The MBTA launched a new ad campaign on Monday to crack down on men groping women on crowded subways. Three different ads will be displayed on trains, one such ad reading "Rub against me, and I'll expose you," and encourages women to report incidents to authorities.
As a long time patron of the Red, Green, Orange and sometimes Silver subway lines (let's face it: the Blue line is about as useful as a diploma from Emerson), I am disheartened that one of the sexiest and best places to meet women in Boston is now feeling the wrath of the Puritanical Right that has made this city nothing more than a collection of sad profiles on Match.com, eHarmony, ChristianSingles.net, and countless other online dating sites. It is already hard enough to meet a single, normal Boston woman in a public arena who isn't throwing up the "Horseman, Pass By" anti-approachable stance: ears blocked by iPod headphones, eyes glued to the cell phone, wearing a perpetual black winter coat hiding all trappings of femininity. Now they're trying to stop me from riding the last train to pleasureland?
I shudder for the new generation of young Boston men who will miss out on the swinging '06s on the Sex Lines. From Alewife to Braintree, from Lechemere to the crappy parts, it was a wild, noisy ride, full of sparks on the tracks, sparks between men and women, all to the soothing tenor of the prerecorded voice on the get-some-brain-train telling you that you better finish up, because Haymarket is a-coming soon! And no one wants to be caught with his pants down when he's hurrying to go shopping for fresh peaches at the Farmer's Market, right after sexing up a fine BU lass in the rubber, accordionesque bendy part of a Green Line subway car.
Sure there is some miscommunication between man and woman sometimes on board, but that's the risk people need to take for love. It's a numbers game, baby, and sometimes maybe that red head playing Sudoku doesn't want the old 7:45am chub-rub on the way to her shift at Talbots. But you know what? Another girl might just think that was the bees-knees, and that shaft-graft was the signal she needed to know that hey, you think she's a looker and are willing to commit to a long term relationship...or for as long as the ride to Ashmont takes. It's about people connecting. It's about chemistry. It's guy meats girl to facilitate guy meets girl.
So the "authorities" can put up as many billboards as they want discouraging the behavior that comes as naturally to guys as does stalking ex's on Facebook, but a few ads won't change the courtship recipe that has been commuting to and from Boston for decades. Those pleather seats set the scene for romance. The sounds of the nearly empty bottles of Dasani rolling around under your feet provide the soundtrack to love-making, let alone the whining of the one-string Chinese instrument played by a glassy-eyed gaunt Asian man. And in the end, love will find a way. Because love's Charlie Card is prepaid by Cupid, and it's got a lot of currency stored on it.