Commuting - A General Rant

Your beloved Maternal Jackal rides the commute train into San Francisco every day and now she feels it's time to share a few thoughts on the rigors of the daily commute.

Ever wonder how a human being can get past the third grade without knowing what "Get to the back of the line" means? BART - the commute train that serves the SF Bay Area - is disgustingly organized. The trains align with the platform in a precise way, so precise that the areas where the doors of each carriage will be are marked on the edge of the platform. This enables the riders to line up in a surprisingly orderly way, before the train is even a speck on the far-flung horizon. It's those little things that keep the riders happy. So, of course, I'm ready to disembowel every single cretinous rider who will stand aside - usually snatching a seat on an adjacent bench - and then blithely cut to the front of what is always a long line of commuters, once the train pulls in.

I've been watching one particular guy at my station for the past week and a half and my usually discreet ways (everyone is brave in cyberspace - never forget that) and if I see him cut line one more time, I'm going to rip his head off and feed his entrails to the marauding pigeons hereabouts. Hey, Mac! If I've got to stand in line in the freezing morning wind, you do too!

Isn't it amazing how people can suddenly be struck blind, but only in very specific ways? The seats closest to the doors on my commute train are - like on most public transit - clearly labeled as being for the elderly and disabled. I believe there is even a colorful sticker reminding riders that federal law demands that those seats be vacated by able-bodied/youthful types, in favor of those who need them more.

So why is it, almost every day I see people who are healthier than me, blandly watch a man - who looks older than God and about comfortable on his feet as I am on hot coals - get onto the train and then hang on to a pole for dear life because no-one will give up their seat? Those smug bastards who don't get up are probably the same people who - contrarily enough - reeled at the noble sentiments in Titanic. I believe it was the New York Times critic who was amazed by the positive reaction of audiences to the spirit of self-sacrifice in that film, "...considering that in current society nobody will give up their seat for a pregnant woman on the bus..."

But I digress...

And before you ask me, oh smug reader, I do give up my seat to those who need them, if my own arthritis isn't killing me. I'm generally not without sin in everyday life, but at the moment I feel like casting stones.

"Well, gosh Mama J, why don't you drive to work instead?" I hear my more slack-jawed readers mutter toward their monitor. If you had any idea what life in the Bay Area is like, you would already know the answer to that question....

...and I don't have a license.

Back to where you came from or read previous rantings.

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