Stay Classy, DATA!

I think we’ve established by now that my commute is the worst.

Not to say it doesn’t have its highlights: in fact, this morning, a little girl sat down next to me, cheerfully introduced herself, and asked me what games I had on my phone (not many, alas). And then we proceeded to play Robot Unicorn Attack until it was time for her and her mother to disembark. And that was fun.

But since there seems to be a Universal Law of Transit stating that, for every interpersonal interaction that briefly restores one’s faith in humanity, there must be an equal and opposite incident that shatters it completely and irrevocably, it was only a matter of time until the tide turned: at about 8:23, the driver started screaming at a man in a wheelchair, for “having an attitude,” and “always trying to start something,” as well as being “an idiot” and “wasting taxpayer money.”* To this verbal onslaught, the man in the wheelchair simply requested that the driver not point fingers right in his face, because that is very rude, to which the driver responded, “I’ll point my fingers anywhere I want!” before threatening to fight the man (?!?)**

Now, I don’t know this passenger as anything more than a fellow traveler, but all of our brief, transit-oriented interactions to date tend to confirm my initial impression that he is pleasant and polite, a perfect gentleman. Actually, the thing that stands out to me more than any other is that his manners are maybe the best I’ve ever seen from anyone, anywhere. ESPECIALLY given the environment, which is not exactly conducive to basic social etiquette, let alone respectful discourse or non-violent dispute resolution.

So I highly doubt that this particular person was causing trouble. It’s possible, I suppose, because we all have our bad days, but…I don’t know, I think he was just doing what he always does, which is to board the bus and quietly ride out the route until he reaches his stop. I didn’t notice anything unusual until the bus driver started screaming.

At least I get a few hours’ peace before I have to get back on the bus and ride home.

And to think, I used to be able to WALK TO WORK. I regret that most of all, days like these.

*At this point the man in wheelchair pointed out that, given his druthers, he would not have ever chosen to be in a wheelchair except that, you know, stuff happens. Also, I’m pretty sure that he’s got a job to go to — not sure he’d wear a suit and shiny shoes everyday, nor haul around a briefcase and a tote bag full of documents if he didn’t. Not that being employed makes him better than anyone else, merely more fortunate than some others…HOWEVER, I think one can safely say that this person is NOT the “drain on society” that the bus driver assumes.
**I thought I’d misheard, because…well, why? Also, REALLY? Picking a fight with a quadriplegic is kind of an @$$hole move to begin with, but especially if the individual in question is Durham’s answer to Sidney Poitier.
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