Ads like this one got me thinking: Do people really ride outside of subway cars? Do they do it to the extent that the city of New York must spend thousands of dollars on an ad campaign advising mouth breathers not to take their own lives in their hands and screw up commutes for the rest of us? And if you were going to ride outside a train, would you really do it by clinging onto the outside edge of the closed door, terrified face pressed against the window so all inside could see your horror before you inevitably fell onto the tracks and died? The answer to all of the above is, sadly, "yes."

The phenomenon of (always) stupid (usually) young men—often bored graffiti writers from the outer boroughs—surfing on the outside of subway cars has been admirably covered by the New York media. It's one of those evergreen, slice of life stories that publications can recycle every few years, as events warrant. Every so often, somebody dies riding on top of train, and the populace of the city remarks to itself, "My, how stupid. And possibly tragic."

And the, um, "sport "isn't confined to America. Not by a long shot! The Japanese enjoy surfing on trains and dodging oncoming bridges:

In South Africa, kids like to boogie on top of trains, duck for their lives, then continue to boogie:

In Barcelona, some kids ride on the back of the subway, which is relatively safer. Very relatively:

And to answer my original question, who would be stupid enough to ride on the side of the train? Some guy in Manchester, England, for one! His trip ended as you might have guessed:

In conclusion: Kids, if you want to go subway surfing, keep your activities confined to the inside of the car. There's really only one safe way to do it—as performance art:

[pic via Subway Blogger]