It's official. Those free papers at the subway station are a fucking menace!
...the MTA announced yesterday that refuse left behind from riders has resulted in “about 15 tons more trash a day” than in 2004. Authorities noted commuter newspapers like AM New York and Metro, which are hawked outside of subway entrances, are particularly responsible in the increase in garbage, and “may be in large part to blame for a surge in track fires.”I've been pissed off at these papers since the day they started cramming them down our throats. And I hadn't even considered the fire aspect. To start, the writing is insipid if it's not just copied verbatim from somewhere else. Second, it is clearly legalized littering. Wherever these paperpushers hang out (and trust me, you'd have a harder time finding a Starbucks), there are thousands of pieces of swirling newspaper refuse flying about. Even the people who bother to actually throw them in a trash bin -- a distinct minority -- that's quite the big pile of paper not being recycled.
But the worst part as far as I'm concerned, the dealers handing this trash out? They set up shop in the most inconvenient location they can possibly find. If they can stand such that they force a sidewalk capable of holding six people abreast into a single-file line the movement of which can be measured only in geological time, that's where they'll stand. If there is a crowded subway stop with a narrow staircase, they will stand at the top of it, shoving their garbage in each person's face, blocking the way whether you're coming or going. And where the AM New York guy goes, so goes the Metro guy five feet away.
New Yorkers, I implore you - STOP taking these handouts. Buy a newspaper. Go to the library and get a book for the subway. Print out something to read before you leave work. Subscribe to Entertainment Weekly. Anything! Just stop taking these papers and maybe, just maybe, this scourge on society will crawl back under the rock from whence it came.