Monday, December 10, 2007

Misadventures on the Metro

chapter 30
No denying it’s AWKWARD – a hand touch here, a brush against the body there, random sandwiching. Most rational human beings do not test these moves on strangers.

But if you ride the Metro, or any public transportation for that matter, you wave your right to become offended in 90 percent of awkward situations (you retain your right to offense for acts stretching beyond the “Ooops, sorry, I didn’t mean to touch your arm” or “Man, can you believe how crowded this train is – I can barely move” categories).

Apparently Random Fat Bald Man did NOT get the memo.

A few nights ago the train was packed like a tin of spam. Since I’m aware of the offense waiver, I squeezed on board and accepted both the eminent violation of my personal space and the depressing fact that I couldn’t even crack my book. It was, after all, nearly time for my nightly cocktail, bon bons and palm frond fanning by a tan, muscular, semi-clothed hunk. I could endure.

Without a book and pressed on all sides by a tall suit, a bulky-bagged blonde, a sweaty middle-aged newspaper reader and someone I could not see (but could feel) behind me, I settled into iPod fantasyland and ebbed and flowed with my fellow passengers.

Five stops along the homeward journey I was startled by a commotion further down the car.

“Get out of the WAY! Move OFF the train.”

With elbows extended like a defensive linebacker, the man’s body eventually caught up with his voice as he violently shoved through the crowd. By the time he passed me he was yelling “GET OFF THE *&%#ING TRAIN. WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH YOU?!” He (literally) spit in the face of a nice lady as he barreled off the train in a huff.

The grumbling passengers re-positioned themselves, the lady wiped the spit from her face and the commute continued as if nothing happened.

I didn’t get mad until I was walking home, contemplating the injustice of the situation. Even though I wasn’t personally impacted (read: spit upon), I felt violated. I should have lifted my knee when I had a shot.

Which reminds me – you know what else is awkward? Unclaimed putrid lingering gas. And trust me, it’s not covered under the offense waiver.

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1 comment:

Conservative Futurist said...

I've seen this situation unfold... many times. And the one question that always weighs on my mind is why don't these people begin to move off the train before they reach their stop? Or why don't they position themselves better?

I've been on a crowded train many times... and I've never missed my stop due to a crowd. That's because I stand up a stop prior and reposition myself. It's not hard. The way I see it, you shouldn't have to move more than necessary to accommodate this one particular turd's stupidity or laziness.