An estimated 4.3 million of us ride the subway every day. All those trips allow for a lot of truly terrible behavior, which most riders try to ignore. But at some point during his 28 years of commuting Eddie Going could overlook the blunders of his fellow man no longer.
"You get people having sex on the train," Eddie said, "people pleasuring themselves on the train, people even going the bathroom on the train."
Images of acts like those burned themselves into Eddie's mind. They belonged in a collection of public-transit horror stories -- too fantastic for anyone to actually believe, unless the storyteller could provide photographic evidence.
"With the new phones now," Eddie said, "you can just slide up with one touch. You don't have your flash on, you don't have the sound on and you just take a couple of shots and deal with it later."
The Eddie Going collection started on Facebook when the photographer bought his first smartphone. It moved to a blog of memes with contributors from all over the world a couple of years ago. And now, more than 10,000 photos of arm-chair subway-riders later (see video for specific evidence), Eddie's still documenting potentially good commuters doing bad things.
"I always make the comparison," he said, "how are we supposed to find world peace if we can't even ride a subway together?"
Eddie views himself as a sort of knight of the rails, the only rider honorable enough to uphold some decency in a world where people now find it acceptable to slurp down a Thermos of smelly fish soup inches from your face in an enclosed moving capsule (again, refer to the video).
"That's my whole thing," Eddie said. "The strange thing is a bonus. I'm a manners guy. People have called me the subway vigilante, a modern day Mr. Manners."
Much of the evidence Eddie's collected we deemed unsafe for television. But on the blog visitors do find bird-lovers, spaghetti-scarfers, foot-lovers, bag-men, tree-huggers and a lady with a banana over her eyes (yes, watch the video).
Eddie says he seeks not to publicly shame, but admitted sometimes that's the best way to teach a naughty commuter a lesson.
"We all have one thing in common with taking the subway," Eddie said. "We want to get from where we are to where we want to go. It's a confined space. I shouldn't have to deal with you. You shouldn't have to deal with me."
So, next time you think you can get away with giving yourself a haircut on the bus to work or shucking some oysters for dinner on the train ride home, think again. Eddie and his international network of operatives are watching, waiting to put you on the Internet. And if you'd like to report some bad subway behavior, Eddie does accept photo submissions: EddieGoing@gmail.com.
KDFW FOX 4
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