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Rant: Everyone Is Terrible on the Train 

Wednesday, Feb 22 2012

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.

The Rant:
[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.]

About The Author

Alan Scherstuhl


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