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Taking rowdy matters into your own hands

Wendy wrote me yesterday, saying she had just found CTA Tattler Thursday. She, like all of us, had many stories to tell of her daily commute. This one, well, this one took a lot of courage. Here's to you, Wendy:

Yesterday on the Brown Line, I kicked three drunk men off the train. I had worked late, was tired, just wanted to get home in peace. At about the Chicago stop, some drunkards got on and started getting rowdy and yelling at each other and threatening to take people's money and were swearing up a huge storm, being really crude, etc., etc. Stop after stop it got worse and worse and louder and louder. I got madder and madder.

Nobody was doing anything. Finally, after one man started pounding on the wall and acting really menacing, I got to feeling that my personal safety was being threatened. Or at the very least, they were going to start a fight with each other, they'd have to stop the train, call the police, etc., etc.. and then I'd never get home.

I sort of of snapped. I got up, marched over to their end of the train, and unloaded on them with all the righteous fury and sense of justice I had. I yelled, pointing at them right in their faces, "You, You and YOU are getting OFF this train at the next stop! It doesn't matter where you wanted to get off, you WILL be getting off the next time these doors open! If you don't get off, I'll be pressing the button and telling them to call the police!

"This is ENOUGH! ALL OF YOU ARE LEAVING THIS TRAIN!" They all stopped in their tracks and looked at me all slackjawed. One man apologized and mumbled sorry or whatever, and I just blared, "We do NOT need this type of behavior on our way home from work!" I was not interested in apologies. I stood there yelling at them until the doors opened, and then pointed at the door and shooed them out yelling, "GET OUT! GET OUT!" They all herded out and just kind of stood there on the platform, not knowing quite what to do. (It was Southport)

The doors closed, and we were off. I heard a few "thank you's" from the other passengers on the train. I then parked myself back in a seat and rode in peace the rest of the way home. After my husband stopped laughing when I told him about it, he wondered why I didn't just get out of the car, or catch another train.

That would have been the sensible thing to do I suppose. I've done it before, no big deal. But for this one time, I figured why should I have to move, or inconvenience myself in any way for those ignorant drunks.

If they had been maybe a tougher sort of crowd, I'd probably not have done anything. Or maybe I would have. I dunno. I'm sick of idiots making life miserable for the rest of us regular folks. All we want is to just get to where we're going without any trouble.

Comments

Awesome....this reminds me of when I had th eunfortunate luck of sharing a car with a group of kids/teens that had drumsticks, and were treating all interior surfaces of the CTA car as their own personal drum kit, drumming away at a deafening noise level. I asked them to please keep it down, they all shook their heads no, kept on drumming, and everyone else in the car had a catatonic stare affixed to their face, as though nothing was going on! Wendy, it's hard to take a stand, and I applaud you. Glad you're OK.

That could have been really dangerous, but I have to admit that's probably one of the coolest things I've heard. You are the wind beneath my wings, Wendy.

Way to go, Wendy!!!! Oh, and welcome!

Wait, are you sure they weren't CTA employees?

Thanks, Wendy, for not being the typical little apathetic lamb that most CTA riders are when it comes to rude behavior.

FYI: "Discovered" a great trick to deal with those morons who block doors when you are exiting: Step on their feet. Polite talk didn't work, nor did non-polite talk or a soft elbow in the gut. But, it seems, people don't like getting stepped on. Maybe that'll teach 'em (doubt it, but you never know).

A few days ago, I was waiting to catch a Brown Line train at Clark/Lake. It was still cold out, so I was waiting inside the interior portion of the station, where the escalators are. This woman came in from the platforms, walked over to a corner near where I was standing, and proceeded to feverishly attempt to light her hand-rolled cigarette. She finally turned around to face me, and I said "You wanna take that back outside?" She chuckled and said "You the police?" I said "Maybe, maybe not, but I am asking you, since it's illegal to smoke period, that you at least go take that outside." She did.

