Going to work blows. Riding the subway doesn't have to. Here are some games to help pass the time. Remember, be competitive!
This is My Stop!
Regardless of the station, act as though you are the only person exiting the train at your stop. Loudly declare that you would like to exit the car, extra points if you do so before the doors open, and double extra points if it's before the train stops. During rush hour, you can earn near-infinite combos by shoving past others to get off the train first.
What's Wrong With That Seat?
Game pieces: A crowded train, one or more empty seats. No one sits. Is it the fear of seeming selfish or lazy or in case a pregnant, elderly, and/blind person shows up unexpectedly-- or is it because there is something wrong with the seat? Observe the cushions: is there a stain? A spill? Is the person in the next seat over leaning too far? Do they smell bad? Is the air conditioner dripping directly above it? But as you try to solve this mystery, be careful! Danger lurks with every glance at the seat, for if any other passenger catches you looking at it, you must sit down.
Watching Someone Play Froot Snood Or Whatever That Game Is
How long can you peer over someone's shoulder, hypnotized by their pointless, mind-numbing game, shaking your head at every wrong move or strategic error on their part? Find out with this fun subway game! If you go undetected in your game-spying for five minutes, earn extra points by shouting "Clusterbomb!" or "Where's that red one gonna go?"
Was That Person Looking At Me?
Assert your dominance by aggressively and ceaselessly leering at anyone who makes even fleeting eye contact with you. Make it clear that, while they certainly are not permitted to look at you, you can look at whoever the hell you want.
Sorry, I'm Holding This Pole
If anyone touches the pole nearest you, you lose.
This Train Isn't Loud Enough for the Both of Us
If two people with headphones that can be heard over five feet away enter the train, everyone else must clear the aisle to allow for a dance-off. Winner can crank their iPod up to the highest volume; loser is ejected at the next station.
Seriously, Is That Person Still Looking At Me?
Using your observational/judgmental skills, determine what that guy's problem is. If you are unable to ascertain this information on your own, you must inquire: "Yo, what's your fuckin' deal, guy?" Alternatively, you can pass the ball off to another passenger and credit for an assist by gesturing to the person in question, turning to someone else and muttering, "What's with this fucking guy?"
Work Email... or Elicit Affair???
A commuter pulls out their phone and pull up their email app. Are they following up on a job-related message-- or are they planning an impromptu rendezvous with a secret lover? Take a guess, then confirm by reading over their shoulder as they type. Be sure to interpret their message however you want: "I'll get those documents to you ASAP, and I'll cc Henry" could be innocuous office-speak or a filthy, filthy innuendo.
This is My Stop variant: Is This My Stop?
For every second that passes after the doors open at a given station, you earn a point, just as long as you get off the train before the doors close. You keep racking up points until your entire body has cleared the doors, so use any means necessary to stall-- ask another passenger to hold the door while you collect your things, drop a bag just as you exit, or put one foot on the platform but lean back to read the subway map. You lose all your points if the doors close before you exit, but you can at least make it a draw by loudly cursing the driver for not giving you enough time. 10,000 points if the door crushes you. Tourists are really good at this game, but that's just beginners' luck.
A passenger reads on a Kindle. See how many pages of reading over her shoulder it takes before you figure out what it is. Bonus points if you correctly guess what it is beforehand. Hint: If it's a woman, it's either 50 Shades of Grey or it isn't, and I would never bet on the field. That may sound sexist, but I've never seen a man read anything but Howard Stern's Private Parts.
Who's the Drunkest?
The rules are simple: You just have to determine, through a demonstrated lack of balance, inability to control voice volume, unexplained friendliness or desire to sing, and/or smell, which of your fellow passengers is the most inebriated. Here's the catch-- if you are unable to figure for sure who is the drunkest, chug nips until it's you.