Savage Love(s the El)

Dan Savage tells Seattle why they should get off their asses and get themselves some rapid transit.

He’s wrong about the El always being faster than driving, though. It’s certainly faster than driving during rush hour, but it still takes 45 minutes to drive to O’Hare, and an hour and a half on the El.

Besides, Seattle is missing out on the best part of inexpensive public transport: The Weirdo Factor.

The strange people that hop on the El, sometimes in the middle of the night, sometimes in the middle of the day, sometimes just randomly riding around. I find these people supremely entertaining.

A few of my favorite psycho El people memories:

– The guy who got on at one stop, already talking to himself very loudly, continued to do so for six stops, then got off, still talking to himself.

– The really drunk guy in a Cubs hat who gave me a piece of ivy he claimed to have pulled off the wall at Wrigley.

– The guy a couple of weeks ago, when I was ranting to my friends about a subletter’s tendency to purchase several pounds of expensive cheese a week, said to me “So whaddaya got against cheese?”

– The two guys who got in such a huge fight I thought one of them was going to pull a gun in the middle of a rush hour, in a car so full of people nobody could move. Ok, that one wasn’t really funny.

I’ve been fortunate enough to avoid the real sickos (flashers, masturbators, etc.) that I know a lot of people have had to put up with. Ignoring those wonderous morons, the “local flavor” you get from riding public transportation is always worth the $1.50 it takes to get to the Loop.

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