ChooChoo Chewin’

I don’t know which subway offense is worse: someone eating food on the subway or someone eating his cuticles on the subway. (The option “eating at Subway” is something I’m not equipped to criticize. I have never eaten at Subway, since I do not have 250 pounds to lose and thus do not need to engage the services of a six-inch “sub” in order to effectuate the loss. Big fat mayonnaisey kudos to those who lose weight this way, though. I commend you on your initiative and for not resorting to weight-loss surgery.)
So, anyway. Food or cuticles? I just can’t decide. And I’m feeling pressure (from myself, of course) to make a decision because if I don’t, I won’t know which offenders to regard with more disgust. I believe in being fair in doling out my disgust, and do not wish to heap more of it on the lesser offender than is necessary. Although both offenses warrant grand-scale loathing, one of them has to deserve more than the other.
I have never understood people who eat on the subway. It is not an environment that fosters the warm, happy feeling associated with putting something tasty in your mouth. Sure, some of the subways feature orange and yellow seats reminiscent of the colors of Burger King or other popular fast food joints (pronounced “jernts” a la Archie Bunker), but that is no excuse for eating on the subway. The subway is a less than clean, less than appetizing setting for food. Now, while I realize that Burger King and those other joints are themselves less than clean and appetizing, I am willing to wager that the subway is even less so.
I have seen people eat everything from pistachios (flinging the shells on the floor) to sushi (complete with the mixing of soy sauce with wasabi) (which practice, by the way, I have heard, is laughable among the Japanese … one should never mix the two substances together … feel free to send me vitriolic hate mail on the subject, though, pleading your case otherwise). Are these people really so on the go go go that they can’t eat this stuff before boarding the train? I won’t even get into how revolting it is to be held captive to the stench of someone’s grease-laden lunch or the finger-lickin’ display that accompanies it.
But the finger food? The literal eating of one’s fingers? What the hoo? I see it all the time, and, like an accident scene or a Lifetime movie, I cannot tear my eyes away. In fact, just this morning I saw someone making a meal of his cuticles. He was not content to just nibble on them mindlessly as a diversion to his workaday problems, no. He inserted each finger into his mouth individually and gnawed on each with such unbridled gusto that I wondered if he had dipped the digits in creamy Nutella pre-insertion (sexy!) and thus had legitimate cause for the voracious consumption. But all I could see were his ragged-fleshed, food-free fingers, devoid of anything even remotely food-like. Just … cuticles. Cuticles attached to fingers he feasted on as if they were perfectly broiled lambchops. I looked for little ruffled “panties” (again, sexy!) on each fingertip, but alas, I saw none.
I still can’t figure out which practice repels me more. I used to think the finger-feasters were the winners, hands down, but I just can’t make up my mind. So I suppose I’ll just have to continue heaping big platesful of hate on both groups equally, which I suppose isn’t fair, but really, what can I do? My hands are tied.