There's no law against smelling like a dung heap, so stop calling 911 about stinky people on the T

MBTA Transit Police have followed up their pot FAQ with some answers to other questions, including:

Q.) Last week while riding my train and minding my own business, a very disgusting, disheveled type person sat next to me. Their body odor was so unpalatable, it was an assault on my nostrils. I was overcome with nausea. I demanded they move to another seat. He rudely refused. I called 911 and sent a message using SeeSay App to have him removed or arrested. I provided you with the train car # and the stop we were approaching. You NEVER responded !! Why ?

As a general rule, we encourage good personal hygiene habits be practiced by all. However after extensive research we were unable to locate any laws in Massachusetts which compels a person to have the pleasant aroma of rose pedals and lilacs billowing about their body before they can utilize a public conveyance on the MBTA. Body odor can be such a subjective topic, are you certain it was not your own breath blowing back in your face?



Free tagging: 


    So close

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    I thought it was a perfect response until the last line. They should have simply suggested that she move in the future. There was no need to get juvenile and it certainly won't have any useful effect on the special snowflake who submitted the question.



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    Right? Cops aren't this funny. Not even T cops.

    If you can't beat em

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    join em. A stupid question doesn't warrant a serious answer. Good to see the T having fun with this. Plus, the humor within all the responses (follow the link; it's worth it) makes the answers more memorable and more likely to be read.

    Yeah, this is great.

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    Much better than bland, humorless THANK YOU FOR COMPLYING, CITIZEN responses. The blog is worth it for these kinds of posts. I also liked the before and after videos of a piggybacker a few pages in.

    I agree. Probably hacked.

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    Unless the T hired Tosh be their spokesperson. If only...


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    Wow... their comment was kinda snippy.

    But I agree... bathing seems to elude some passengers on the T.

    I ride the 111, and I don't know if someone works in a fish market or what but usually on the 4:10p bus and then later on at night (like after midnight).. SOMEONE gets on bus smelling like rotten crotch or stale fish. Sometimes its so bad its nauseating.

    I won't even go into the BO problem I smell often. I understand that most people can't smell their own stink most of the time (this is a known fact, you become desensitized to it).. but seriously, sometimes it so bad, how could someone NOT notice.

    Im not a smell freak by all means.. but when its so bad that your eyes water or can't breath...

    I ride the MBTA frequently

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    often on crowded [is there any other kind/] trains. I've rarely encountered a person with B.O./bad smell, and then it was an obviously homeless person who obviously doesn't have the chance to bathe and wash clothes like more fortunate people.

    I do however encounter A LOT of snooty people, especially in the B.B., and a few other locales, and people who obviously are not used to using a subway or riding crowded public transit such as some tourist, many new to the area college kids and their parents up to Boston for a visit, those types. And I'd be remiss to not mention the unusually large number of especially young to middle aged females with 'attitudes', who act like they're royalty or entitled to more deferential treatment than the average schmuck. I'm willing to bet these are primarily the riders who complain about allegedly foul smelling people or others they don't like. These are the types who look highly annoyed or even frightened when a grungy construction worker gets on during evening rush hour and stands or sits next to them, probably because he looks 'dirty' and 'smelly'.

    Construction Worker Smell

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    Reply to Anon: Amen Brother! I worked construction for 12 years and I can tell you these people don't understand what the smell of good hard work is! after a hard day at the sight, I wore my smell like a badge. I worked my a** off and earned every bit of smell and Money I had on me at the end of a hard hot day at the job site. people should be thankful they weren't around when I pulled my boots off when I got home. they would have probably passed out. LOL

    they have never worked hard in the hot sun in 103 Degree weather, with high humidity. after working in those conditions, you develop a smell that just wont come off. no matter how much you shower and scrub yourself, or use Deodorant each day.
    the heat, the food from the Roach coaches and fast food. and damn hard work take their toll.

    so I suggest to these people who turn your noses up at us construction workers, that they sit or stand downwind if you cant take our strong smell & appreciate what we work so hard for. and realize we don't have the luxury of Air conditioning at many job sites, nor do we have some one doing manicures while another feeds us peeled grapes,while classy music plays softly in the background. Its Damn hard, A** busting work. not club Med!

    Welcome to the world.

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    Some people smell bad, deal with it. If it really bothers you that much, move. I would rather be in a car full of stinky people than a car full of passive-aggressive control freaks.

    smell bothering you?

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    I can't count the number of times I've switched seats because someone was snapping gum in my ear or yelling on their phone, or was hygenically questionable. I'm the one that's bothered by it, I should be the one to move. Asking someone to move because they are bothering you is just plain silly. It's like anything...if you don't like what's on TV, you change the channel, you don't call the station and demand they stop showing the program.

    Only two things bother me on the T

    People who smell so bad, they make my eyes water. Doesn't happen too often.

    And larger people who get on the train, see me (very skinny guy), then sit next to me. Happens all the time. "OH, skinny guy! I'll just push him into the seat next to him!"

    Sorry, that was me

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    Thanks for scooting over to make room. By the way, if any of the three huge bags I was carrying hit you in the face as I was sitting down to squeeze my fat ass into the seat, I'm sorry for that too.


