The Ruling Class

The sun was shining and the street was clear.  The Catholic school next door isn’t in session in July, so there was no unending line of cars to try and break through leaving my drive way.  The drive to BART was easy, traffic was light.  Normally, there is a ton of traffic and it can be difficult to make the right turn onto the main artery and drive the 2 miles to the station.  But today is Friday and Friday has its own rules.

Traffic is lighter on Friday.  People work from home.  People take the day off and start a long weekend.  I look for patterns and rules in everyday life.  I understand the Friday commute and traffic patterns.  Of course, since it is July, the rules vary in my favor.  Generally the main parking lot at BART fills up by about 7:40 am and 8:00 am on Friday.  It’s July, so I knew there would be spots for me at 8:15.  There we about 20. Score one for the good guys.  There is always plenty of parking on weekdays, as the auxiliary lot a block away fills about 9:00am.

The weather was perfect at 8:20 as I made my way down to the end of the platform.  The sign flashed that the next train would be in 5 minutes and was an 8 car train.  I always go to the rear of the train as it is always the least crowded.  Knowing that an 8 car train centers itself on the platform, I walked to where the rear door would be and stopped.  There is one train that generally breaks the rules.  It stops at the extreme front of the platform, leaving 2 empty spaces in the rear.  This is the exception and I believed it was THIS train.  I smiled and walked to where I believed the end of the train would be, not where it should be.

I was third in my line and all the lines grew to the opposite side of the platform and curved back.  Seeing the lines to my right grow, where there would be no train, I realized they’d need to be on my car.  Shrug. It would be crowded, but I’d have a seat.  Suddenly I noticed a woman to my left approaching.  Talking very loudly on her cell phone in a language I didn’t recognize.  Let’s go with something Eastern European.  She walked toward the front of the line, and then circled away.  By now our line had more than 15 people in it.  Perhaps 20.

A moment later the train approached.  She circled back again slowly walking toward the line  As the train stopped a bit short of our line, she was to the left – the door to my right, we line waiters turned slightly toward the door. As the door opened and we walked to enter, she shouldered me out of the way, never missing a word in her unintelligible conversation and pushed her way on to the empty train.  That right this train starts at our station.  Everyone was getting a seat.  Beyond my contempt for this rude woman, I had 2 thoughts.

First, why does she think the rules don’t apply to her?  Ok, there are no rules but there are social conventions and etiquette.  It made me thing of the Seinfeld episode with the squirrel and George yelling “we have a pact!”  I wanted a car so I could break my pact with her.  Violently.

Second, “Mob Boss’ Wife.”  I’ll keep the pact.

She kept on talking when the train started.  Luckily it was so crowded I couldn’t hear her by the 2nd stop.  I was hoping that the people around her would stone her.  Luckily for her, that’s against the rules.

Walking from Bart to get my morning coffee, I saw a table on the corner.  They were selling Krispy Kreme donuts as a fundraiser; $1 each or $10 for a dozen. “There were these  3 cute coeds holding signs and selling donuts,” sounds like the first line of letter to the Penthouse Forum.  What confused me was that nowhere was there any indication of what they were raising funds for.  I guess that is unimportant when girls want your money.

The other day, my Ex dropped my son off because he wanted to visit.  6 Flags, not me.  He’s an adult and doesn’t drive and clearly roller coasters outweigh Dad.   They live about 100 miles away.  Unsurprisingly her car had significant trash in it and it was her good fortune that it was garbage day in Concord.  The recycle can was empty and so was the yard clipping can.  The garbage can was half full, with an 8 foot outdoor blind the wind had obliterated sticking out.  Of course she threw her papers, food waste and assorted yuckies in the yard waste can.  I’m guessing the 2 additional feet she’d have had to walk to put the trash in the trash was too far and the rules written on the can didn’t apply to her.  I think this factual recounting (as told by my son) explains quite a bit.

 

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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

     /  July 20, 2012

    There once was a ‘common convention’ called civility, now almost totally extinct. A large part of the population goes around with their heads firmly up their rear. It means that you don’t have to look around you, think or change any behaviours. This is the future.

    Reply

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