Monday, December 10, 2007
People You Meet on Transit #2
There are a certain class of people who take transit who either believe that they are Too Good for Transit, or else that I'm Only Taking Transit As A Stopgap. Maybe their errari is in the shop, maybe their Jaguar car-pool is experiencing a rough patch, or maybe their job as a mortuary transcriptionist doesn't pay as much as they think. They've deigned to wallow with the masses, as it were, muck about in the public transportation system and bear it. Hey, they might have a fun story to tell at their next Thomas Pynchon Book Club meeting.
There are a few tell-tale signs of the Uppity Up. The first is that their clothes costs more than all the bus-riders clothes combined. The second is that they invariably take a seat, then decide that in order to block the great unwashed from sitting next to them and bathing them in body-odour and/or the overpowering vapours of cheap gin, they take up a whole 'nother seat with their bag.
Now, it might be that their bag contains some secret service document that, if released, would spell the end of the free world as we know it, and lead to a second epoch of civilization, one ruled by a small set of cliquey, hyper intelligent raccoons. It might be they are carrying with them the only known live specimen of the Black Plague. These are all reasonable reasons to take up two seats when you are not, in fact, attached to your Siamese twin.
Every other excuse makes you look like an Uppity Up.
It takes a certain sort of willful ignorance to sit at your seat, your immaculate Italian leather atttache case laying smugly beside you, while what looks to be hundreds of transit riders hang on for dear life, each eyeing the semi-empty seat with covetous eyes and pure anger in their hearts.
People being what people are, generally don't say anything, and just wait out their short and painful bus ride, all wondering how plausible their defense for justifiable homicide would be if they plunged their umbrella through the Uppity Up's heart one or thirty nine times. Sometimes someone speaks up, and asks the Uppity Up, if they could possibly move their attache case so that the incredibly decrepit lady with the 30 pounds of groceries and the advanced case of varicose veins might sit down. The Uppity Up, will feign surprise, as if their vision had not been entirely obscured by the fifty transit riders all standing.