Tales From Olden Days 2

December 2004: It was raining on the platform on 19th avenue across from SF state. There weren’t too many people waiting, telling me I had just missed the outbound M. Amazingly enough, though, there was another coming in about two minutes. Not enough time to pull out a magazine. And plus, it was a windy rain, and the platform roof wouldn’t have done much to protect the pages.
I noticed only one other rider on my end of the platform: an Asian guy with a football team’s baseball hat. Maroon. 49ers. Very everyday San Francisco.

We boarded the M, shoes squeaking in that way that they do only on rainy days inside a Muni train. I sat down and he took his seat in the row directly in front of me. No one else was on in the front of the train where we were.

A couple of stops later, now in Oceanview, two young women got on. They seemed to be SF State students as well, but not your mid-career, second-degree type. No, they were young. If I had to guess, I’d say 19, maybe 20.

I noticed right away Mr. 49ers cap stared at one of them. The mildly attractive one. Around this time I also noticed that he had his cell phone in his hand. Ready for that call.

His phone was the type with the plastic nob sticking out of the top on one side. Ostensibly, this is an antenna, but who really knows? It looks like the amputated nub of what was once an antenna.

Soon after these two young ladies boarded, the guy’s phone came up to his ear. Without really paying attention, I assumed he was talking, and at this point I was more concerned with how long he was gonna stare at the good-looking girl without blinking. Then I caught on. He was actually using the nub to dig stuff out of his ear. HE WASN’T TALKING ON THE PHONE AT ALL!!!

I’m sure I grimaced. I know inside I was throwing up. But somehow I managed to stay more or less composed, and I know this because I had the wherewithal to notice what he did next. Without removing his undressing eyes from the hottie, he took the nub and put it up against his lip.

I’m really glad she never noticed. As far as I could tell, she never even saw the guy, much less his grotesque behavior.

This whole episode left me thinking how men really need women in their lives. Not sexually. Not to serve them or clean up after them. Men need women to curb exactly this type of behavior. It struck me that my wax-loving fellow passenger probably spends most of his social time with other guys, in a burping, farting stinkfest. Fine. But listen to the women in your life when they tell what is and isn’t gross. – Jeff

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