Commuting Need Not Be Tedious If We Look To Our Fellow Passengers For Comic Relief - Traveler Door

Commuting Need Not Be Tedious If We Look To Our Fellow Passengers For Comic Relief

Most of us have experienced it at one point or another. Riding on the subway can be a bore, but for some, it can be nothing short of death-defying. Imagine it: the doors fail to close and your face is struck by the cold evening breeze. There is no door between where you stand and the concrete, 15 meters below. Whether it be due to the transit authority’s mismanagement, electrical glitches, or the insensitivity of fellow commuters, there is a lot that has caught our interest on train rides. Naturally, the main attraction, front and center, are the passengers themselves, a variety of characters, some wondrous, some utterly horrifying. Below are more than a few wacky subway scenarios that are sure to amuse or appall the idle commuter. 

Do You Even Goth?

It looks as though the very harbinger of death is taking public transit today. With the way she’s dressed herself, not to mention her feathered friend, she puts Marilyn Manson to shame; no one can go more Goth than this lady right here. 

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She dons a black attire and is attended to by a trusty raven. She seems to be camera-shy, with her head bowed and her eyebrows knit in deep thought of the coming of the end of days. Her demeanor is just about as disaffected as they come.

Dual Purpose

There are days we just want to ride the train in peace. Nobody had better dare talking to us, let alone glance at us. Sometimes, we can’t even stand seeing another human being — with or without the looming threat of coronavirus.

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Turns out, masks serve a dual purpose. In a world before the pandemic, this lady was ahead of her time, and found a different use for that mask: allowing her to catch some shut-eye even while standing on the subway. It’s a good thing that migraines aren’t airborne diseases.  

X Marks the Spot

Is it the north or the south? Which corridor should we pass through? It can be terrifying to use the train in a foreign country when the signages are a font too small, and you’re wading through people to ask instructions from a guard or an attendant. It’s just far too easy to be thrown off track. 

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What’s equally frustrating is being dismissed, or walked past when you’re asking a question. No wonder some of us are socially anxious. Have no fear, just wear the map like this guy. That’s just ingenious. We are saving this for future use.

Snakes On A Train

Yes, it’s annoying enough when people feel they simply have to bring their dog on the subway, especially when it’s crowded at peak hour, or if it’s been raining and that pooch stinks. But one look at this picture tells us: it could be worse.

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We had better do as this man says; we just might live. Otherwise we might end up like Jon Voight in Anaconda, strangled with our skin melting off from its digestive juices. Okay, so perhaps that’s not exactly what’s going to happen, but notice just what a wide berth everyone is giving him.

Territorial Hog

No, guy, try again, because that’s not just intended to be your own private back scratcher. Believe it or not, yes, that pole on the subway is intended for public use. It’s annoying how tall people can easily grasp the straps; but perhaps it’s even more annoying when they opt not to.

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This guy appears to be standing comfortably and he surely doesn’t seem to care what people think of the pole’s positioning. They could lend us some space every once in a while. You have to admire a bit of that gall for disobeying a sign right within his field of vision.

Sweat Absorber

Sooner or later, you’re bound to come across this particular type of sweaty subway passenger, especially if it’s hot out. But what you’re less likely to come across is his keen awareness of his sweat problem, and the solution he’s come up with.

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We can tell it’s only the beginning of summer because he was just using a panty liner. Otherwise, people would just use napkins or diapers. We wonder what the brand was, and just how long that liner stayed put despite the sunny summer day.


This particular subway passenger here had better count his lucky stars that this subway car is relatively empty. Otherwise, it’s highly unlikely that anyone would tolerate him cramming this many plants onboard. Honestly, this is a power move, if anything.

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Orchids, shrubbery, and trees, oh my! This plant daddy clearly couldn’t be bothered to make separate trips to the nursery, but it seems like onloading and offloading this entire greenhouse of plants is going to require more than just two hands.

