Recently, microbiologists spent 18 months sampling bacteria found in the New York City subway. They swabbed handrails, turnstiles, ticket kiosks, seats, and the other things people touch a lot on the subway, like your Raven Familiar.
All in all, the scientists collected more than 1000 samples from all of New York’s 466 open subway stations. They identified at least 637 species of bacteria, as well as viruses, fungi and microscopic animals. They also found 117 varieties of Todd from Brooklyn.
They found some scary stuff, like traces of anthrax and bubonic plague. And they found some fascinating stuff, like the bacteria that produce cheese and yogurt.
These bacteria reflected the eating habits of the various neighborhoods that were sampled. Bacteria associated with cheeses – cheddar, parmesan and mozzarella – were found in nearly every station. Apparently Pizza Rat really gets around.
Interestingly, the distinctive bacteria of swiss cheese was found more predominately in midtown, while the bacteria used to ferment cabbage for sauerkraut showed up mainly in the financial district.
And that got me thinking. We’re all busy people on the go. And we don’t always have time to grab a bite to eat. But why not take advantage of the cheese and yogurt bacteria riding around on the subway with us? Let’s make the Underground an “all you can eat” buffet!
Just think, you could enjoy a nice wheel of brie grown right on the R train to Little Italy.
Or maybe stomp yourself some sauerkraut as you wait in Penn Station.
Or maybe brew yourself some beer from the beard yeast of the guy sitting next to you. Think I’m joking? The Oregon brewery “Rogue Ales” has been making “Beard Beer” from this guy’s beard yeast for years. I mean, don’t you just look at that glorious face fur and think “pour me a cold, hairy one!” I sure do!
Honestly, all this talk about food is making me hungry. I could really go for some Pole Parmesan right now. Oh, but whatever you do, do not google “Pole Parmesan.”
Now some of you might say “Gross! The subway is filthy!” And you’d be right. The reason so much bacteria was found in those samples was because we hate to wash our hands. But here at Gleek, we like to see the bright side in all things. Even our disgusting hygiene habits. Americans love to eat, but also hate to clean themselves. So why not kill two birds with one one giant cheese wheel? If we’re gonna ride around New York sitting in filth, we might as well enjoy a nice can of beard beer while we’re at it.
Just be sure to save some for your fellow subway riders.