Good job Wendy!

I feel ashamed sometimes that I do not stand up to people who are excessively annoying on the CTA. The problem is you never know who is going to respond in a violent manner. So unless they are actually threatening me I don’t confront them.

A couple weeks ago, I did admonish a woman who was trying to light up something (didn’t look like a cigarette) in the hobo corner. I was standing in the opening that leads to the hobo corner and heard the tell-tale clicking of a lighter. Almost instinctively, I shouted at her not to light up in the train and that I would call the operator if she continued. I felt kind of bad when she looked up at me. She was obviously in bad shape with maybe only one tooth in her mouth (for some reason she was smiling at me) and her eyes were all bloodshot and sad looking. She told me that she would stop and then moved to the next car.

I'm calling B/S on this story. I don't believe a word of it.

I believe you took the train home from work. After that my B/S meter goes off.

Agreed B/S. This is what you wished you would have done. Instead, you sat there with a huge headache and thought about the story you'd type on here.

Definitely NOT bs. I can vouch for Wendy's guts, and she did exactly what she wrote!!! She once layed into the guy on the corner holding the Little Caesars sign who kept crowing at the passing women. After the second time he directed his "la cucarachas, ay, ay, ays" to her, she instantly turned around and got right up into his face and told him to stop and "respect me as a woman, just like you would want others to respect your mom, wife or sisters. And if you don't I'll go speak to the manager." Don't cross Wendy and be very glad that she is part of our community!!!!

To BS and CTNO... I've actually seen someone get up and tell annoying kids to get off the train. It was shocking. I couldn't believe it. Because of his tone, I thought he might be a cop--but he was just a commuter. I've also heard a handful of similar stories in my 14 years of riding of it happening too.

It seems that most people who act like fools in public do it because they know most people just won't do anything about it. They do what they can get away with for amusement... This goes for drunks and noisy teenagers alike.

So if anyone with anger and confidence gets up and gives them no choice or ultimatums, acting in a position of authority, most people back down.

It's the same effect with anyone who is an authority. We're raised to know that people who have authority simply should be obeyed, "or else." Or else what? Most of us don't know. We listened to school staff when they told us to get out of the hallways because we didn't want to be in "trouble" even though "trouble," at worst, meant a day out of school or a couple hours afterward. People who've had too much to drink, despite the fact that most bars have security staff that are not really very tough, but because they have a flashlight people listen to them in fear.

So I totally believe this one.

But, really, it's best to push the button, despite the delays it could cause. While you can get away with this sort of thing sometimes, all you need is to run into someone who is violent, a criminal, or an angry drunk and there'll be a fight. Maybe not right away, but it could easily escalate into that.

Anyway, when CTA calls the police, they also do keep running a railroad a priority. If someone needs to be removed from a train by police and isn't an immediate threat, it's not uncommon for CTA to have CPD at a station ahead waiting to come on, deal with it, and get the train moving. So my advice, try not to explode (for your own safety) and leave it to CTA and CPD next time. :)

Nobody is questioning her guts, just her story.

You give another example of a situation where she found herself having to "get into someone's face". Funny how trouble seems to find Wendy moreso than the ordinary citizen.

Funny to the point that I think it is total BS!!

HA! Thanks CTNO. Thanks to everyone else backing me up on this one. I thought I'd get a lot more flack, because it WAS kind of rash and could have ended badly. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a loose cannon. There have been plenty of times where I've igonored things or left the train. It's just not worth it half the time, and who wants to get in a screaming match with a mentally unstable person? Not me. But these guys were just dumb drunks who ended up being lumps of putty, lucky for me.

That all being said, you should have seen what I did when a pervert decided to start stroking my thigh while I had my eyes closed to doze a bit. I think we both learned a lesson that day:
Me: Don't close your eyes on the train when your seatmate also has HIS eyes closed and his hands and lap covered by a newspaper.
Him: Stay clear of the brown line for any future jollies.

