Friday, June 15, 2007

A moment from my commute

Man, on cell phone, talking loudly, on an otherwise quiet train. He can be heard for a good 50 feet.

Woman, sounding unhinged, three rows from him. "SHUT UP!"

Man continues to talk at same volume.

Woman, more unhinged, louder. "SHUT UP!"

Rest of train starts looking spooked.

Man quiets down and is not heard from again.

Conductor asks who said that.

Train full of people stare out the windows. Suddenly, we're all back in elementary school. No one wants to be a tattletale, but we all know who did it.

Woman owns up to it.

Conductor tells he that was very rude.

Woman plays the "He started it" card.

Conductor cuts her off with another admonishment -- as if that's polite.

Eventually, he collects her ticket, and dispenses life advice that you'd expect from the parent of an unruly five year old.

The woman responds with continued petulance and ire towards Loud Talker, along with the accusation that he was giving her a headache. (I smell lawsuit!)

Rest of train tries to stare out window or read books or fill their bloghole for the day.

FTT has a friend and reader (yes, I know you're surprised) for whom, we are certain, this situation would have involved a sudden and intimidating amount of ire.

In this situation, we see him, in our minds' eye, getting up to stare down the loud talker after about a minute, and saying something that would have either elevated or ended the situation.

He would have seen the vast majority of the rest of the passengers, who suffered Loud Talker in silence, as ball-free sheep.

He's probably right. He's also probably reading this. (Finally, he's ex-military. Just to give you the full picture.)

Because, at the end of the experience, you're either the oblivious guy who caused the situation, the very dramatic person who took it upon themselves to fix it, or someone who would choose not to be bothered.

It should be noted that the rest of my commute was in silence, which allowed me to create this little moment of timewaste. And that, in our experience on both coasts, you get more of the agitator and confronter in the East.

So, FTT Nation... be you sheep, myopian, or dramatist?

As the outside journalistic observer of all this, we abstain from choosing a role -- and any lack of comments will confirm our opinion.



The Truth said...

"Shut your pie hole!" would have been my follow up.

CMJDAD said...

You know me a bit too well. I can assure you that the gentleman would have looked very silly with the cell phone sticking out of his nose. And the conductor, well, lets just say, fuck him.

Tracer Bullet said...

Just call me "Sheep Boy." It's too damned easy to get shot over some silly bullshit in Philadelphia these days.. A loud asshole is an annoyance, but a bullet can ruin your whole day.

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