Tuesday, January 22, 2008

In the land of idiots

On the way to the airport last week, I remarked to Casey how we were courteous, conscientious commuters, moving quickly with our suitcases and not blocking aisles or exits as we got on and off the trains or moved along the platforms. I have a heightened sense for self-absorbed travelers, on whom I'm quick to affix an asshole label, whether they might deserve it or not if I were to study them or get to know them beyond an anonymous observation on the train or the plane. But you know what they say about first impressions.

Those who get the quick-draw label of asshole include:
  • Commuters who put their bags on the adjoining seat during rush hour, knowing someone will ask them to move it. There's no way you're getting the whole double seat during the rush, so why force someone to ask you to move your shit?
  • Subway riders who make no effort to move from the door while others enter or exit the train, as well as those on the platform who stand in the way -- or try to get on -- while people are still getting off.
  • The two young bitches who made no effort to hold the elevator at the Newark Airport train station even though they could see us coming through glass wall and heard our calls to wait.
  • Pretty much everyone else who flies, but particularly those who rush over and crowd the gate area as soon as the announcement is made that preboarding will begin momentarily. If you fly often enough to know that the preboarding announcement means boarding will begin soon, you fly often enough to know that first it's first class and old people, children and families, and sometimes Continental OnePass Elite members. Then they'll start boarding rows. But you people just have to stand in the way, don't you?
  • And, of course, those who ignore carry-on rules, particularly when they place their suitcases in the overhead bins incorrectly -- wheels to one side when I believe wheels out is preferred.
I suppose this extends from the anxiety of driving -- sidewalk rage, I guess. Driving in northern New Jersey can bring out the worst in the best drivers. Sometimes, I have to remind myself to chill. But every clueless or aggressive driver on his or her cellphone gets to me a little. And I count each car that passes me as I wait in the crosswalk on my way to the train each day, glaring at the drivers who ignore New Jersey's yield to pedestrians law. I plan to make a sign to hold up as I stand there -- just as soon as it's light out so they can see it at 5 p.m.

No comments: