This week, I want to take you back into the world of Philadelphia public transit. We talked about the panhandler, and we'll visit the salesman down the line, but today I want to highlight a special kind of jerk: the double-seater.
Now, I will exclude those who are "larger than life" as they cannot immediately remedy the situation. I am instead going to focus on those who decide that purses, suitcases, food, and/or their feet paid to have a seat. So join me as I take you inside the bus with one, or several, of these upstanding citizens.
It's 5pm, Friday afternoon. You finished a tough work week and just want to get home and play video games sans pants. Not an outlandish request, you think to yourself. You arrive at the bus stop, just under 20 minutes from home now. The bus is filling. You just hope you can at least get on so you don't have to wait for another one.
As luck would have it, you step up to board and pay your fare. For a moment, you see that wonderful empty seat. There are other passengers standing, but they haven't noticed so you make your way toward it. As you draw near, excusing yourself by the dudes on their phones barely paying attention, a travesty occurs.
The joker in the seat next to yours decides his backpack is more deserving.
You sigh in disappointment and squeeze back to an empty space to stand. As luck would have it, that spot is next to the offender. Feeling brazen, you get his attention and ask him to move his bag. At first, he pretends not to hear you as he is buried in his fancy gadget. The ride begins and you ask again. This time, he notices your plea and does what has become standard: rolls his eyes and goes back to his gadget.
You ride isn't a long one, so you choose not to press the issue further. Soon your pants-less gaming will begin and this nonsense will be behind you.
But as you get off the bus and start to walk home, you wonder: why has this behavior become so common, or even standard? Why, when there are elderly folk, pregnant women, or even people like you forced to stand next to a seat with a bag on it?
Since you have video gaming to do, I'll step in and jump on the soapbox.
It has become "okay" for people to be inconsiderate, and that is crap. If you're on a full bus, take a second to think of someone else. The man with the cane or the pregnant woman struggling to hold on are absolutely more deserving of the seat than your backpack.
It really isn't hard to do. Move your bag to your lap and offer the seat. You are inconvenienced for maybe half an hour, and it's really not an inconvenience at all.. You can still play on your fancy gadget. You don't have to become best friends with the person next to you, you don't even have to talk to him or her. All you need to do is go against the "norm" (unreal) and not force someone to stand.
Before I start rambling and possibly using some dirty words, I'll leave you with this: drop this "all about me" nonsense and be a decent person. Elderly men and women and pregnant women should always be given seats, especially if those seats are unoccupied. Move your bag, your food, or your feet and give me some hope for the future already.
Okay, that's out of my system, so I will bid you farewell until next week. Don't forget that my first podcast will be up on Next Level Radio (link is to the right) on September 19!
Crap open a cold one!