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14 May 2007

"Somebody should have told me."

At Signal to Noise, Toronto, ON, 06-Apr-07

"When you're born to this world,
your life starts slipping away."

Things I saw on the streetcar this evening:

A one-legged man at the Dundas stop, hobbling up the back steps of the car on a pair of crutches.

Granted, the streetcar was very crowded, so it's entirely possible that many seated passengers couldn't see that there was someone on board who really shouldn't have remained standing for the rest of the ride. The young man seated near me, however, had no excuse.

The man on crutches made his way to where I was standing so he could hold on to one of the poles for support. I saw the seated young man glance up out of the corner of his eye; he did so several times during the journey to the station. It seemed like he knew that I was glaring down at him with THE HATE OF A THOUSAND SUNS.

I looked at the one-legged man apologetically. I should have said something to the young man.

For crying out loud! I KNOW YOU SEE THIS MAN ON CRUTCHES! I'm pretty sure he needs that seat more than you do, and I'm also pretty sure that you and your shoulder bag can handle standing up!

I didn't say anything. Maybe the one-legged man should have said something. Maybe he was too polite. Maybe he was just too stunned to speak.

This sort of inconsiderate behaviour happens all the time on public transit. People are tired and some have even been on their feet all day; they don't want to give up their seats! Some people honestly don't realize that someone else on their streetcar or bus needs to sit down. Fair enough. But I KNOW this kid was aware that the ONE-LEGGED MAN ON CRUTCHES needed a seat.

Man! This was just as appalling as that time on the Dufferin bus many years ago, when a young man seated in the row reserved for the elderly, the disabled and PREGNANT WOMEN started yelling at A PREGNANT WOMAN when she very calmly (and rightfully) asked him if he wouldn't mind letting her have his seat. (The rest of the bench was occupied by senior citizens, I swear.)

That guy on the bus wasn't mentally deranged, just a total asshole. Just like the kid on the streetcar!

TRACK LISTING: Midge Ure, "Cold, Cold Heart"

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