Not Freaking Cool


“Dear PoPville,

I saw this on the metro on my commute home last night. Come on, man!! I’d be interested to hear WMATA’s response and to learn when and how this was cleaned up. Not a pretty site to see at rush hour on the red line!”

Ed. Note: For all of metro’s faults – I don’t think it’s fair to blame them for this. I’m sure they were just as pissed off as you were. Some people can be truly inconsiderate and that’s who deserves the blame here – the entitled jerk who did this.

92 Comment

  • Animals.

  • This is done by the same type of person that would park their car in a bike lane.

    • Be grateful they were taking public transit then?

    • There was a parking in the bike lane incident yesterday at 15th and L around 5:30 last night (rush hour!!). As as biker I was happy to see the other bikers just totally dress down the driver. People FREAKED.

      • If the cyclist was struck by another vehicle, you should send a brief account to @struckdc on twitter. That account keeps track of how many peds/cyclists are hit in DC by vehicles each year

  • justinbc

    The spontaneously combusting chicken strikes again!!!

  • I think we need a chicken wings tax. dedicated to clean up on metro and on the streets. Oh, and for diabetes prevention.

    Any PETA folks ready to take up the cause?

      • I definitely don’t miss living in neighborhoods where I had to watch every move my dogs make to be sure they’re not picking up a chicken bone.

        • seriously. those chicken wing bones are like doggie crack. i’m so glad my new neighborhood has much less of them to worry about.

          • Chicken bones are the scourge of my neighborhood. It doesn’t help living a block away from the Popeyes, but come ON people, throw them away instead of just throwing them into the grass. It’s super dangerous for dogs to eat them 🙁

            Yet another reason why the city needs more trash cans (and less assholes)

          • I live two blocks from a Popeyes and don’t have the chicken bone problem, thank goodness!

    • And what then, taxing the blue cheese dressing? Carrots? Celery sticks? KEEP YOUR HANDS OF MY WINGS! This is war I say. WAR!

    • Chicken wing cameras on Metro!! 50$ for the first wing, 80$ for the second, 200$ for the 3rd and possible jail time!!! The city will collect tons of revenue to create anti-chicken wing educational commercials, and they’ll stuff the rest into their pockets! Brilliant!

  • Ugh.
    Totally agreed with PoP — the person who deserves the blame is the entitled jerk who did this.
    Sometimes I wish that Metro allowed eating and drinking, like the Underground does in London. But there cans/bottles/etc. being left behind on Metro as it is — if they actually _allowed_ eating and drinking, the litter would probably be out of control.
    I guess This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things (like the ability to eat/drink on Metro).

    • justinbc

      I’ve never actually seen that enforced though. I guess maybe knowing that it’s not allowed prevents some people who would eat/drink from doing it, but I see people doing it all the time anyway with zero consequence. It’s even more prevalent on the bus than the train.

      • There was an incident about 10 or 15 years ago where a 12 year old was arrested and handcuffed for eating fries in a Metro station. And another where a woman was arrested for jamming the remains of a snickers bar in her mouth after she’d passed the turnstile. Though these arrests were overboard, I agree that there should be enforcement of the egregious cases.
        Is it illegal to eat on the bus?

        • HA! I remember the “Snickers scandal!”

          • That scandal resulted in metro police being told to be more sensitive to the optics of it, which has apparently given way to just not enforcing any of it.

          • I rememer when there was a scandal about a woman getting arrested for eating on the metro and I thought, “she should be arrested.” Now if you ask the transit cops why they don’t do anything about people eating, they tell you they’re too busy fighting terrorism. Thin blue line.

        • Yes, the same rules apply on the bus as on Metrorail.
          I agree that they probably stepped down enforcement after getting bad publicity for those cases of overkill.

        • justinbc

          I was once yelled at for having a frozen lemonade by one of the rifle armed officers that patrol the Navy Yard metro after Nats games. I calmly informed him that it is the act of eating or drinking on Metro that is forbidden, not the mere possession of food and drink. He was not amused.

      • Justin — Ditto on there not seeming to be much enforcement, but if eating/drinking and littering are this prevalent when eating and drinking are forbidden, can you imagine how prevalent they’d be if they were actually allowed?

        • justinbc

          I don’t even want to imagine the overwhelming amount of aromas that would exist on a train ride from Union Station in the summer time if people were allowed to bring food into the passenger cars.

    • Oops… “there *are cans/bottles/etc. being left behind on Metro as it is.”

  • I wonder what the people next to them were thinking when the didn’t speak up. We all ride metro and can police bad behavior. Don’t pass the buck to WMATA – stand up to the few jerks around us that mess up the system.
    Holding a door open – let the tourists know it’ll break the train
    taking up two seats – politely ask to move
    Feet on seats – politely explain how rude that is
    Loud music – politely ask offender to turn her/his music down
    Eating/littering – call the bum out

    Is it really that hard folks? I do it on a regular basis, but perhaps I’m a bossy jerk.

    • As far as talking to those with loud music and eating, that is more confrontational than I am typically willing to get on the Metro with a person who clearly has no respect for others. I almost feel like those people are daring you to say something to start a confrontation. Talking to them is not likely going to shame them into anything.

