I had to go up to Boston today to meet with a customer. As usual, if I do not need to bring equipment and tools with me, I leave the company car at the Riverside MBTA station in West Newton, MA and take the Greenline "D" Train into the city. Although it takes more time to get in and out of the city, my boss likes not having to pay $45-$60 for parking. Any time over 2 hours and they whack you for parking the entire day. Instead, parking and round trip train fare costs $11.30. I boarded around 08:30 and thought sure I had missed rush hour. Apparently not.
The train picked up passengers at every stop before Kenmore station , where 3 out of the 4 Greenline trains merge onto one track. Being summer time, I knew the sights (meaning beautiful females in warm weather attire) were going to be great, because I got a sample while eating breakfast in my car in the parking lot. DOH! The first female that got on and sat in my field of view was an overweight, unattractive lesbian. I make these assumptions from my observations, based on 40+ years of people watching. The confirmation came in the form of the rainbow decal on the back of her phone. Nothing against fat chicks or lesbians, but come on....did you look in the mirror at least before you ventured out? Lucky for me, as we made our way to the city, the babes started getting on and off, and I could ignore her until she got off at Fenway. As the train started filling up, the buffer seats between passengers already seated had to be used. As it turns out, the one next to me was the last one in my car. A gorgeous 20 (if that) year old Asian girl decided I was harmless enough to take it. As she went to sit down, the train moved forward, and lucky me....she landed in my lap. She was embarrassed and apologized profusely, but I must have had a big stupid grin on my face as I said, "uh, no problem." She remained in that seat the whole time, still glued to her phone when I disembarked at Boylston Street on the Boston Common.
Which brings me to the point of this post. There were probably four people on the entire train, besides myself, that did not have their face buried in a book, newspaper, cell phone or was sleeping. Many of them were wearing earbuds or even full ear covering headphones. I could have stood up with an ice pick in each hand, and walked the length of the train killing just about everyone two at a time. Who would see me or hear any screams? Everyone on the train would be dead and I could just walk off at the next stop. The lack of situational awareness of people is stunning. While at the station, I look up and down the platform, scanning people and the area. While on the platform, my back is to the wall so no one can get behind me for an assault or to push me onto the tracks. I stand at the ticket kiosk at a 45 degree angle so no one sneaks up behind. The whole time I am on an MBTA train, I am awake and looking around. I try to sit or stand at the end of the car, so I can see the whole length. The actions I may need to take would depend on the situation, but I try to formulate plans for different scenarios. At this point, my only defensive weapon is a blade, but it also has a web cutter and a window punch in case the train wrecks and the doors won't open. Eventually I am going to begin disregarding state lines and carry up there as well.