I was riding the bus into work (as always) (I think it was Saturday). Now let me set the scene for those of you who don't ride public transit. About 70% of the seats are 2 side-by-side facing forwards. The front 30% however, are parallel to the 'walls' of the bus facing inwards.
On this day I was on my second bus (I need to transfer busses due to the size of L.A.) I was in the first row of coupled side-by-side seats. I had my foot up on the last parallel seat. This should give you the idea that there were plenty of open seats. On the seat next to me was my shoulder bag and on my lap was my computer.
I was working on a rather nasty bug. Big deadline and all. I look up and there is this man standing there. He's about 65 or so and he's glowering in a manner that can only be likened to "Old Mr. Jenkins complaining about those damned juvenile delinquents again!"
He stands for a moment and gruffly barks... "Would you stop taking up the seat." (Now a quick note here. By state law, the front 30% of the seats must be voluntarily given up to any person that is disabled or a senior citizen. About half of those seats were open. I tend to have a rule about taking up both seats when mine is the only free one.) "You're depriving me of my rights" he continues in his medicare supported bark.
My feet are on the seat in front of me (also empty) because my seat is also at the busses wheel-wll and there isn't really a place for the bag here. None-the-less, I move the bag and try to put it at my feet. The man drops into the seat intentionally at an angle and pushes me into the wall of the bus. "Who do you think you are to deprive someone of their rights."
Well, at this point I'm annoyed. This 'old fart' (Note: I have great respect for age...when it is deserved) has really ticked me off. There were plenty of available seats and I wasn't depriving him of anything except maybe the chance to be a spoiled, old angry man.
So I figured, I'd deprive him of that, too.
I knew how to deal with this kind of behavior. I'd dealt with my mother's irrational anger. The worst thing you can do to someone who wants to piss you off is to not let them. It's a nasty habit of mine I used to do accidentally. Now it was with 100% intent. I became "CAPTAIN PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE"
"Well gosh, sir...." In my best Mr. Rogers' voice....I actually used the word 'gosh.' I didn't think I was depriving you of any rights. There were oh so many seats available in the section of the bus reserved for someone of your senior stature." My voice became almost sing-song and full of utter respect that was obviously false "I'd hate to think I was taking up more room than I should. With oh so moany seats open, I'd only assumed that someone like you would naturally desire the seats for people like you."
Obviously this ploy was working. "Shut UP!" he wittingly said.
"Well, gosh! I'm sorry, now it seems that I have offended. I was just trying to continue the deliberation of the policy you wanted to explain to me. I felt, that since I was in such grievous error in my public transit etiquette that I would benefit from the clarity of the policies that you were bringing to my attention."
"JUST SHUT UP." And he got off the bus at the next stop.
Sometimes I can be an evil person. This day I felt utterly vindicated and I feel even the angels were looking down and saying, "You done good."
As I was getting ready to leave the bus I heard someone approximately my age mutter to a person next to them, "What a horse's ass." I turned around with a wry grin..."Which one...him or me?" The person shared a smile..."I guess both of you...But yours was funny."