B/S monitor, do you only call B/S online or do you have the balls to do it in person?

High Five Wendy!! I have to think that others on the train had your back too if anything went awry. There only a few rotten apples in the barrel.

GCTab,

If you would like to meet in person so I can say you are full of B/S, I can fit you in next week. I have a couple of B/S appts this weekend, so I can fit you in Monday or Tuesday.

I do it in person as well as online.

Did you really question my "balls" in your post?

Is this your first time on a message board? Maybe you could pick up the book "Message Board for Dummies" for future reference.

:-)

Bravo! To quote Southpark:

"DON'T (beep) WITH WENDY TESTABERGER!"

This actually does sound completely made up. Who would threaten to take people's money and then apologize on their way out? And the fact that they were drunk (if they were even real) and in numbers, threatening people and swearing up a storm doesn't seem to jive with them just walking away. Wouldn't someone have pressed the button once they started threatening people?

So drunk people are supposed to make sense? I don't know why they turned into sheep when I started yelling at them, but they did. I think Tony's post applies very much to the situation. All of a sudden, they were "in trouble," and somewhere deep in their psyche, they responded to the scolding by obeying the sound of authority. A very angry, loud sound of authority.

I asked myself the same question, "Why isn't anyone pressing the button!??" I was going to, but I figured I'd yell at them first. I can't explain it, but I felt it was absolutely what I had to do, and I knew they would obey me. Which they did! Hmm... I could possibly be a "drunk whisperer."

Yeah, Wendy. Some times we all get to a point where we just snap.

I had someone try to intimidate me into giving them money once. He followed me to a gas station where I bought candy and tried to make friends, then, around a dark corner at like 3 AM at Ohio/Wells he gave me his story and wanted "assistance." I gave him my change and wanted him to just leave me alone, at which point he became aggressive and got in my way and was like "I don't think you understand... I said I need assistance. This isn't going to cut it." He was insistent I give him more money. I snapped and yelled at him that I have enough money to get on the 'L' the next day after my third-shift job was done and that he got all he was going to get. He seemed startled that I yelled at him, got quiet, stood for a couple of seconds, and then walked away.

I don't consider myself to be particularly intimidating. But I was annoyed, it was the middle of the night, I was actually getting on a plane the next day, and I just wasn't going to deal with it.

Some day I should share the story about when I was robbed on the 'L'. I talked them down to letting me keep my wallet. lol

Don't try this at home, people.

The issue I have these days is certain people using their cellphones as radios playing music through them out loud. Just yesterday I asked an individual to turn it down....He just ignored me and kept right on playing his crappy
music.

Brooke, from the Real World is that you?

I wish some fucker WOULD try and play some music on a cellphone when I'm on the train. I'd take it from him and throw it when the doors open. Think I'm lyin'?

I believe the story. I've seen all manner of drunken shit on the el, in the Loop, at Navy Pier--and I've also seen brave souls like Wendy stand up to drunken, belligerent, or just plain stupid folk. Just because YOU wouldn't have the raisins to tell those farks to hit the road, BS, doesn't mean SHE wouldn't. Sounds like she may be more of a man than you. ;)

Wendy: Shut your traps and stop kicking the seats! We're trying to get home! And if I have to tell you again, we're gonna take it outside and I'm gonna show you what it's like! You understand me? Now, shut your mouths or I'll shut'em for ya, and if you think I'm kidding, just try me. Try me. Because I would love it!

I'm definitely not disputing she is more of a man than I am. But I don't mind the drunken hooliganism on trains. It's better than sitting there in a train filled with blank depressed stares. Or even worse, when all the idiots read their copies of the RedEye, making sure too keep current with the latest Britney gossip or diet fads.

I always carry ear plugs.

"I don't mind the drunken hooliganism on trains"

Sounds like you're part of the problem, Mark.

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