Subway Stories: The Pick and Wipe

OK, so … I’m on the subway heading to work. It’s about 7:30 a.m., and I’m reading the newspaper, just minding my own business. We make a stop, the doors open, which draws my attention.

In the corner there, is a guy, sitting by himself. He’s maybe 25 or so, in jeans a t-shirt and sandals.

And he’s digging.

Yep, he’s a picker.

I’m not saying he should be up to his elbow in a public place, but to quote Seinfeld:

“An’ what if I did do it? Even though I admit to nothing, and never will. What does that make me? And I’m not here just defending myself but all those pickers out there who’ve been caught. Each an’ every one of them, who has to suffer the shame and humiliation …”

Yet my judgment of Mr. Pick isn’t that he did the picking, per se. It’s what he did after the pick.

I don’t know if on that finger he had a nugget, some goo or just general crusties. But I do know that he reached over by his leg, and, presumably thinking he was being sly, wiped his whole hand over the plank next to his seat.

I mean he just smeared it all over.

And then he did it again!

To quote George Costanza in that same episode:

“I guarantee you that Moses was a picker. You wander through the desert for forty years with that dry air. … You telling me you’re not going to have occasion to clean house a little bit.”

The picking, while nasty, is, I suppose, forgivable.

But the wipe?

Hell no.

I just hope the MTA calls in a HAZMAT team to hose down that subway car before anyone else gets back on it.

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