the city and see a big playground. Well, those people are in for a rude awakening. The city is a very dangerous and hazardous place. Crime, greed, litter - these are the harsh realities of living in a punishing urban environment. Sometimes it's hard to think about, I know. You don't have to tell me, I've been walking these mean streets every day since I moved here five years ago, and it is no picnic. (Except on days when I have picnics.)

Do you have what it takes to survive here? Well, you should ask yourself a few hard questions. First:

Can you stand to ride on a subway?

Caught you off guard there, didn't I? I apologize for being so harsh and brutal in my line of questioning, but I'm a product of my environment. Besides, it's for your own good that I put you through this hellish self-examination; I want to save you the inevitable crushing of dreams and shattering of illusions that doubtlessly awaits you, lurking like a fat lion in this terrifying urban jungle wasteland.

That's right, I asked if you can bring yourself to ride on a subway. Let me walk you through this nightmare that city-dwellers such as myself have to endure on a sometimes daily basis. First, you have to get on the train. This is a draconian process, to say the least. You have to buy a card from a mindless automaton machine that relentlessly questions you about what kind of card you want to buy. If you make it through that, you have to pass through the "turnstiles", which should remind anyone with half a brain of NAZI GERMANY. If you make it that far, which I would say maybe 20% of you are fit to do, you are on the Platform.

The Platform is like Hell. There's an automated voice reminding you how long until the next train arrives - but it's up to you to know which train you want to catch! Good luck, sucker, you're in way over your head and there's no turning back now. There are seats usually available on the platform, sure, but they're not very comfortable. Read on, if you dare.

While you're waiting for your train, you may notice something quite disturbing and frightening. There are, like, a ton of other people standing all around. Most of them look like total dicks. Keep a cool head, because you're going to need it for what comes next. You've made it this far, which is a miracle, but now the train is pulling up. It is super loud. You wonder if your feeble mind can stand any more, and then the doors open! MORE PEOPLE come walking out of the train. It's really crowded, you're sweating a LOT, and you're expected to figure out how to get on this train while other people are getting off?!?!

Here's where most people lose it: getting on the train. Some never make it on, they simply clutch their knees and roll around on the ground, mewling and drooling, until city officials arrive to take them to a nearby Sanitorium. But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. I'm a hard-nosed toughman, but I still have a tiny shred of compassion whispering around in my empty, blackened insides. You have made it this far, and I think I owe it to you to reveal the most horrifying detail of this continually horrifying ordeal...

There is a GAP between the Platform and the Train. OK, just's OK if you need to throw up or bite through one of your fingers due to mental anguish. That's right, the train doesn't just pull up flush against the platform. There is a space big enough to fit your whole foot in!! (If you turn it sideways.) Watch The Gap? Heh. More like watch your MIND completely be torn asunder by shapeless black panic!! Get over that gap, and I may have a modicum of respect for you. But if you do make it (and I'm pretty sure you definitely have NO CHANCE of making it), nothing you faced so far can prepare you for the ghastly chamber you must now enter...


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