Reason #43 why I'm going to hell

What is up with the elderly? Do people suddenly lose all sense of social responsibility when they retire, or is it something that develops over time? I'm particularly peeved at elderly women, because they're the ones I'm having bad experiences with. The old dudes I think are resting at home, recovering from spanking the carpet.

You've seen it: they get on your tram and hover. They won't sit in the three seats in the front because those are reserved from the decrepit and invalid. And they're so proud as they weave and totter on their one good crutch, preventing anyone else from sitting in the seat. 'Great job!' I want to shout. 'Way to totter! Someone pick this superstar up and give her a hug!'

Then there are the ones that hover over your seat. These are the younger ones. You can actually give up your seat to them if you're burly and fight dirty, and if their hands are full. And arthritic. With palsy. But you can whoop 'em and stuff 'em down in your seat so you can have a little peace, free of their sighing and muttering and ježíšamarieing until they get to the ješte jednou stanice they're going to.

(They're lying, by the way. The next time the biddy tells you she's only going one station, thank you, stay put and watch what happens. It's a riot.)

When I think about it, I think this behavior must be something people develop over time, like a grand unifying theory of life, the universe and how to be a total pain in the ass. This would explain a lot, including the tendency of tramriders', regardless of their edge, to stand in front of the only empty seat on the tram, preventing anyone from sitting in it: 'If I can't have this seat, then no one else will!' Which reminds me of a joke -- I'll tell you in a minute.

The reason I have this stuck in my craw is that I often travel on the tram with my dog. She doesn't take up much space. In fact, the tram is the one place on the planet where she behaves. DPP requires I muzzle her. People think this looks cute, silly or cruel, but actually it's quite necessary. She bites, especially children. She hates children -- or loves the way they taste -- I'm not sure. Anyway, children reach out with their sticky fingers -- Koukej mami! Krasný pejsek! -- and chomp! So I figure DPP has a point.

DPP also requires dogs remain in the front of the tram and that there be no more than one dog per car. At least, I've read this before, but I can't find proof of it now. Maybe they've abandoned it. I think the one-dog rule is a little unreasonable, but I abide by the front of the car rule because there's that extra floorspace right behind the driver's seat where a dog can sit and not get stepped on. And the seat is reserved for the elderly and decrepit, who my dog usually gets along with.

But as you might guess, there's often a perfectly able-bodies punk sitting in the seat working out how best to be a pain in the ass, when the back half of the tram is empty. Dude, be all you can be, but my dog trumps your self-actualization. Sometimes I move to the back, and sometimes I hover.

This joke comes from those comedians over at RFE/RL:

A genie says to a [Russian] peasant, "I will grant you any wish, but remember that I will give your neighbor twice what I give you."
The peasant thinks for a while and responds, "Poke out one of my eyes."


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