Guest Blogger Has Some Strong Words For The Folks Who Make Your Muni Ride Miserable...
Once a proud beacon of chivalry, you used to say “sorry!” when you ran into people. Even further back in the murky woods of your etiquette, you probably tipped your hat to the street-side fiddler, the ruddy faced orphan who lived off your generosity. I don’t know when you became an asshole, fellow MUNI rider, but I would like you to stop. I’ve become an asshole, too, and even I think you’re an asshole.
I’ve been watching you. I’ve chewed packs of gum anxiously as I await your next inconsideration. I’ve written novellas of revenge fantasies. I’ve been squinty-eyed and befuddled as you’ve looked on: dumb and uncaring. These passive aggressive attempts of the weary have gone by unnoticed, and so I have always left sorrowed and you have always remained unperturbed.
But before I dismiss you as Genus: Assholerectus, I would like to give you one last chance. An opportunity to mend the holes in the fabric of our shared humanity. I’m here as a friend, as an ally. You useless cyborg of an asshole. I care about your recovery. You prickish virtuoso of the underworld.
I’d like to draw you a chart: here are your legs. Healthy and well-maintained; stalwart and dependable. Here’s the pen. Draw me the space you think they deserve. Oh my! How lovely; look at all that room. Like a first class flight that is! You are of an enviable social caste, my friend. Except you’re an asshole on a bus during rush hour.
I want you to consider this: there are 60 of us hovering over you and your legs--legs that melt into the horizon like meaty declarations of middle-managerial bravado. You impinge upon my freedom, as my legs touch your legs and now here we are: intimately acquainted. Shudder. Some of us are assholes, too, and we will fall on your lap to prove a point. Some of us are older and gravity is unkind. Stop being a dick, dick.
But of course, stopping being a dick may take time. A sprint that you with your infantile crawling cannot yet attempt. So, how about this: stop being a pervert. That person in front of you is a woman, not the last Passenger Pigeon; you will see one of them again. Please curtail your breathy excitement; we can spot you. I understand: the crowded bus is your bachelor panacea, your thirst-quenching cornucopia. You, holding your backpack in your hands; you with your targeted serpentine slithering; you with the “oops, sorry!” as your backpack rubs slowly down the back of our bodies, hovering below our waist and pushing into us as the bus stops and starts. We’re trapped. We force ourselves off at the wrong stop and wait for the next bus. Our children are now starving, and the 7th trumpet has now sounded.
But please understand this: even apocalyptic trumpets wielded by horseman and gargled through floods and fires, are a symphonic respite when considering the 18 year old boys and girls who couple their odious musical tastes with the Broadcast-to-Everyone feature of their iPods. Loudly. From the back of the bus.
An unpalatable cacophony of auditory vomit soon emerges from their speakers, as each one begins to scroll mercilessly through their ringtones: “You guys like THIS one?” I offer my suggestions from time to time (“Got any Young Jeezy?”), but they seem indifferent to the expertise of their elders. We remain silent. If they are simple misanthropes with a natural disdain for their fellow MUNI riders, I can offer an olive branch of empathy. But that might be unfair.
It seems that such a suggestion eliminates the more likely possibility: that these kids are assholes hailing from the asshole end of the genetic pool. Their destination: Assholeville.
And maybe these kids are the lucky ones: if you start out an asshole, you can probably stay an asshole without much consequence. Their moms are putting up these assholes’ C- report cards and I’m asking you why you only got an A-. But it’s because you’ve got potential, kid. You’re not an asshole, you’ve just evolved to fit the asshole landscape. Come on, hedgefunder-in-the-argyle-socks-blasting-Pantera-out-of-his-earbuds, you’re better than that.
Renée Grelecki is a writer who is trying to figure out if she’s either freelance or unemployed. Please hire her. Or follow her on Twitter.