New York: Humming to your iPod could flag you as a heathen chanting to an evil foreign god


All those years of internalizing the subtle rules of NYC subway etiquette are out the window, thanks to the NYPD, a few mad Londoners and some words of advice from Israeli intelligence.

Over the past couple of weeks, cops have been riding the subways and buses, telling passengers what sorts of personality quirks reveal a terrorist about to strike. The pointers have also been dispersed and echoed throughout print and electronic media very effectively..

Since that describes about 85 per cent of every NYC subway car, I suppose the new warning means we'll never be able to enjoy the MTA's crown jewel ever again. According to the NYPD, we're not just living in New York among twitchy freaks and funny smelling weirdos, we're surrounded by terrorists!

In order to avoid being mistaken for a terrorist yourself, the NYPD also urges New Yorkers to keep certain rules in mind while riding a bus or subway:

• Be very aware of your behavior and how it might be interpreted by others. As much as possible, act just like the people around you.

• If you get mad for some reason, don't express it in any way. Keep it bottled up until you get home, where you can unleash it on your family in private.

• Make sure your hands are open, palms up with fingers spread, at all times.

• Do not sing, or even hum, along with your iPod, as this could easily be mistaken for heathen chanting to an evil foreign god.

• If you suspect your wallet has been lifted or you've lost your keys, don't pat your pocket to check, as this might send the wrong message. Again, just wait until you get home.

• Since cologne and perfume can be used to mask the smell not just of your own stinky self, but of explosives as well, take no chances. Skip the deodorant, too.

• Don't sweat, no matter how hot it is.

• Dress just like everyone else.

• Since avoiding eye contact is considered suspicious, stare at people for long periods of time.

If, in spite of following all the above rules, you still find yourself accused of being a terrorist or shot multiple times in the back by confused NYPD officers, we recommend you accuse the person sitting next to you of being the real terrorist. That is, if you can still breathe. This should take the heat off of you for a bit. At least until they find that copy of The Satanic Verses in your fanny pack and send you to Guantanamo.

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