Fly Ride

Sometimes, the wackiest moments on subways aren’t just the characters themselves who happen to be riding along with you that day, but the props they bring with them. Here’s one for the ages: what do bicycles, subways, and fire extinguishers all have in common?

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They can be used for transit! Now there’s a way to wield a fire extinguisher that you certainly hadn’t thought of. It just defeats the purpose of going against the direction of the train, but we wouldn’t mind defying logic and gravity. Alternate idea: use this to play Quidditch?

Safe Anchorage

It’s hard to grasp the metal bars or the straps when there’s an obvious height deficit. What are you to do when there’s nothing to hang onto so you don’t lose your balance? What if you don’t want to touch anything because everything’s swarming with bacteria?

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The cut-off is around 5 feet tall. We won’t always have the luxury of securing a spot on the pole unless we’re ready to pick a fight with the commuters entering and exiting the carriage. So here’s a handy idea: bring a [clean] plunger. It’s convenient, affordable and exclusively yours. 

Caught In Between

Now here’s something that we all secretly fear might happen to us as we rush to grab that departing train, or if we don’t get off the train fast enough. So yes, we have a rough sense of how this could have happened to her. Were her reflexes too slow?

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Did she want to measure wind velocity personally?  Is she even asking for help? She doesn’t seem to be the least concerned about her condition. We would be yelping in pain, writhing around, trying anything to break free before the subway takes off.

Dr. Evil Afoot

Chances are, if there was a supervillain on the subway with you, they would go by unnoticed. But there’s simply no mistaking this one, hiding in plain sight. No wonder he never gets caught. He has made the subway his underground lair.

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You’d best hope he keeps himself entertained with that phone the whole time so he can’t busy himself with…evil. He had better have a premium access to Spotify, because when “Dr. Evil gets angry, Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset. And when Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset…people DIE!”


This one isn’t weird, but seeing a guy put in the effort to reconcile with his girl is worth passing the time. Whatever happened, clearly he hasn’t had the time to get some fancy stationery, so he’s just working with what he’s got at hand.

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We hope she said yes — if not for him, then for those glorious toppings of cheese. The real question is: is that pizza just for him, and he’s going to tear off that sign to show her, with no connection to food? Or is he giving her the box to open on her own?

Let’s Play!

We wouldn’t want to play with Chucky or Tilly while the doors are closed, so in the meantime, we’ll chew on this existentialist question: did they get a free ride? Sure must be helpful to be under 44 inches. Can they easily pass under the turnstile?

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Honestly, these are some of the most brilliant costumes for little people that we’ve ever seen. But that being said, we’d sure hate to come across this sight late at night — particularly when they look so stone silent, and they’re holding those bloodstained knives!

Sorry, Didn’t See You There

Honestly, what are the odds that you would buy a shirt that matches the furniture pattern on the subway, let alone that you would wear it while you’re on public transit? This surely calls for a photo opportunity — not to mention that he’s cute!

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We love a man who cares about the way he dresses that he even complements the subway seats. Even better, you know that shirt is bound to be about a million times cleaner than the seat, so he’s a safe bet to go with.


As far as bizarre clothing choices of the passengers we see every day on the subway, this fashion decision is rather tame by comparison. He seems to be well-acquainted in the manners of taste around the city, and we’re here for it.

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But we wouldn’t want to take after his steps as a food enthusiast. We only eat meat, not the leather hide. We have to say that these look super comfy, but seeing as they appear to be house slippers, would you really want to track all that subway grime in to your home afterwards?

Play With Me

We hope that those nipples are as sensitive as he ought to be to our needs. We do not discriminate against any type of breast; we’re just saying we would prefer that he play with his, you know, somewhere a tad more private.

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We’re also wondering where the rest of the shirt is? As much as we promote all kinds of people regardless of their preferences, this guy has some strange interests. However, it could be even worse: he could be making eye contact.

Comfort Food

On our myriad rides on the subway, we’ve encountered our fair share of people who just can’t wait until they’re off public transit to scarf down their snacks. Sometimes, these snacks seem a bit…eccentric, or even messy or inconvenient to be having on the subway.

