Transport Workers Union (TWU) will began distributing fake blood-covered "Metro(death)Cards" this week in an attempt to channel attention to the rise in subway-related deaths over the past year. The faux cards not only have blood smears and a grimy fingerprint on them, but they also tell potential subway-goers to "Use at your own risk."
The cards even display a Grim Reaper on the back, if the the front wasn't enough of a slap in the face. These 'death swipes' (which sounds like Death Grips' back-up band name) certainly catch the eye, but what could TWU add to the cards to make them even more over-the-top?
The Overdose: According to officials, nearly a quarter of 141 train accidents in the last year were a result of drug or alcohol usage. The TWU could have used this statistic to send a, uh, pointed message:
The Suicide Note: According to Huffington Post, there are about 26 subway suicides annually. Although suicide jokes are never funny, TWU does not appear to have an issue with bad taste. It would not have surprised us if their faux-MTA cards had typed suicide notes in place of the typical Safety Tips that mark the back of real metro cards.
The Lugubrious Quote: The 'Metro(death)Cards' currently display the warning "Use at your own risk," but a like-minded rhetorical device could have been the union's posting infamous quotes relating to death or general melancholy. Edgar Allen Poe's words would have undeniably sufficed. We suggest this quote from "The Premature Burial":
The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?
Tombstone Blues: Why not just cut to the chase and make these pseudo-MetroCards shaped like tombstones, equipped with fabricated eulogy information. TWU must have considered that -- it would be a fitting play on the expiration dates that are always included on MTA cards. If not, we're sure they talked about pitching a brand-deal with Tim Burton or any local Halloween supply store.
This isn't the first time TWU has pulled an exaggerated, PSA-like campaign. The union had a contest last February which prompted New Yorkers to send photos of the city's ugliest sewer rats. The group loves shock-value. These morbid MTA cards are almost as unnerving as European anti-smoking packaging on cigarettes. They already captured our attention, let's hope they don't one-up themselves next year.
Photoshop work by Dan Stuckey