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Thursday, April 01, 2004

Okay, just bitching about this one to Buttons, so I figure I'll share.

Okay, I take the bus back and forth to work, right? And the 74, which started out as a nicely empty bus when I began riding it, has become pretty damned crowded over the last couple of months, to the point that Billyhank hasn't been able to get his favorite behind-the-rear-door seat for fucking weeks.

But, no matter how much I might desire a particular seat (and not to be stuck on the bench in the back where you're apt to slide around with every touch of the brake and mashing of the accelerator), there are rules, y'know? First off, whoever gets to the friggin' bus stop first gets on the bus first. Simple logic, no? Right, okay, then, if you're a young-ish male, such as Billyhank, other rules begin to form. First off, nice little old ladies (two of which can now be commonly found on the homeward-bound leg of the 74) get to go on first, no matter when they show up at the stop. Period. No exceptions. Even if it means she gets the best goddamned seat on the bus (the one behind the rear door, naturally), even if you've had a shitty day, or she's not even that nice (although the two women on the 74 are both pretty nice, to the casual observer) even if your feet hurt or you've got a headache or you're on crutches or have a fresh bullet wound or whatever. LITTLE OLD LADIES GET ON THE FUCKING BUS FIRST.

Right, so that's easy. Other rules make themselves apparent as situations occur. Anybody with a kid under the age of, say, eight gets to go on before youngish males, although, really, little old ladies should go before them. But, again, someone with a kid needs our support, if only so they can make the kid happy, so the rest of us don't have to listen to the screams as we wend our way throughout Jet City.

There're other rules, but those are the only two that really apply to today. Still reading? Wow. I'm impressed.

So, okay, I show up at the bus stop and there's one nice little old lady waiting (the other one was coming; I passed her walking on the way up to the bus stop) and a youngish mom (Billyhank-aged, roughly) with a kid that's maybe two or three. Okay, got the picture? Three folk at the bus stop, another on the way, three of whom have automatic precedence over the young-ish unattached male in attendance. Bah. Annoying, but, hey, those are the rules, and since I'm pretty much making 'em up to suit my own little moral code, I've gotta adhere to 'em.

Right, so we're all standing there, kinda scattered around, and the mom's bouncing the kid around, making it laugh and little old lady #2 shows up and says something that I can't hear because of my headphones so I smile and nod and we all get busy waiting for the bus.

But before the bus shows up this guy shows up, normal-ish looking, maybe five years younger than me and I immediately go into bus-door-blocking procedure, which pretty much means that I angle my ass towards the guy with the intent of stepping sideways once the bus pulls up and I can figure out where the door is going to be, so that I can allow the little old ladies and young-ish mom ingress while keeping my own place safe. I know it's petty and small and anal, but, well, fuck you.

Anyway, so the bus shows up and people start lining up and one of the little old ladies knows the drill so she steps in front of me and the other one kind of looks up at me and I smile and she takes the cue and steps up next to the other old lady, but then the first old lady tries to be polite to let the other old lady get on first and then the young-ish mom steps up and I step back for her, too, smiling. So, we're set, right? Now, the bus is just pulling up, so the grouping is still kinda dynamic, you dig? There's always that six foot window of where the damn bus is gonna land. Right, so it finally stops and the doors open and some guy's getting off, so the two old ladies step back to him by, and then kind of look at each other for a second, like seeing which one's gonna get on first, and that guy who showed up LAST (remember him? See previous paragraph for details) comes outta nowhere, buttonhooks around the old ladies, the young-ish mom and a suddenly REALLY pissed off Billyhank and jumps on the bus first.

Really, it's a good thing I don't go around armed.

It's stupid, maybe, that I'm this pissed off about something so small, but, seriously, what happened to courtesy? What happened to a basic understanding of social protocol and nicety? I mean, I watch this fuck running around nice old ladies and moms with kids and jumping onto a crowded bus in an act of sheer, unbridled selfishness, and I have to wonder what the fuck is wrong with this place. I've spent the last decade of my life hanging out with punks and alterno-kids and I can't think of too many of them (none, really, although the Chin or MikE! might be able to) who wouldn't have felt the same way I did, or who would have done what that selfish bitch did. It's just one more thing that makes me wonder if it's worth it, being kind to people, to act in a fashion that respects others in the faintest hope that they'll respect you in return. Is it just me? Is it just this one action that's hacking me off 'cause I had a rotten day at work?

No, no I don't think so. I think that the world has decided that because we've thrown away so many traditional things (some good to have thrown away, some maybe not so much), that we can dispense with politeness and some degree of social decorum. Christ knows that I'm not the most elegant or mannered man on the planet, but, shit, some things are so basic that they're practically instinct. Unless, apparently, there're old ladies and young mothers between you and an empty seat. In which case, hey, every dickhead for himself, it seems.

Goddammit.

Goodnight, y'all. Sorry I didn't come up with any April's Fools shit, but, really, I'm just not that kinda guy. Sweet dreams, kidlins.

p.s. And, yes, the dickhead took the good behind-the-rear-door seat and Billyhank got stuck on that slidey back bench, consarnit.

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