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For some, it’s a tub of ice cream, others down the whole case. This one suckles on mayonnaise. Hold the buns, greens, and meat. We don’t care about calories here. Would seeing this on the subway make you as nauseous as it’s made us?


Have the messages been sent? Is there a fresh batch of chocolates? Because this subway car in Moscow seems to be the Hogwarts Express. The funniest part is, they’re not even in costume or anything. They seem to be surprisingly nonchalant about this whole situation.

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Of course, everyone who would come across this extraordinary sight would certainly be absolutely dazzled. How often do you get to see an owl up close and personal? What about multiple ones, all there chilling with you as you go about your daily commute?

Signature Please?

As far as celebrity sightings on the subway go, we are more than happy to settle for someone like Adrian Grenier. How can a demi-god with his immaculately framed face, green eyes, and chiseled body just stroll into a train and lounge with us mortals?

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We hope he alights the carriage at the same time we do. The real question here is, assuming you just so happened to stumble across this hunk in the middle of your commute, would you even know what to say to him in the first place?

Philosophy, Anyone?

The old art of passing time on public transit by reading a book is becoming obsolete in the age of endless scrolling on smart phones, so we have to give credit to those who refuse to let this practice die out.

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Fifteen minutes is enough time to finish a chapter of a short story or a self-help book. We can engage in this existentialist monologue of our lives’ work, purpose, or whether or not holding a fart can kill us? Yeah, you’re not alone.  

Hold Tight

We only like to see Spider-Man coursing through the city, while shooting webs as a safe anchorage, but from the safety of our theater seats. We would never want to be one spinning out, and reeling into the concrete pavement — so close the doors!

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On a transit operation, the train encountered a mechanical glitch. The doors refused to close just before the train left the station, and that was nearly a 10-kilometer stretch where all carriages had their doors open! Yikes! Thankfully no one was injured.

Familiar Faces?

It’s the most annoying thing to have your curiosity aroused all in vain. You excitedly follow your aunt, or visually-impaired friend, to get someone’s autograph — only to realize that this person they’ve been tracking is not, in fact, a celebrity.

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We have to hand it to this subway passenger, however, as he truly does have a striking resemblance to a certain man named Stark. Frankly, he clearly knows who his doppelgänger is, as he’s arranged his facial hair and wardrobe accordingly.

No(se) Way, José 

Get ready to be truly grossed out. As if being stuck in a sealed car with amateur musicians and buskers wasn’t bad enough, this guy has thought of a way to make it totally nasty. If you’re a flautist, you would understand how disgusting it is to disassemble your instrument and watch the saliva trickle down one end.

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Now, imagine having a whole bunch of snot to go with it. You’d always have to be carrying your handy dandy tissue. We would prefer that this up-and-coming artist sticks to the conventional means of playing the flute. It sounds the same either way. 

Carry Me

This one would do well on a Friday night. Just make sure you have a sober buddy accompanying you, one who has a strong arm to hold onto that dead weight they’ll be pulling, someone who will not lead you astray as you’re conked out.

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We wish we had our mum with us too. She can whisk us away on a luggage bag because our feet can’t endure the stiletto-high heels. That, or we would be too drunk to realize that it’s our friend dragging us out of the club. 

Multi-Purpose Filing

Hopefully you’re not eating while reading this, because this next sight is going to make you more than a little queasy. A few of us have had the misfortune of coming across someone on the subway who’s decided to clip their fingernails there. But this is a level up.

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This guy has a practical solution for filing away the thickened skin — use a drill. Okay, sure, now that we’ve seen this, we might be just a little curious to give the technique a try. But the difference is, we’ll do that in the safety of our own homes!

Common Courtesy

In Japanese culture, it’s considered impolite to talk on the phone while in public spaces. So it’s most convenient for workaholics to step out and use that gangway connection between the subway cars. They can have a group meeting at ten!

