Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Keeping My Rage In Check

I recount a brief moment, from time to time, that demonstrates how close my insane is to the surface; I think the moment is humorous, others might find it disconcerting. Regardless, I think it's an apt example of the kinds of things that put me in a murderous frame of mind considering how insignificant it it. I was in Chelsea Market a couple of years ago buying, I don't know, fancy cheese and Meyer lemons. I also got myself a nice big baguette. I walked to the exit and opened the door as a man was walking in. He breezed right by me nearly touching me as he did so.

For a brief moment I thought I was going to beat him with my baguette.

This is true. I had even gripped the baguette in a battle posture.

I don't like when people don't observe the rules of polite society. Polite society states that thou shalt let someone out of a door prior to thou attempting to get in that door. People who do not observe this rule are cretins and must be defeated by bread-waving lunatics. Or so I believe. Even on my lucid days.

Here are some others in the same vein:

  • Thou shalt not insinuate one's self in front of those who were there before you in any manner of line whatsoever (this includes being at the end of the line when a new register opens up and then sprinting to be the first in line at the new register - think about it; it demonstrates such poor breeding)
  • Thou shalt not enter a form of mass transit and fix one's self immobile in a manner that prevents all people behind you from gaining entrance simply to preserve the "good spot" for one's self
  • Thou shalt not, when the subway door ends up directly in front of someone else, attempt to push that person out of the way enabling one's self to gain access to the subway first
  • Similarly, thou shalt not, upon exiting the subway, attempt to get out of the subway prior to the people in front of thou who are also attempting to get out of the subway
  • Furthermore, thou shalt, upon exiting a door, entrance way, stairwell, crossing a street etc., never simply stand in the line of entrance/exit simply thinking, or congratulating one's self on having made it that far. Stopping in the middle of a thoroughfare invites people to shove you maliciously. Much like thou wouldst in thine car, pull over to the side of the road if thou needest a breather.
  • Thou shalt not obstruct a free seat in a crowded form of mass transportation with any of the following: feet, bags, coats, umbrellas, pets, instruments, strollers, bicycles; those items did not pay to ride mass transit - your fellow passengers did

These are good rules. These are rules designed to improve society. These are rules I occasionally wish had been enforced by the iron hand of Mayor Giuliani. Failure to comply with these rules create far more societal damage than squeegee people.

I'm an official commuter now and am able to avail myself of two separate modes of mass transportation daily: the Metro North Railroad and the New York City Subway. Certain malfeasance is more detectable on each of these modes of conveyance. Anyone who has ever commuted during rush hour on the Metro North Railroad will notice that in the three-across seats, people sit in positions one and three and then, as if by silent agreement, pack as much crap as is humanly possible in position two to prevent a third passenger from sitting there. Were this to happen only in a small fraction of three-across seats, one could chalk it up to a few bad apples. But if you ride this train between the hours of 4:00pm and 8:00pm you will notice EVERYONE DOES IT. And they do it in such a way that, for many years, I was embarrassed to ask them to move their shit. After all, there were other people without seats who didn't seem to make a big deal out of it, so why should I. Then I remembered I paid to ride this train - paid just as much as those jackholes hoarding space and that it was practically my duty to remind them of their douche-ishness while simultaneously getting my ass in a seat.

You should see the looks these people give you. I think it's made worse by the fact they're all upper middle class and wealthier. You'd think that good breeding would follow socio-economic strata, but nowhere is this proven more wrong than by the shitsack in the custom tailored suit with the $45,000 watch who moves his briefcase for you to sit down with same resignation generally reserved for Sophie's Choice.

That was my commute home last night though replace the man with a woman who did the "feigning sleep" maneuver to avoid sharing. I wasn't buying it. She hated me.

This morning, the infraction was committed on the subway, by one of the many commuters afflicted with Hurry Syndrome. Hurry Syndrome is most often recognized in drivers who cut in front of you only to get to the clearly visible red light/traffic jam sooner. The subway was pulling into the 86th street station and I was standing directly in front of the door, every bit of my body language indicating I would be exiting. When the doors open, a guy literally three people behind me start barreling forward. For a split baguette moment, I nearly elbowed the guy in the sternum, so surprised was I by his sudden propulsion. Instead, and less feloniously, I wedged my hips in such a way that to pass them, he would have needed to also buy me dinner, and exited the train first. Apparently Hurry Syndrome guy wasn't much of an athlete as, even though he did manage to exit directly on my heels, he was no where to be seen on the upper level of the station; meaning he was hurrying hurrying so he could wheeze up a flight of stairs, most likely blocking the paths of all those behind him.

I am reserving my rage on behavior while using mass transportation for another time, simply because airing all my crazy laundry at one time seems inadvisable if I'd like any of you to continue reading.

1 comment:

  1. Air that crazy laundry, mom'll do it for you!