Ranters: Retiree clutching a theater program and wearing a denim dress; her gentleman companion; a guy sitting nearby reading Mother Jones.
Location: BART train leaving Civic Center Station
Time: Between 10 and 10:30 p.m. on a Thursday
Topics Covered: What's wrong with society today; the horribleness of people who sleep on public transit; what one white person believes is wrong with an entire group of people that out of politeness goes not quite identified; passive aggression.
[Denim-Dress Woman and her gentleman companion press into a train that's busier than you would expect at this hour. They look for a place to sit but find nothing.]
Denim-Dress Woman: Not even one person offers a seat. That's the modern world, I guess.
Gentleman Companion: What about that one?
[He points to the rear of the train, where a young man is sprawled out across two seats.]
Denim-Dress Woman: [Whispering] Isn't it awful?
Gentleman Companion: [Also whispering] If he's okay, it's awful.
Denim-Dress Woman: He is okay, right?
Gentleman Companion: If he is, he should scoot over.
Denim-Dress Woman: He's fine. Some of them just do that, that's all. It shows the world they're important. [The doors open. More people pack in.] Someone really should offer a seat, though.
Guy Sitting Nearby: If you want a seat, go back and ask. Or are you just going keep trying to shame everyone?
[Denim-Dress Woman opens her mouth to speak but then doesn't.]
Guy Sitting Nearby: Nobody owes you a seat, especially when there's one wide open.
Denim-Dress Woman: You think on a crowded train I should have to go around asking —
Guy Sitting Nearby: I think on a crowded train you shouldn't say racist bullshit.
[Denim-Dress Woman looks stunned. Her gentleman companion grabs her elbow and starts pressing through the crowd to the back of the car.]
Denim-Dress Woman: No! I'm not going to —
Gentleman Companion: Hush. Just hush.
[They pass the seat-hog and then through the doors into the next car.]