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Honestly, we wish this idea would catch on a lot more widely. We’re so tired of listening to people who feel they simply must use their time in the subway car to yack on the phone and force us to listen.


It’s a bummer not having your phone to swipe right on, or to listen to music to when it’s running low on juice. We automatically scan the scene for sockets to plug our chargers into. Of course, sometimes they’re just located in the most inopportune of places.

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But this arrangement right here is just a falling hazard. On second thought, we have no idea just how crucial that phone could be for him right now. He might actually need to contact someone who’s in an emergency situation.

Murder, She Typed

There’s a fair chance that you rarely think about just how many bacteria are all over your smart phone, and all the different things you touch throughout the day that are transferred to it. But this here is some crime-scene-investigation material.

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Is she keeping that phone free from her fingerprints? Is that even hers, or perhaps it’s her partner’s? Has she wound a rope and brought some liquid detergent to rid the blood? We can feel the hair standing at the back of our neck. 

Fill-in the Picture

Vomit. That’s the only thing that’s lacking in this picture. He’s kneeling down, with his face expecting the bowl to greet him, and he’s clenching the sides of the seat to keep his vomit from spilling wayward. There’s just one teensy problem.

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That is no toilet right there, sir! Hopefully he’ll just pass out and sleep through his sickness, and spare the rest of us poor passengers from the sight, sound, and smell. That sleep has got to be the most comfortable one yet (not). 

 Animal Rights

That lady on the right is summing up precisely how we feel through her facial expression. This atrocious outfit being foisted on that defenseless pooch is why there are animal rights. We’re more than a little bit horrified right now.

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Someone has got to tell her to set that dog loose. “Animals surely deserve to live their lives free from suffering and exploitation”. What’s exploitative in this picture is that the dog looks more like Elle Woods than her. We’ve bent — and snapped. 

Hogging Up Space

 ‘Manners make a better ride’ but being illiterate makes for better sleep. There’s just so many things going on in this picture that it’s making our heads spin. For starters, ignoring the sign that’s clearly posted right next to him is totally a move.

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That’s a very good life choice right there, except for the rest of us who have to stand. But nastiest of all is the fact that he felt the need to truly make himself feel this much at home that he took off his shoes before conking out.

Bubble Boy

Long before the coronavirus pandemic, there were plenty of people out there who felt an obsessive need to protect themselves from germs, and some of them just didn’t feel like a simple face mask was enough. This guy here took things to the extreme.

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We think this guy here is on the way to the church. He just might be able to stop Chloe’s wedding, get out of the suit, and spend a minute holding her. That’s better than the eternity of not doing it. The camera pans out as he collapses.

In Time

Sure, it’s a total pain in the butt when you’re rushing on your morning commute to work only to realize that you can’t go through the usual mindless motions of taking public transit because your card for the metro has run out of fare.

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But we’re willing to bet you didn’t get a message quite like this. Remember that scene in In Time where Olivia Wilde dies just a meter away from her son because she had run out of life currency — in time? We don’t need to be denied access because we know we’re dead inside. That’s just unhelpful. 

Victoria’s Secret

Some subway passengers are front and center about their vices, displaying them very blatantly for the whole public to see and be disgusted by. But others, like this guy, are feeling just a twinge of shame. So that’s the fountain of youth: Dos Equis!

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Cheers to longevity and attractiveness! We would probably shop more often at Victoria’s Secret from now on, and ditch the lingerie, because now we see the other purpose it can have. No one will be any the wiser. Knowing how to best prioritize your needs is half the battle.

Manners Maketh a Man

We have to give this guy right here a hand. He’s not inconveniencing anyone, and he’s even given us all the courtesy of keeping his shoes on so we don’t have to whiff what he’s hiding in them. This is the only acceptable way to sleep on the train.

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The train ride is too short for anyone to be carrying their luggage around and long enough to take a nap. That cabin is best for dozing off in, without worrying about proximity. That being said, if you’re sleepy, who’s going to have the dedication to climb on up there?