      • Agreed. Confronting someone like that is far more likely to result in a response like “Shut the f*** up! Mind your own business, or I’ll beat the s*** out of you.”

      • Exactly.
        It’s an open invitation for confrontation, and they mean for it to be.
        However, I have found the ideal way to confront the “music without headphones” situation. If you are directly in front or behind them, simply play a little Gwar or Guns n Roses without headphones right next to them so they can’t hear their own music.
        It works quite well.

    • For most of those things listed- I think people know they are being rude, they just don’t care. That said, I’m not sure they would change future behavior by being confronted (depending on the case), and I would not want to invite any type of violent reaction.

    • The only one of those I have done/would do is ask someone to move if they have their bag on the seat or are otherwise taking up two seats- but only if it’s a crowded car and it’s the seat left. All the rest- no way. Those people are d*ck bags to begin with and who knows what confronting them would lead to. I’d rather not get stabbed.

    • I once asked someone very politely (and tiredly) to put headphones in while commuting home after a very, very long day and was immediately harassed by the “metro DJ” and his friends. At the next stop, I moved to a different train car…well, the very next stop they all moved onto my car and just kept on going. It wasn’t worth it, and I’m very glad it didn’t get any worse then that.

  • i see this all of the time. I’m going to start telling people you forgot your trash. Public shaming people Public shaming is the way to go.

    • I’m all for public shaming, but for someone this out of control, I’m guessing that I (a small-ish female) wouldn’t feel safe calling them out.

      • Maybe not, but I absolutely would have taken a few passive aggressive shaming photos of the offender.

      • This. There are too many nutjobs in this town who will fly off the handle if you look at them the wrong way for me to feel safe yelling at some random person. Safety is more of a priority than trying to shame someone who will probably behave terribly whether you scold them or not.

      • This. There are too many nutjobs in this town who will fly off the handle if you look at them the wrong way for me to feel safe yelling at some random person. Safety is more of a priority than trying to shame someone who will probably behave terribly whether you scold them or not.

      • Smilla

        I agree — and I’m not a small-ish female! I’m pretty assertive, but people who would do something like this are not likely to take public admonishment well. This is a tough one.

        • Agreed – the person/persons who did this are SHOWING us they’ll have something to say if called out. Most Metro food messes I’ve seen are on the minor side, but still annoying as hell. But THIS is an invitation, people.

  • The Metro has to be about the last place I would want to eat chicken wings, perhaps second only to a public toilet. Gross.

  • Animals taste better!

  • Of course it’s on the red line!

  • what about cleaning it up instead of just taking a picture and ranting? i’ve seen gross trash on the metro, and have cleaned it up and taken it out to the station trash can when i’m getting off. it’s not that hard.

    • You would touch that??

    • Would you really pick up used chicken bones with your bare hands? Thank you, because I certainly wouldn’t.

    • You must be joking. First, unless you carry gloves around that’s a great way to catch lovely diseases like hepatitis. Second, by cleaning it up yourself you’re giving Metro the false impression that there’s not as much need to police this stuff as there is.

      • Really, you can catch hepatitis from a chicken bone?

        • One that’s been in someone’s mouth? Absolutely. Or any number of communicable diseases. But I assume that you knew that already and were just pretending to be dense in order to be contradictory for no reason.

          • I would assume anonymous meant just by touching an eaten chicken bone with your hands…i wouldn’t think you can get hepatitis from that…obviously if you touch your mouth or lick it afterwards, i can see that…

          • Especially when you consider the sort of lowlifes who would do this. They probably live like this at home, and are crawling with disease.

      • And if someone spots you walking around with chicken bones they might think YOU were the one eating on the metro.

        I’m all for picking up litter around my yard, sidewalk, and tree box, but not while I’m out in public places and can’t immediately wash my hands afterward.

      • there is a plastic bag in the picture that you can use to pick up the chicken bones. yes, disgusting but worse to leave it and just bitch about it. and yeah, i’ve picked up some gross stuff on metro…usually i use a newspaper (plenty of those laying around metro) or a plastic bag if it’s something i don’t want to touch.
        and i doubt metro is tracking the # of chicken bones they are cleaning up, and stepping up enforcement so leaving it laying around isn’t helping any situation in my opinion.
        and NO, you cannot pick up hepatitis just from picking up a chicken bone. it’s a blood bourne infection, which means it requires percutaneous exposure. that means you have to get the chicken bone into an open cut.

    • Yes, we want to encourage these scum by cleaning up their mess for them.

  • I agree with POPville – this isn’t Metro’s fault. They actually do a really good job of telling me I can’t bring food on the metro whenever I try to go through the turnstiles.

  • I don’t even understand how this happens. So the person’s sitting there dropping the bones on the seat they’re sitting on, so the greasy bones are rolling around next to their butt? Or were they standing over the seat dropping the bones on it?

  • Yeah, the person who noted this is the sort of person who would park in a bike lane had a good point. An inconsiderate person is always going to be making someone’s life a little less pleasant, somewhere, and there’s not much anyone can do about it because they’re not going to change their ways.

