September 14th, 2005

Spatch-side

To our Civic-Minded Friends at the Davis Square Station

It is perfectly fine and well within your boundaries as a citizen and individual to take umbrage against a feckless youth casually puffing away on a cigarette while waiting for the T. Smoking is not allowed on all MBTA vehicles and property and it can cause much discomfort to other passengers and train-waiters-for, especially if this is happening underground. The youth should not have lit up in the first place, that much we all can agree on, and he should have extinguished his smoking material when requested to do so, if not as a matter of courtesy then just because.

However, when said feckless youth responds as you would expect one with a lack of feck might respond (including gestures and/or street vernacular) it is not advised to counter with "I'm telling!" and run up the stairs to talk at the token vendor. This is impractical for several reasons:

1. The token vendor is safely ensconced in his cozy token booth and is not about to leave his post to go and wag his finger at the feckless smoker for you. Besides, he's too busy keeping an eye out for terrorists.

2. Once he realizes his livelihood might be in peril, the feckless youth (who is not without some form of self-preservation) will extinguish his cigarette and hop on the next train to arrive in the station, regardless of its destination. This might mean he'll run to the other side of the platform and catch the Alewife train.

3. Your arguing with the token vendor will almost cause you to miss the inbound train, though you will indeed catch it but only by running pell-mell down the stairs and nearly wiping out the banjo busker at the bottom.

4. You'll loudly complain during the entire ride and I'll have to put up with it.

I do not envy any blog-type posts you yourself may make to describe the events of today. But hey, it could've been worse. You could've had to ride to Alewife.