The cricket scandal that swarmed the New York subway system several weeks ago got unceremoniously squashed when it turned out to be a planned prank. In case you missed the viral video, a homeless lady, now revealed to be an actress, appeared to be selling a bucket of crickets and worms on the train. The bucket got knocked from her hands, unleashing an infestation in the subway car. It was an intentional spectacle designed to make a social statement about homelessness — a bizarre, bug-inspired art form with a questionable aesthetic. Though it’s a bit creepy to be trapped in a cricket-filled subway car, the serendipitous experience is one of a kind. Public transit forces us out of our small, sheltered spheres and prompts spontaneous humanistic connections on our otherwise routine commutes. Tinted windows of cars shield us not only from the sun, but also from the glaring gazes of society, protecting us from social interactions – and crickets – on the way to our destinations.
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