  • You know what’s just as gross? Spitting on Metro trains or stations. I don’t think I’ve seen it on the train, but I see it at least once a week in stations. And it’s never enforced.

  • It’s easy to pile on Metro – and for good reason. Regardless, there are very many hardworking folks at WMATA.

    That said, please enforce Metro regs. (and thus get more revenue) and stop charging us more. For example:

    1. Crack down on eating in stations, on platforms, in carriages (isn’t it a $100 fine?)
    2. Crack down on smoking in stations, on platforms (I’ve seen this), in carriages (I’ve seen this also)
    3. Crack down on fare jumpers! At a certain station (in an affluent neighborhood) I’ve seen every 3rd youth bypass the Metro turnstile (note: these are not kids flashing student passes – rather those who look both ways in case someone is looking and then scoot). This “cheat” alone must cost the system (and DC) many thousands of dollars EACH DAY!

    Yes, there are many other problems in the Metro system but enforcement of the aforementioned I believe would net the city more than what additional (or existing) staffing would cost.

  • While I would still trade metro for the NYC subway system any day, its #1 strength is that it’s remarkably clean, doesn’t have a “homeless person car,” and has very few rats. So it’s a shame when stuff like this puts a dent in metro’s top (only?) asset.

  • UGH. This is my major pet peeve. Can you not wait until you get to your destination to eat/drink your food? At least have the decency not to leave your trash behind, have you no pride?! Kids (and some adults, let’s be real) in my neighborhood will grab some kind of snack at the corner store, eat said snack, and then literally throw the wrapper on the street (or in my yard, GRRRR). We have trash bins at either end of the block, how hard is it to hold on the a wrapper for 10 seconds.

  • Grab that bag, wrap it around your hand, put chicken wings in box, and throw it away when you get off. Have some pride in your city. Be a good citizen.

  • Snack Attack!

  • Does anyone remember YEAR ONE of Metro, when we had only one line (Red) and it only went from maybe Union Station to Farragut North?? They arrested and STRIP SEARCHED a lady who was eating a candy bar on the train. No litter was involved, as far as I remember. Just someone breaking the rules. That’s the way to deal with this, nip small offences in the bud.

  • I would gather up the chicken bones to distribute as rewards for dogs that run off-leash in DC’s playgrounds and softball fields, all marked “No Dogs.”

  • It cracks me up that this is blog worthy in DC. This city is so well behaved. In NYC it was a good day if my subway car didn’t feature human waste.

  • I once complained to a Metro PD cop about a guy eating a chicken dinner across the isle from me on a Red Line train a couple years ago. His only response was to tell the guy to put it away and then walk off. Of course, the guy immediate resumed his dinner the second the cop started walking away and then proceeded to hurl a few choice words in my direction. Don’t recall if he cleaned up after himself or not.

  • And this is why we’re not even allowed to drink water on the train.

  • I’d like to thank people like this, and the Metro system in general. My commute recently doubled, and having been exposed to as much of this as I can reasonably take, I’ve gotten back into shape after the long, miserable winter and have started to bike to work. My health has improved considerably. I recommend that everyone who is disgusted by this photo do the same, and leave Metro to the people who deserve it.

  • I think it’s a Banksy, hopefully it wasn’t destroyed

  • I think the transit police do what they can in terms of enforcing the no eating drinking policy. But also know that they are wildly understaffed as a police agency for the amount of jurisdiction they have to cover. How about we blame the real culprit here: a savage who doesn’t have enough self restraint to wait till he/she gets home to eat his/her “currrrry out” (anacostia pronunciation). And then thinks that it’s acceptable to leave his/her trash in the seat for the next rider. This is less of a police problem and more of a cultural problem. And as far as confronting such a person goes, I would use discretion no matter how mad you are. You’re liable to get threatened or assaulted.

    • justinbc

      Haha, some girl on H Street once asked me where the closest “curryout” was. It took me at least half a dozen attempts at suggestions before I realized what exactly she was asking for.

  • “They be like ‘ooh, let them eat cake.’ But we eat wings and throw them bones on the ground.”

  • Son los morenos

  • I think they were pretty considerate. Imagine their bathroom visit later on – they could have easily done their business right there. Very considerate if you ask me.

  • “And this is why we can’t have nice things!”…..

  • Back when MTPD actually enforced the no eating/drinking rule on Metro, it was so nice. I know they went overboard with the 12 year old and the Snickers incident, but now it’s just gone to hell. On my daily commute, I have seen everything from people drinking cans of beer to eating full meals. Last week, I stepped on someone’s old coffee cup which still had coffee in it – I just loved wearing a wet, stale coffee scented sandal all day at the office! I used to rarely see anyone with a drink, even a bottle of water, on the Metro and now it seems like everyone has a coffee in one hand. It’s disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. Metro has gone down hill in soooooo many ways since I moved here in 1996 but this one seems to be the most solvable. Just enforce the existing rules the way they used to. Frankly, I thought it was good when people were terrified of taking a sip of water on the metro. Back then, I never had to ride in a tin can that reeks of Five Guys, District Taco, and Starbucks.

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