Free-Floating Hostility

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Commuters Behaving Badly

Now and then when I'm running late I'll shorten my commute by ten minutes or so by taking BART instead of the bus. It makes me a little nervous cause there's a stretch between Richmond and El Cerrito del Norte where you're on rather a severe diagonal with respect to the earth. I can't imagine that's earthquake-safe, either. BART is, however, excellent for people-watching. The other day I was waiting at Richmond for the train to leave when a woman in a wheelchair wearing a neck brace boarded the train. She offered to help someone who looked lost, then pulled out her cell phone and made a call to tell someone else when she'd be arriving at Fruitvale. Fine. Then, she arose nimbly from her wheelchair, removed her neckbrace, and lay down across two seats with her knees up and a BART map over her eyes to block the light while she napped. What gives??

I'm told Ellen once encountered a legless panhandler on the subway in New York, who when she offered him some change, turned to her and said, "Hey baby, how 'bout when I get off work I strap on my legs and you and me go hit the town?"

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