In my years as a nature guide, I have identified quite a few species of creatures native to public transit. This habitat has long been explored yet many people are unfamiliar with the exciting species that surround them. I will help break it down into identifiable species and sub-species for you so you can recognize these creatures on your commute.

1) The Every Day Rider

Armed with noise canceling headphones they board the train with no seats available, plant their feet firmly, pull out a book and ride the train like a giant metal surfboard. The commotion of the mariachi band playing “All About That Bass” goes completely unnoticed until the doors open and The Every Day Rider floats away on a cloud of obliviousness.

2) The Musician

The previous rider showed immunity to the powers of the musicians like the mariachi band but not everyone has that ability. You can be enjoying your quiet ride when a group of men armed with musical instruments that are duct taped together, start “singing” some of your favorite awful top 40 songs.

3) The Dancer

Carrying a thrift shop boombox and the excitement of cheerleaders on adderall these dancemachines will swing from the poles in the cart like a drunk girl with vertigo giving it a shot at amateur night down at the local strip club. “Hope you enjoyed our dance moves/accidental roundhouse kick to the face. Any money you can spare would be appreciated, sucka.”

4) The Zoner

These are the ones who enter the train, put their headphones in and enter a new realm where the only thing that matters is the music. They can be seen standing in front of the window, having a dance off with their reflection or heard serenading the rest of us socially aware life forms with off key renditions of any song you’ve never wanted to hear.

5) The Banshee

Who are the hell are they screaming at? Who knows? Sit back and enjoy the free entertainment. Just don’t make eye contact. DON’T EVER MAKE EYE CONTACT.

6) The Smeller

An empty train car during a busy time? Better get on the next car. The empty car only has one occupant and it’s either a bodily fluid or one of these. Did they bathe in a swamp or have they simply not showered since Lincoln was president?

7) The Masturbator

Wait, is that guy jerking ohmygod yes he is.

8) The Jodie Foster



This woman has encountered The Masturbator too many times. The look on her face says “Don’t fuck with me” and if you’ve looked at her long enough to notice what her look is you’ve already fucked with her. Say a word to her and she will rip your heart out of your chest with one hand and then rip your sad dick off with the other and stab your gross dick through your loveless heart right in front of your eyes as you breathe your last pathetic breath.

9) The Drunk

This one could be dressed like a frat boy, a businesswoman, a tourist or a sentient pile of dirty laundry. They’re an unpredictable sort because you can never tell if they’re going to pass out, vomit, start peeing, burst out into tears, get into a fight with another passenger for some perceived slight or all of the above at the same time.

10) The Panic Attack

They’re shaking. Their palms are dripping sweat and they look like they’ve seen a ghost. They’re in the middle of a life demolishing panic attack. Why, you ask? They’re in a speeding metal tube they can’t control that’s packed with all of the others mentioned in this list. They’re realistic. Of course they’re panicking.

Kyle is a writer based in New York City. Follow him on Twitter: @kyle_lippert.