Saturday, June 23, 2007

Not All Is Well in Lotusland

On Saturday morning I was taking a bus along 41st Avenue. Four rows in front of me there was a young woman in a window seat and a young man in the aisle seat beside her. I could tell that they didn't know each other but the bus was very crowded so everyone was packed in. As we approached Cambie she stood up and gestured to move out into the aisle. He did a half turn of sorts but didn't get up. She politely said, "I'm sorry but I can't get by." He just shrugged. With a slightly firmer tone she said, "Would you please stand up, I can't get out." He actually said, "No!" Then in a much louder voice, and one now filled with desperation, she exclaimed, "PLEASE stand up. I can't get out!!" He paused for a moment and then reluctantly half stood up. As she walked away from the bus, she kept looking back in obvious disgust.

This fellow was a well dressed Yuppie, clearly understood English, but just couldn't bother to make the necessary effort without the woman asking multiple times. If I had been closer I would have strongly considered grabbing him by the collar and yanking him out of his seat. But who knows what would have happened then. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he would have played the victim card. Likely, he would been supported by groups such as the Pivot Legal Society. For how dare I interfere with his "rights"!

Sadly, I don't think this was an isolated incident. Everyone I know seems to see this sort of dreadful behaviour all the time - on public transportation, in traffic, amongst pedestrians ... everywhere. Is this what Vancouver has become? Given that the powers at be have repeatedly indicated that no one is responsible for anything anymore, perhaps we shouldn't be surprised.

1 comment:

nachtwache said...

It's tempting to get physical with assholes like that, pardon the language. You know you can't. You can speak up and say something. If others on the bus would tell him to let the woman get by, he'd be too embarrassed not too, or else you could alert the bus driver, who has the authority to evict people from the bus. If that woman had been me, I would have banged into his legs to get through. Especially after he said "No".