Whether you're a seasoned LIRR rider or someone who only uses the train for the occasional trip to Manhattan, there are certain experiences every passenger has experienced at some point. Here are some of the things all Long Islanders have had to deal with when they take a trip on the rails. Send your suggestions to Michael Cusanelli at Michael.Cusanelli@newsday.com
Making friends at Penn
You've had to endure an hourslong wait at Penn Station because of bad weather or other railroad issues, but you actually stopped staring at that infuriating board long enough to commiserate with a fellow sufferer and actually become Facebook friends before you parted ways for Islandia or Hauppauge.
The six-seat gamble
You've fallen for the trap of grabbing one of those initially roomy six-seat spots at Penn -- even when time and time again you've paid for it when that family transferring at Babylon after a day at the Children's Museum gets aboard. You quickly realize that even a 5-year-old foot can hurt when you're kicked constantly while Mom obliviously checks her email.
Then again, the six-seat...
...is the perfect eavesdropping area for those times when you can't get any connection on your phone and friends or family are sitting across from each other. "General Hospital" sometimes isn't as compelling as hearing about that in-law who is now officially an outlaw or the boss who equates the terms "petty cash" and "bar tab."
The paper chase
You've searched 10 cars on a moving train to find a two-day-old newspaper when your phone died, then relished reading that story about allergy rates in Poland because it's still 43 minutes before your ride is over.
Gee, this was going so well...
You've fallen asleep and missed your stop while heading home after a co-worker's farewell party in midtown went TOO well, then stewed over whether to spend $40 on an Uber ride home or wait more than an hour in woeful conditions to head back west. A true buzzkill either way...
It's either app or trap
You have the LIRR app and all your information saved. So when that retired couple from Nebraska you're behind in line starts trying to put money where the debit card goes in the machine, you'll have a backup plan other than saying something that would give our beloved island a bad name.
You try to use the bathroom on the train, only to presume it's permanently occupied by someone who forgot to bring their monthly pass and is hiding from the conductor.
Been there, got the T-shirt
You bought a "Summer of Hell" T-shirt because no matter how inconvenienced you were, anything that sounds like a cross between a pro wrestling pay-per-view and a hair band reunion tour is just too cool to waste!
The backpack triangle
You've heard of packed cold, but with the LIRR it's often packed or cold. You arrive to your train 7 seconds before the doors close and have to cram into any available car to avoid getting stuck. (Even if that means getting wedged next to three other people and their backpacks, and that's AFTER you've affixed your body in 14 different angles so that blessed sensor bell won't go off and keep the doors open halfway. Still, it's better than waiting on the platform in mid-January for a train that won't arrive for another 35 minutes.
'Give me coffee or give me...'
You get to the Ronkonkoma station and immediately head for the coffee cart, despite the fact that you only have 3 minutes to buy your ticket and find a seat on the train. After all, your co-workers can deal with you being late for the 9 a.m. conference call -- they can't deal with you without caffeine.
As if working weekends wasn't bad enough, you arrive at the Farmingdale LIRR station on Saturday morning only to find out that you have to take a bus to a different branch because of construction work. It looks like that hour commute is going to be a little longer than you anticipated.
You decide to get a bite to eat in the city before getting on the train so you can avoid peak fees and rush hour crowds, only to realize that a thousand other people had the same idea as you and you have to scramble to find a good seat for the ride home anyway.
Make garbage your friend!
You've sat in the aisle seat of a three-seat row because there was trash on the window seat and you figured you'd get the whole row to yourself. Good strategy, but you must take one factor into account -- leakage. If you're going to pay $58.50 for a round-trip ticket from Riverhead to Penn, you'd like to do so without sitting in a puddle of Dr Pepper.
"For the last time, it's not the subway!"
You've had to explain for the 37th time during warmer-climate vacations that the LIRR isn't like riding the subway in Manhattan. Unlike public transportation in the city, you have to deal with the LIRR AND have a car.
Training for Jamaica
You actually did an extra half-mile on that Planet Fitness treadmill to train for that endzone-to-endzone Jamaica transfer and still fell short by 10 seconds. Guess a personal trainer is next...