Last month, Gothamist reported on an unnervingly smooth campaign of terror in which someone had been spreading peanut butter on subway poles on the A train. There have been a few weeks of silence since then, but it seems that things are getting nutty again, because a Peanut Butter Bandit struck today on the A train.
"I've never seen anything like this before," Laura Kay told Gothamist. She got on the rush hour A train around 7 a.m. at 181st Street on Friday when she encountered two poles smothered in peanut butter. "That’s right, free breakfast, and if you missed it, you can just swipe a dollop off of any of the straphangers who exited after, as most of them had rubbed up against the pole at some point before realizing it was less a pole and more a stalk of celery," she wrote on Instagram.
Kay said that several people on the train were oblivious to the peanut butter at first... until it was too late. "One man sitting near me had sat down and had peanut butter on his bag, and another passenger tried to point it out to help him, which was when I noticed it," she said. "The man sitting in the seat near the part by the door had it all over his coat and didn't seem to notice. It definitely made the ride awkward for a lot of people as a whole section of the train was pretty unusable."
She also noted that someone had put blank pieces of paper on parts of the pole, possibly to try to cover the peanut butter and warn people about it.
Someone on Reddit also encountered the peanut butter train and was able confirm that the substance "smelled like peanut butter," not human excrement. What a relief:
MTA spokesperson Andrei Berman said, “Don’t do this. It’s irresponsible and inconsiderate and can be harmful to people who have peanut allergies. Anyone who witnesses this happening should contact MTA personnel.” They also noted that peanut butter schmearing on trains falls under the Disorderly Conduct and vandalism sections of NYC Transit Rules.
Straphangers reported seeing peanut butter slathered inside subway trains at least three times in January—we spoke to one woman with a peanut allergy who was understandably freaked out about the dangers of such a prank. After our first piece, an allergy specialist got into the dangers of food allergies in the thread below.