    I noticed that when you scratched your fupa you smelled much much worse. I hope there's some FDS in that bag you hit me with

    I'm doing the best I can, ok?

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    Yeesh, I'm just trying to get home so I can order some Chinese takeout and watch The Notebook while I'm snuggled up on the couch with my cats. Bella thinks that Ryan Gosling is dreamy.

    See, this is why cats are better than men. Bella, Edward and Jacob love me no matter how much I smell.

    As for the fupa, well, if my pants hadn't shrunk in the wash, everything would be fine. I swear they fit last month. What's a girl to do?

    Ok, you got me ...

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    I'm a female who doesn't care about the whole girl/woman thing. I'm older than 30 but less than 50. A true lady never reveals her age.

    Now for real, I'm outta here for the evening because tomorrow's my birthday and I'm going out to celebrate with good friends and good beer.

    When it's time to head on home, I'll be that boozy broad on the Red Line. You know the one. She's the one who flirts with the skinny guy in the seat next to her.


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    wooo >wiping eyes< that's a pretty good exchange. Fupas...

    (you people will spend the afterlife squeezed in between two 300 lb, reeky-fupa'd people on the T car of the damned, you know that don't you?)

    Im slightly surprised there

    Im slightly surprised there isnt a law that would cover this, knowing some of the (now) completely ridiculous laws that are still on the books from long ago.

    Long ago

    Is the key phrase here. Guessing people smelled a whole lot worse in the days before running water, Ivory soap, and other personal hygiene products.

    All I can think of when trying to conjure a mental image of the complainant is a thoroughly obnoxious Muffy from Back Bay type. Not sure what is more offensive - their inanity or someone's BO. A real battle.


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    I'm wondering if this whole thing is some kind of joke. This precious little entitled person "demanded he move to another seat" and then called 911? Why didn't she (if it was a she) just move?
    And the T police response just seems too unprofessional, even if that's what they wanted to say. And I know it's what I would have wanted to say.

    While we are on the subject, a bigger problem than people with body odor is people with severe bad breath on the T. It is a very frequent occurance and you would be amazed how far the bad breath carries.

    And people wonder why it's so

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    And people wonder why it's so hard for commuters to give up their cars....

    Id rather share a car with a

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    Id rather share a car with a hundred unbathed goatherds than one Axxe-drenched bro.

    Good point

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    I agree. People who smell like they've just bathed in cologne/perfume are equally offensive. There are ways to wear a hint of a scent without becoming an overbearing advertisement for it.

    hygiene, homelessness and self-protection

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    One additional FAQ:

    One self-defense strategy that people who are homeless use to ward off sexual attacks is to deliberately forego personal hygiene. Over 1/3 of all women who spent 24 hours or longer in shelters endure sexual assaults.

    Given being repellant to others from body odor and dirt, when they have already suffered severe and enduring public humiliation and dehumanization versus repelling sexual predators, and lack of hygiene will win.

    The more you know...

    I don't buy it

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    I don’t buy this theory. While I do not deny the reality of sexual assault in shelters or upon homeless women, the notion that lack of hygiene is being used as a self defense mechanism is stretching things. They lack hygiene because they lack hygiene, be it because of their circumstances or because they simply don’t care. And the horrible person who would assault a homeless woman in the first place obviously would not care about hygiene. This is like the theory that some women purposely carry extra weight to ward off sexual advances.

    Private carriers like

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    Private carriers like airlines and bus companies usually have policies banning people who can't take care of themselves, or whose hygiene is so bad it's disruptive to other passengers.

    I'd support such a rule for the T as well.

    Key Word


    Also, how you you enforce this?

    Particularly when people who have stinky jobs but not access to showers need to use public transit?

    T cops would tell people to

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    T cops would tell people to leave the system if they can't improve their hygiene. The same as if they're drunk, or have severe behavioral issues.

    I'm not talking about people who are kind of sweaty. I mean people who smell so terrible that it makes other people sick. It happens from not showering or washing your clothes for several weeks.

    What jobs are these? Any job like that, if it exists, needs to have a shower as an employee health and safety issue.

    I did demo work when I was younger.

    Went into old houses and cleaned out chimneys, old insulation, etc. I was filthy on the way home and took the Orange line, Blue line, and then a bus through East Boston.

    The one benefit was that I was the last person someone would sit next to during rush hour.

    Wow! This is pretty funny! I

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    Wow! This is pretty funny! I have sat next to some stinky people but never would have thought to call the police about it. You can do what I do and carry around pretty smelling thick hand lotion and apply it to your hands and cup them over your nose. You don't know how many times I have had to do this! It works wonders!! Or, travel size Febreeze works well too (If they don't catch you spraying them!;) kidding! I don't have the balls to spray someone else but if you do, go for it! ) -Mea


    Vicks Vaporub.....

    Right under the nose.

    Helps a little when you encounter a dead body that has been sitting around a hot apartment for a few weeks in August.

    Vicks Vaporub.....

    Right under the nose.

    Helps a little when you encounter a dead body that has been sitting around a hot apartment for a few weeks in August.