Friday, February 17, 2012

Struggle Gets Train Rage

Lately it has been of a chilly nature here in my fine city of Struggledelphia, and despite the odd warmer day, I've been taking the El fairly frequently. What, say you, is this "El" of which you speak? Well, it's our sorry excuse for a subway. It has a plethora of lines! (It has two lines.) It can take you anywhere you want to go! (If you want to go somewhere around those two lines.) It's an easy way to get around! (If getting around means living, working, eating or hanging out around those two lines.) In a word, it's miserable.

The subway in Philadelphia is not like the subway in other cities. In New York, for example, all kinds of people take the subway, hipsters off home to Brooklyn, yokals desperate to catch that showing of Legally Blonde: The Musical, hungry interns and annoying Columbia students, all together in harmony. That's because it's an efficient system of transportation. And I've been to many cities like this. When I lived in Moscow I saw people literally take the subway back home to Kiev. KIEV. That's not even IN Russia anymore! (Note, this may or may not be a slight exaggeration). This is not the case here in my hometown. I take the subway, because I happen to live right by it. Other people who take the subway include the homeless, illegal immigrants, Temple University students and the gently insane. That's about it.

For example, my subway rides, if they had titles, could include ones such as "neck tattoos have I known" and "smoking inside, a how-to-guide" and "subway tracks: the untold garbage cans of our time" and "how many rats can you see at once?" and "singing to strangers, do or don't?" and "bling my burka!" (which, by the way, is an AMAZING reality television show idea, so someone make that, please. Thanks. Oh, yeah. It's a thrill a minute on the Philadelphia subway.

And clearly advertisers are beginning to pick up on the more charming aspects of my morning commute by offering us signs like this:

and this gemstone, sparkling in the morning dew:

Let me give you a close up, because that's fun:

But nothing, and I mean NOTHING, can top this little number:

Let me break it down for you, shall I? Number 1, those are two pieces of sperm. That's what that's supposed to be. Sperm. Anthropomorphic Sperm. Chatting. Have a bit of a tete-a-tete, if you will. And the one sperm, that knows about sperm banks (don't worry about the logic of a sperm wanting to be contributed to a sperm bank, there's no time for such a thing now) is obviously richer, better educated and more cultured then the other sperm, as evidenced by his briefcase. And suit. And the other sperm is just some punk, with a sweatband, like all the kids are wearing these days, and a sports costume of some sort. So if you do donate sperm and get that sweet sweet 150 dollars, you should go out and blow it on a suit and a (presumably) empty briefcase, and then go tell your friends/strangers you meet on the subway, about it. That's what I'm getting out of this.
Just because context is important, I thought you might like to know that this ad is sandwiched between an ad for a different kind of bank and an ad for the Henry Ossawa Tanner show at the Academy of Fine Arts

So that's my morning commute. You stay classy, struggledelphia! 


  1. I too despise SEPTA-tank. You can NOT get anywhere in a reasonable amount of time. I am fascinated, however, by the advertisements. They say a certain something about the city...

  2. So in love of this! do you wanna follow each other?:X