Tuesday, October 25, 2005

TAN Celebrates Rosa Parks Day

Yesterday, as most people know by the time of this posting, Rosa Parks passed away.

I'm not planning to eulogize at all, and there are many others who have posted. The Times article is linked here. If you don't have access, TinkertyTonk posted a big snippet of the piece here.

Gawker made a statement
as well.

I commented on the Gawker post, and unexpectedly I got a fair amount of positive e-mail feedback. Including her divaness Pink Lemonade, who commented on the blog(thanks). So since I am apt to link to anything I do remotely praiseworthy, here is the comment.

For those who don't want to bother I basically say that, in her honor, I'm refusing to give up my seat on the the bus to any of the elderly or disabled.

I gave myself a good chuckle with the line, but then when actually riding the bus today my mind was swirling. I don't usually end up in the seats where the stickers ask you to "please give up this seat to someone elderly or disabled," but today there I was. And with the remants of Wilma hitting NYC today there were a lot of people using the bus.

So with my comment in mind I was feeling particularly conscious about making sure I don't take the joke too far. At the same time the bus is crowded and I wasn't looking to give up my seat unless it was really necessary.

So I'm scanning the people as they come in. Every middle-aged person who boards I'm checking out for extra wrinkles, or a limp, or missing teeth ... something to let me know they fit under the "elderly or disabled" category. There were a number of tweeners that made me lean forward, but then say, "nah, they're not that old."

Eventually an old lady with big bags and a cane feebly makes her way on to the bus. Perfect, I think to myself. I look at her face that is desperately hoping for a seat and I rise up with a little extra flourish to make sure others notice my benevolence.

And as soon as I step away from the seat, this bratty little girl slides in front of the old lady and gets in the seat. And not only does she take the seat, she actually stands on the seat itself, then kneels down on her knees so that she can look out the window. All done with that childlike oblivious exuberance that is oh-so-annoying when there's absolutely nothing to be obliviously exuberant about.

The old lady, who had noticed my flourish, was clearly disappointed. But there's nothing anyone can do. The child was too young to approach about proper etiquette in that situation.

Mind you I wanted to take the child, slam her down on the ground, put my wet boot on her face and tell her, "the sign says kindly give the seat to someone elderly or disabled. And not only that, yesterday Rosa Parks passed away, and I made a funny comment on Gawker about not giving my seat up that people e-mailed me about. And I was thinking about that comment when I gave up my seat. So with all that in mind don't you want to go and find someplace else to cry and complain about my wet boot being in your face?"

Someone's got to teach these children some manners. It might as well be TAN and his wet boot.

Unfortunately like a good little blogger, I thought big thoughts, and took little action.

A little later in the day all these events made me think about how, despite considering myself to be a spry young man, I get on the bus and often have elderly and disabled people getting out their seats so that I can sit down.

Maybe I need botox


  1. since you brought it up, what I really want to know is who you know to've scored Gawker commenter power.

  2. PLD, it's probably because he got that fabulous shout-out in the Village Voice. That, or maybe it's Gawker affirmative action for assimilated negroes.

    TAN, when I got to the part about the girl stealing that seat out from under the old lady's ass, I literally gasped in horror. Use of the wet boot was indeed indicated. Loved your Rosa plan to not give up your seat, though!

  3. Holy crap TAN - it is your duty to give that snotty kid the boot, wet or otherwise! I used to try to sneak in lessons on manners in my classes, but then I realized that kids are quite often a reflection of their lazy, ignorant, litigious, mean, cranky, and otherwise intolerable parents. So I started out this year explaining to them that although this was an art class, what I was really going to teach them was to just be good humans. Silly kids - you should hear them now. I'm all, "Hey could you pick up that paper on the floor?" and the one kid who still needs the boot says, "I didn't do it!" And the kid I have assimilated says, "Dude, she's not blaming you, she just wants you to pick up the paper and be a good human." Excellent, everything is going according to my plan...

  4. Lil 'botox for tha 'buttcheeks?

    I'm not sure what that means... but I know it was a message for you. Don't kill the messengah.

    Excellent story

  5. I don't even sneak in lessons about manners to people. WHen someone ahead of me in line is rude to a cashier who is doing nothing in line, I am extra friendly or if they are berating them for something that wasn't their fault I will say so aloud. I don't give a frig who it is doing the berating.. I have even told grumpy bastards to give kids leeway in the past because "look, they are just kids".. but seat stealers and line jumpers.. beware. My tongue is sharp.

  6. This is precisely why I advocate public child beatings.

    Of course, I also advocate public floggings of the ederly.

    I'm at an impasse.

    still: you should've used the boot. Especially if this kid didn't have a parent with it to yell at you for hurting their baby.
    Infact, you should consier wearing cleats.

  7. yeah I guess that child/demon really deserved a penalty

    PLD - I'm sure some affirmative action is involved. this probably helped too

    hopefully they won't notice my panhandling

  8. We bloggers have to fight our inclination to think big thoughts and take little action. Follow the path of most resistance!

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