Sardines In A Can

I often write about subway life, the only way to get around quickly in Manhattan. The trains are truly amazing, until they get stuck with you smashed against some guy with breathtaking BO that is.

He was nice looking…corporate and confident, till his arm went up to seize the straphanger hanging above my unsuspecting head.

Oh my God…I was suddenly in a locker room with the Green Bay Packers.   images-1 I know, why didn’t I just move? No room…it was early morning rush hour, freezing…so the car was packed with people three times their normal weigh in fur coats…parkas that seemed like inflated life rafts. Even I had that size 14 look, my many layers expanding me on all sides. How else do you battle winter…I get it…but soap isn’t seasonal. We have access to Dove and Dial all year round.

This guy with his gym bag opted to either not shower before he worked out, or didn’t bother afterwards.

I’m from Connecticut, there was no way I could comment. All I could do is pray the train commenced, and soon.

However, something did happen that made me laugh…through my mouth that is. There was a rather robust African American woman on the other side of him who kept crinkling up her nose. I watched her throw back her head…attempt to turnaround without success since her girth made it somewhat impossible. But she kept moving around I guess to lessen the odor that believe me, was enough for me to produce an essay with it as a theme.

The guy towering over her said in a tone he would live to regret, “Lady, could you just stop moving around so much. It would help to just try to make the best of things.”

OOPS…her face took on an expression of slowly I turn…or not turn in her case.

You’d have to be a Lucy fan to get the reference.

“I would,” she said, “if you’d take that Godforsaken arm down so the rest of us could breathe.”

Did I fall in love with her.

It was as though the conductor or the car itself heard what she said, because lo and behold it began to move and before you could say, hold your breath for just one more minute, the  doors opened and Mr. I forgot my Mennen Speed Stick, got off.

Finally, elbow room and fresher breath.

Only in New York, as columnist Cindy Adams would say…only in New York…




About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in humor, New York City, Uncategorized, Women and men, writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Sardines In A Can

  1. That’s great. It takes a certain talent to have le mot juste in a situation like that. I take the subway in Seoul when I’m up there but I’ve never had anything quite like that. Here it’s only buses but I’ve been on buses with as many as 90 people crammed onto them.


  2. katecrimmins says:

    I just love big gutsy people who say what I’m thinking! There is something about winter that brings out the stinky. I think some people don’t get their coats cleaned or something. You can see a beautifully dressed professional person and they still smell.


  3. Lynn says:

    Ha! How many times have we been in a situation where we are thinking exactly the same thing? Good on this woman for having the chutzpah to say something!


  4. micklively says:

    Very funny Susannah.
    I’m so glad I live in the countryside. We only get stench when they’re muck spreading. 😉


  5. Living in Japan, I did trains all the time… I have been in the trains that people were pushed in by like sardines in a can. I once rode a train from a coastal town to up towards Tokyo without my feet touching the ground once, I just swayed to and fro with the train moving. Being a taller person, and having many, many Japanese men standing on the ground, smelling of curry and garlic and sake, their heads were smashed up against me in a fashion that only my hubby had access to before then. Oh, how I relate to this post! So sorry. Glad you got some air finally!


  6. Pingback: Award brightening the winter… | dearanonymousfriend

  7. I also awarded you the Blog of the year award for 2013… my most current post is about it, mentioned your blog. thanks!


  8. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, I love the way you describe the moment he crosses the line with your traveling companion. I wish I could have seen the look on his face.


  9. Hahaha! I know the “slowly I turned..step by step” reference LOL! I can just imagine her face…hahaha. How do people NOT smell themselves….HOW?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.