I was taking the train to work this morning. It was one of those new SF Muni trains, the ones with a long bench-like seat along the side of the car and another long bench-like seat mirroring it on the other side. It was the morning commute and it was fairly crowded. This older man, probably in his mid sixties, got on the train and looked around for a seat. He gestured at a mid-thirties business man sitting close by to me, and asked him to move his bag so he could have a seat. The businessman slowly pulled off his headphones, gazed up from the MacBook on his lap, looked the old man in the eyes and said “No.”
The old guy looked back incredulously and asked again to make sure he was hearing this correctly. “You won’t move your bag so I can have a seat?”
And the businessman repeated himself. “No, I’m not going to move my bag. It has important things in it.”
And this is the moment that I got myself involved. I pride myself of being a social justice vigilante. I looked over at the businessman and said “You’re really not going to move your bag?”
He shook his head and repeated “No.”
Keep in mind: this is during morning rush hour. There are a bunch of people standing up without seats, and this jackass is taking up two seats unapologetically and proudly. So I went off on him. “What makes you so special? I really want to know. Your bag is more important than other people? Do you want your own train car too? You are an asshole.”
I have to mention that I didn’t yell any of this. This was me calmly telling an asshole that he is an asshole, and the people nodding in agreement with me made him realize that he is in fact an asshole.
The older guy jumped back in: “You can’t be take up a seat for your bag. You’re also manspreading quite a bit!”
This younger street kid got up and offered his seat to the older guy. The older guy took it, and wouldn’t you know it, now the older guy and the businessman were on opposite benches facing each other. Older guy kept glaring at the businessman, things seemed to settle down, I went back to staring at my phone, and a few stops later I noticed the businessman slowly pick up his bag and place it under his seat by his feet. And that my friends, is what we call character development.
It was one of my finer Muni moments.
Critically Rated at 14/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young