Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Interesting character study on the bus ride in this morning. After I boarded the bus and said my hello's to those who sat around me, I became aware of loud talking. I looked around in puzzlement, my fellow passengers near me rolled their eyes in exasperation and indicated a gentleman a few rows back.

He was loudly talking on a cellphone, totally oblivious to everyone else around him. Pointed stares in his direction were useless as he was blind. One had to wonder if he also had a hearing impairment as well. His conversation concerned his disdain for self-help books. Apparently, he really really dislikes them.

I quickly dug out my iPod and put in the earbuds. I could still hear him over my audio copy of Freakanomics. I switched to Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville. I continued switching to different albums, until I got to U2's How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. That seemed to drown him out. Of course, my hearing may have been impaired as well, but it was worth it.

Another stop later, another gentleman boarded who didn't seem to have the same social reservations the rest of us had. When he became aware of what was going on, he got up and approached the guy. I turned down my music so I could listen and pick up pointers on how to deal with the socially rude.

"Hey, buddy, you mind talking a little quieter?"

Buddy didn't even acknowledge him; kept talking about how publishers are the only ones who gain from self-help books.



"Buddy." Arm tap.

Buddy lifted his left hand and gave him a one-fingered salute.

OH-KAY, so Buddy is not a nice guy.

The other guy sat down, we all shook our heads in disbelief at one man's selfishness and I cranked up Bono.

Half way downtown, Buddy ended his conversation and put away his phone. With great effort, the rest of us refrained from applauding, but the sighs of relief could be heard through Tina Turner's Addicted to Love.

I removed my earbuds and started chatting with the people around me, getting caught up on each other's lives. We soon became aware of another noise. Buddy was snoring. Loudly. Sloppily.

Ironic that he disdains self-help books.

So, if it wasn't for his impairments, would he still be as rude as he is? Is he rude because of it?



Jeff Meyerson said...

What's to discuss? The guy was a total asshole. End of story.

Leetie said...


Eleanor said...

Since Jeff says End of Story, I guess I have nothing to add.

Slyeyes said...

El, since he's leaving the country in a few hours....who cares??

(hopefully, he'll be too busy packing to read this)

insomniac said...

and every phone conversation on the bus contains "YES ,I'M ON THE BUS!" in it.

Kafaleni said...

I was on the same bus as a teenager (who made me feel very old!) when her phone rang. That I could live with. Turns out she had one of those new-generation walkie-talkie cells, so I got to hear both sides of what (IMO) should have been a private conversation. It was pretty boring too.. boys, clothes, what you're doing this weekend. Why couldn't she have waited until she got home and called her friend at no cost? (Local calls are free)

Leetie said...

JU and I were eating at Pizzaria Uno awhile back and somebody was on one of those walkie talkie phones on the other side of the room. I probably wouldn't have paid much attention to the loud chatter, but the thing had to emit those freaking bleeps every time somebody spoke. I tried the stare-down technique, but she was too busy talking to whomever it was to even notice that she was making a scene. She was sitting there with about 5 other people too. Simply amazing.

Leetie said...

PS: The restaurant was in a shopping mall. Does this mean that it's OK for people to be less polite?

MrFisher said...

What I want to know is why do brand new electronic gadgets always attract assholes?