Tuesday, September 09, 2008

More fun with public transportation

Even after nine years of riding L.A.'s Blue Line (light rail), I still haven't seen it all.

One morning last week, at the next to last station along the ride into downtown, a middle-aged woman who had been sitting in a middle row of the car (and who had been speaking with quite vulgar language while talking with a man in another row) got up and walked to the front of the car as the train was coming to a stop. She didn't immediately get off. Just before the doors were to close she turned and spit at a man near the door, then she jumped off and high-tailed it down the platform as the doors shut.

The man had not, as far as I could tell, spoken with her at all.

And he was in a wheelchair.

Seriously. A wheelchair. (I didn't notice that at the time, since I was seated near the back of the car; I didn't spot that detail until we both got off at the last station, which gave the incident an even more bizarre tone that it had when I saw it happen.)

I wasn't paying attention to everything that happened during the 50-minute ride, but I got on before either of them, and had there been some altercation earlier (for which projecting spittle toward him was due payback) I have to imagine I would have noticed it. So, as far as I can tell, the man had said nor done anything to the woman. Perhaps he had glanced at her with a disapproving look, since she had (as I mentioned) been speaking loudly and including just about every profanity in the book.

I'm not sure whether she was racist (as the wheelchaired man was of a different race than she was) or prejudiced against the handicapped (because they get the good spots on the train?) or, my personal theory, she was kind of batshit crazy.

However, even that isn't entirely consistent; were she mentally impaired (let's put it that way), she wouldn't care about waiting until the last second and diving off as the doors shut so there was no possibility of pursuit (by anyone); that's conniving, and of course, cowardly, which are not traits I attribute to the even marginally insane. Thus, even that theory doesn't hold up. So, really, we'll never know.

Here's the thing: At no point did I notice the man make any attempt to wipe anything off his person or property. Therefore it appeared that despite whatever motivated the woman to launch the loogie at him she couldn't get enough distance or have sufficient aim to hit a man only four feet away.

So it boils down to this: If you're a loud, vulgar, inconsiderate, likely prejudiced, cowardly idiot who feels the need for very tepid vengeance toward a stranger, make sure you have sufficient saliva and practiced accuracy before attempting such a plan. Otherwise you'll not only look like an asshole, you'll also seem the fool.


  1. This is just a thought…

    Perhaps an inappropriate graze and/or grope occurred before said loogie launch. You know, perhaps as she was standing in the aisle waiting for her stop he copped a feel.

    As a woman, I can certainly confirm that not only have I been inappropriately—or what some men have called accidentally—grazed and/or groped, but I have also indeed had an urge to spit at said offender following such an event; it depends on the environment.

    In fact, public transportation can be some of the worst accidental groping you can come by, as your method of escape is severely limited. Some women might spit and stand their ground, while others might spit and run. It all depends on the woman, I suppose.

    For the record, I have never launched a loogie at another human being—not on purpose anyway.

    Then again, she could have totally been a loud, vulgar, inconsiderate, likely prejudiced, cowardly idiot who felt the need for very tepid vengeance toward a stranger and is indeed batshit crazy.


  2. Thanks, Jenji.

    So, if public transportation is some of the worst accidental groping, where can one find some of the best?

    Just wondering.


So, what do you think?