You know when the subway comes and the car is empty and you think to yourself, "Great! The whole subway car to myself!" Then you step in, inhale, and smell something so foul that your nose hairs just shrivel up and die inside your nasal cavities without even putting up a fight?
Well, my nose is pretty much just a decorative piece now, like a cartilage throw pillow. It happened last year when I was coming home from a Ryan Adams concert. I stepped on to a suspicously empty F train and something launched a preemptive strike on my olfactory system.
Sometimes the source of the smell is a homeless person or a bag of trash. This time it was feces. HUMAN feces (you wouldn't think you could tell the difference between human and canine feces – you can), and it wasn't just on one seat. Someone had gone to the trouble to smear it on TEN SEATS of the subway car. I immediately moved to the opposite end of the car where the other passengers were huddled in the no-smell zone
Then an unbelievably drunk couple in formalwear stumbled onto the train. Our group was riveted. We all knew what was about to happen. The man and woman went to sit down. At the last second, someone screamed out, "NOOOOOOO!!!!" It was straight out of a war movie when a soldier sees his buddy about to step on a land mine.
They plopped down and slurred, "Whaaat? Wasss going on?"
Well, as you can imagine, our half of the train erupted. "Oh Jesus!" someone crowed. One African-American kid yelled, "Damn nigga! You done sat in some SHIT!" Not really understanding what was happening, the intoxicated couple stood up and changed seats only to sit in two MORE seats covered in poo. We roared. Still confused, they got up and moved across the aisle into two MORE seats covered in crap.
By now we were out of control. I had a stitch in my side from laughing so hard and a guy across the way was doubled over gasp-howling, "Ohmigod, I can't breathe!" while a friend slapped him on the back.
This went on for a few stops. At one point, the couple ambled towards us and some passengers actually fled to the next subway car. Finally the unawares got off and walked blissfully into the night.
Eventually we passengers all got off on our own stops and the bond was broken. But for a moment, an entire train of New Yorkers had been completely bonded in schadenfreude, and it was the shit.