Hold The Buns

We’re used to getting stared at on the train, but usually, the staring is done by a pair of eyes, and not like this. This guy has his priorities in order: fast food on the train first, then get caught up on the news. A perfect way to pass the time, and he’s prepared his outfit accordingly.

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We might have to change seats; this is just too distracting. We don’t know who to incriminate here — the crew member for serving the sandwich with buns, or those buttons for giving way just so. We navel want to see that again. We’re just not lovin’ it.

On the Market

Found on the floor of a subway station, amidst the receipts and the pizza rats, is this surprisingly clean personal ad, taped down, forcing you to confront it. It’s as if people simply felt too bad for him than to trod over his bold printout.

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Being single isn’t all that bad, but someone has got to teach this lonesome soul what Tinder is for. He seems lost. Instead of being asked out on a date, he’ll probably end up being listed as a missing person. 

Snoop Dogg

Coming across this passenger made us stop in our tracks, because he’s just so doggone cool. If Calvin Broadus Jr., also known as Snoop Dogg, were a real-life fuzzy canine who rode the train, he would definitely look like this.

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That bag he’s chilling in looks almost like it could be his very own leather jacket, zippered pocket and all. Not to mention, that dog sure is patient to keep those glasses on his head. Either way, this dog’s got his master to thank for that fly ride. 

Cooking in Advance

Some meals take an hour to three hours to cook — that’s excluding the preparation time. So wherever this lady is on her way to, clearly she’s not on time and is just trying to get a head’s start. Honestly, we’re impressed she can keep steady and flat.

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She’s as productive as those chefs come when saving time. Soon, she can bring a stove on board to boil those onions in too. Wonder how the passengers around her feel about the smell — or if their eyes are tearing up?

Sleep Lines

Sleep lines all across your face are just a giveaway. It could be from your pillow’s zipper, the imprint of a band, or a train’s metal seat.  But they all look ridiculous, and you can’t exactly iron them from your face to make them go away faster.

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This lady has come up with the perfect solution to catch some shut-eye without leaving any telltale signs of it. It’s a good thing that she found a comfortable way to balance with the base of gravity against the rod. Bravo, ma’am!

Be Gone, Satan!

We’re willing to bet that there were plenty of passengers in this subway car whose eyes had been kept so focused straight ahead or down on their phone screens that they didn’t even notice the craziness that was going on overhead.

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We’ve run out of holy water for this one. If we see her on the train, the first thing that would come to mind is Emily Rose — more like Emily Run. We don’t know what demon befell her but we pray that it be gone!

Switching Positions

Usually it’s the person who ought to be riding the beast; not the beast atop man. You’re likely to have seen a superhero costume or a movie character costume on the subway before, but have you seen a full-blown camel suit like this guy has?

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Much like the traditional lion suits dancers might wear as they dance for Lunar New Year, this costume is designed to function as its own body. This seems more than a bit cumbersome. Besides, isn’t there a height clearance to ride the subway?

Devil Wears Gucci

Some folks out there treat riding public transportation as an occasion to see and be seen, and that includes the accessories they take with them. So what happens if your accessories aren’t as glitzy as you would like for them to be?

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Channeling Miranda Priestly? With a marker? How groundbreaking. It may have nothing to do with us, but that marker filtered down through department stores and then trickled on down onto some tragic countertop where this woman no doubt fished it out of some clearance bin. 


Hey, not everyone we come across on the subway has to be bad or gross. One of the most enticing of creatures you could find on the subway is the hot guy reading. The only insulting thing here is that we’re left salivating without anyone ringing a bell.

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Think the Kennedy version of Brendan Fraser. He seems to be engaged in the last few pages of Phil Knight’s memoir. We wouldn’t mind reading the same book if it increases our chances of success with him. Please make eye contact!

