Much has been written on these pages about how one should eat on the subway—the fragile consensus being that you should avoid it whenever possible, particularly hot, odorous food with the potential for making a mess. Separately, we have considered the question of bringing your bike on the subway, which you should especially not do at rush hour. We have also spent more time than most thinking about transit riders who put rats in their mouths (not good, generally) and rats who put their bodies on straphangers' faces (also bad).

But while these isolated subjects—subway dining, bikes on trains, rat lips—have helped build a general theory of subway behavior, they have long remained isolated, parallel lines that never quite intersect. So we are very pleased/disgusted to present this holy trinity of subway infractions: Man Feeds Chinese Food To A Rat Under The Basket Of His Bicycle On A Rush Hour Train.


The above video was captured by Nate Millado, a Greenpoint resident who also happens to be married to a NY Post reporter. He told the tabloid that he was on the 2 train Wednesday when he observed a hungry rodent hanging out under a bicycle, next to a man "casually feeding it Chinese takeout."

Millado was understandably aghast at the on-board feeding session, and had to stop himself from shrieking. As usual, most riders appeared unmoved by the spectacle. After posting the clip to Facebook, a few people even told Millado to chill out, including one woman, who chided: "That’s a hooded rat. They are lovely pets, affectionate and intelligent." (Though not smart enough to follow basic transit norms, apparently.)

Still, if we are to grant that the rat belongs to the man, it follows that this behavior is somewhat less offensive than if he were nourishing the city's growing army of feral vermin. But still not great! As for the bicycle, it appears to be a child-sized bike, and does not seem to be taking up too much room on this mildly crowded rush hour train. Maybe we give him a pass for that.

That leaves the Chinese takeout food. Though there has been plenty of talk of banning eating on the subway, it remains perfectly legal for now. Without going so far as supporting the prohibition, we have long landed on the side of avoiding meals with strong odors that leave everyone else no other choice but to breathe in your grub or fight you. But it is difficult to tell what exactly the dish is here. Perhaps it is an innocent cold sesame noodle. Would that be so bad?

What say you, subway-behavior-opinion-havers: How do we feel about this man delicately feeding his pet rat a small amount of Chinese food whilst on the 2 train? Gross violation? No big deal? Most ambitious crossover in subway etiquette history?

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