Pubic Transportation

I am a big fan of public transportation and will happily defend its merits to anyone who dares badmouth it. However, I am not a big fan of many/most of the people who use public transportation, and will happily denounce their existence to anyone who will listen.
Although I have come across quite a few obnoxious people on the bus, the experiences I have on the subway are those that have me railing against the perpetrators once I’ve reached street level. There’s just a special something about the subterranean set that does it to me. (I did have one encounter on a bus that made me see almost all available shades of red on the Pantone color chart, but that is a story for another day.)
Most of the time when I look around at the other subway riders, I think, “I am the only normal person on the train.” Then I chortle to myself, blush a little internally, and think, “OK, the only normal-looking person on the train.” And then the chortle evolves into a guffaw and the internal blush externalizes itself into a shade of red I can only describe as “Satan” (something like “PMS 201” on the aforementioned Pantone color chart), thus demonstrating to anyone nearby that the addition of “-looking” was indeed a necessity.
The oddities and atrocities take as many forms as there are riders. Nose-pickers, crotch-diggers, ear-drillers, nail-clippers, pants-soilers (sometimes even a dose of numero dos!), and other hyphenated horrors abound. Sometimes I try to revel in the glorious melange of humanity represented on the subway, and guide my internal monologue to include such musings as, “We’re all here on the planet together, trying to get through the day however we can!” and “What a crazy bunch we are!” and “Viva la difference!” (this delivered in a flawless French accent as I smile frenchly beneath my perfectly twirled mustache, a la this) and “People are tops!”, but these bouts are ephemeral and only last until someone blows his nose into his bare hands and I take it all back, hating not only everyone around me but myself as well for ever thinking I could accept such acceptance from myself.
So, yesterday on a long ride downtown on the “1”, I was trying hard not to hate, and actually finding a bit of success despite the crowd, when two Starbucks-cup-toting, black workout-pants-wearing women boarded the train somewhere along the Upper West Side. Two strikes against them, before they even opened their mouths to sip their grande chai skim lattes or speak. But as soon as they spoke, they earned that third strike, for they were “mommies” whose conversation included the words “Mommy and Me” so many times that if I’d promised to donate a nickel to my favorite charity for every instance it was uttered, there wouldn’t be a single Third World child who hadn’t had the opportunity to try Pilates at least once.
Despite my intense lack of interest in anything mommy-related, I listened to them drone on for the duration of my ride. They kept looking down at me as if to either include me in their conversation or to indicate that I should stop eavesdropping, so I cast my gaze downward to show I wasn’t participating in any way. But their inane discussion wasn’t the worst part of the experience. No. The worst part was that both of their crotches were just about eye-level given my downcast gaze and quite close to my face (unlike with men, who are typically taller, and whose crotches are thus conveniently positioned level with my mouth, which makes for some very disturbing imagery that I cannot pry from my brain no matter how hard I try). So in averting my eyes to avoid inadvertent participation in their conversation, I was faced with something much more unappealing, and that, my friends, was a crotch so aggressive in its bulging (it made the dreaded “camel toe” look downright understated) that I was forced to come up with a term with which to describe it and which I cannot now, for the life of me, stop repeating in my head.
And that is this: testicular vulva.
Oh, Mommy, make it go away!