If the Bottle Fits, Wear It

Meet the bottle people, coming soon to a subway car by you. Everyone has been scared of the coronavirus contagion. Although the means by which it is transmitted is still under study, donning glasses and masks would do as a precaution.

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As if Bubble Boy didn’t seem impractical enough, there’s these intrepid folks. It’s amazing how this duo has managed to reach the coach and breathe inside a plastic bottle with an inch of space. That’s a different level of consciousness.

Needle In A Haystack

When we’re running late and wisps of hair cling to our sweaty brows, we need the train to go ‘pronto’. Catching the train at the last millisecond is life-saving. We could care less if, say, a man’s extremities are sliced off just to keep the whole train of commuters from arriving late.

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Cramming into the subway car at peak hour is sometimes a necessary evil, but it’s rare that our posterior ends up being the problem keeping the train from going. Not so with this gentleman, who’s apparently got quite the cakes. Maybe, he should be more sensitive. What an ass! 


Our imagination is aroused because of the sexual tension in erotica books. We anticipate the release, or satisfaction of our own hidden desires through the characters we read about. But we would like the title to be less explicit, and more intriguing. 

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With all that in mind, we tend to think it’s best to keep your naughty reading practices to yourself, in the privacy of your own home. Let’s just hope this guy doesn’t have to get up in a hurry — that would be uncomfortable for all involved.

Cool Trick

We’ve come across all kinds of creepy characters during our many rides on the subway, but we’re counting our lucky stars that none of them looked quite like this. That’s one hell of a look! We just might jump out on the tracks, if he catches us by surprise.

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Welcome to eternal damnation; this guy is right there as your conductor. Is it smelling more than a bit sulfurous in this subway car, or is it this guy? It sure is getting hot in here, and he’s surely going to be fanning the flames.

Manners Please

We understand how important it is to maintain good grooming, but the key is to do it in private. Sure, you don’t always have a tissue on hand to clear out your nose. But this kind of behavior is just downright nasty.

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Even if he’s taken the courtesy to spare us the sight of him picking his nose with his bare finger (horrors!) and is employing a tool, it’s still cringeworthy. This is why littering is prohibited on board. Hopefully, his nose hairs aren’t as long as his head hairs.

Pets Are Allowed

Hasn’t he heard yet? Pets are allowed on the train. He doesn’t need to look so forlorn about sneaking onto this subway car. That being said, even Chewbacca himself is looking like he could go with a bit of a trim.

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Seems like all that time in quarantine without a barber really has taken its toll on him, not to mention not having Han Solo around anymore to keep him company. We just wonder what’s it’s like to try and type on a small smart phone screen with those ridiculously fuzzy paws.

 Holler At Me

Behold! It’s a rare sighting of none other than Samuel L. Jackson, trademark Kangol cap and all, right there on public transit. We can hear practically hear him just by looking at this pic, yelling one of his most famous lines.

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Enough is enough. He has had it with this m********ing  service on this m********ing train. Everybody strap in, he’s about to open some f*** routers. If we do as he says, we just might live. We’re inclined to listen to whatever he demands.

Work It!

When we’re in the mood for a little voyeurism, we would hope to see someone like Keanu Reeves offering us a seat. But we can do with a little parade from time to time. This is just one of many scenes captured during the annual occasion of riding the subway in your underwear.

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Thanks to Kim K having broken the internet, a ‘phat ass’ is all the rave! These guys certainly received the “no pants on Wednesdays” memo. Everyone around them is taking absolute pains to not make eye contact — or cheek contact, for that matter.

Fail Ride

You’re waiting for the oncoming train. You have your briefcase in one hand and you’re tapping your toe impatiently. You’ve noticed that you’re at the front of the line and that there’s no reason for you to be left standing.

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The doors open, and somehow, the passengers behind you manage to reach that seat while you clumsily monkey-bar yourself through the poles. That was a whole level of failure you had not anticipated. As a saving grace, you brush off the crumbs of humiliation. You were in the sub! There was shrinkage!