I note of advice to everyone - don't combine NPR and a train ride. Here's why:
I was listening to "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" (the podcast) on my iPod last week. For those of you who don't know, it's a comedic game show of sorts, which airs on NPR. It features various columnists and other news junkie celebrities talking about the events of the past week. It's hysterically funny in a nerdy, NPR-geek kind of way - think Jon Stewart only without all of the words requiring bleeps.
It's a funny, funny, show. And I laugh at it regularly. Sometimes, I even laugh out loud, but usually it's a chuckle and I try to restrain myself from making too many overt snorts.
During some portions of the shows, they have call-in contestants - listeners who answer questions about what was in the news in the last week. Sometimes, it's obvious stuff. Sometimes, it's not.
During one call-in segment, I was listening to someone who didn't know the answer to the question...and he should have known! (I would tell you what the questions / answers were, but then you'd inevitably label me a news snob. I'm okay with the label of "news junkie", but "news snob" is too much.) He had three questions, and got all of them wrong. It was heartbreakingly sad - if you call a news show, you should at least watch a little news that week. During the final question, when he said he didn't know, I was fed up with him, and sighed, rolled my eyes, and I flung a general look of exasperation.
Usually, I laugh at the show, and fellow riders either move away from me (thinking I'm out of my mind) or chuckle at me (realizing I'm laughing at something I'm listening to.)
However, on this particular occasion, as I was rolling my eyes and making a distinct look of much disgust (at the caller), a perfectly nice gentleman was taking the seat next to me. As such perfect timing goes in these types of situations, he caught the full brunt of my eye-roll at the exact moment that he was sitting, and incorrectly assumed that I was passing judgement on himself for sitting!
Realizing this faux-pas, I laughed out loud (now he thinks I'm nuts) and took my ear buds out. I apologized immediately, and explained to him that I was listening to a radio show, and my look of disgust was definitely NOT meant to be flung willy nilly only to land in his direction! He laughed and said "Wow, thank goodness. I almost took that personally!"
The sum result is that a) I don't have a poker face. Never have. Never will. b) It's a dangerous combination, riding the train and listening to a comedy show at the same time. People might think that you're crazier than you really are.