In which justice is served

Note to our beloved Mods: I’m not sure precisely where this belongs, so please, please move it if I’ve missed :slight_smile:

I take a train every day into the city to work. I actually quite enjoy my daily commute. I even look forward to it. I realize this makes me a mutant by modern standards, but I find that the hour I spend on the train every day gives me time to sit down with a decent book, listen to my MP3 player, have a moment of quiet contemplation. The seats are comfortable, you get an interesting view, and you have more leg room than on your average airplane. All in all, it’s generally quite enjoyable.

Then there was yesterday.

There was a mechanical issue with a train, which caused a certain amount of scheduling chaos. Wreaked havoc with the timetable. Not a big deal, but it did mean that my customary train got diverted so I was obliged to take a different train (one that doesn’t usually stop at my station) which had been diverted to take the load my customary train generally does. So the train was particularly crowded. Usually there are enough seats to go around (if not many spares), but yesterday people were standing in the aisles. Mostly folks were taking it cheerfully enough - it was annoying, but nobody’s fault really. Also, it doesn’t happen often. In fact, today was the first day since I’ve started taking the train that I had to stand up.

The only person not really taking the standing-room-only atmosphere well was the lady standing directly in front of me. She had a fabulous reason for not appreciating it, though. She was two weeks past her due date and not happy about it. Swollen ankles, back pain, the whole late-pregnancy gamut. Having to stand made her sulky - understandably so. She glared around at the well-dressed under-50 men sitting in their seats and reading their papers or working on laptops and PDAs and made a fairly audible and quite snarky comment to the effect that any man with any pretense of consideration or common courtesy would give her his seat. I can’t blame her. The lady’s had a hard year. She takes my train quite often so I sort of know her - we chat on occasion while waiting for the train. Her husband was killed in Iraq four hours after she called him to tell him she was pregnant - the timing indicates she managed to get pregnant within a week of their wedding. Which took place all of two weeks before he got shipped out. Married, pregnant and widowed in less than three months. And it’s twins. And her family lives far enough away that they can’t be with her all the time. And his family has somehow decided that his death is all her fault. (Don’t ask me - I have no idea where that came from.) Anyway, she has a certain amount of justification for being snarky with the health-club fit “gentlemen” who failed to stand up and give her a seat when she waddled onto the train this morning.

So she makes her really quite snarky (and damn funny, too I might add) comment, and one of these late-20’s - early 30’s, health club fit and tanned, expensive suit wearing, perfectly coiffed and pressed and groomed “gentlemen” who is sitting slightly to our left and behind gives me a truly nasty look and tells me “Look lady, you’re not pregnant, you’re just fat. The standing will be good exercise for you.”

I go “…”

I am rarely at a loss for words, but really. How unspeakably rude.

I stare at him for a few moments and then turn to one side so he can see the now-completely-ballistically-irate pregnant girl behind me. She (who is a good soul) launches into a spirited dissection of his character and probable geneaology (with creative, albeit anatomically impossible, anecdotal suggestions) in a mix of English and Italian. I was quite impressed. She didn’t even use any language I’d be embarassed to use to my mother (as far as I know - some of the Italian was quite colloquial). The “gentleman” had started to flush an unattractive brick red at the first glimpse of the pregnant girl and spent her entire diatribe sputtering and attempting rather ineffectually to give up his seat. She wasn’t having it. I think she was rather enjoying the venting process of yelling at some asshole who richly deserved it. She’s had a lot of stress lately.

Behind his seat there stood two small, elderly Greek ladies. Complete with headscarf, dressed in black, weilding enormous patent leather purses. They might have stood 5 feet tall. In shoes. They politely waited for the irate pregnant girl to finish her exhaustive description of this individual’s character and probable ancestry. When she was winding down, they sort of poked their way past a couple people until they were firmly in his line of sight. They then picked up where the irate pregnant lady left off. They were laying on the guilt as only elderly ladies can (in both English and Greek). Finally, caught up in their dressing down of this jackass, one of them thwapped him upside the head with her large patent leather purse. Just as a conductor made his way through the crowd taking tickets. He puts a stop to the systematic dismantling of Mr. Corporate Man in an attempt to find out what’s going on. Several bystanders fill him in on the finer details. He listens attentively to the stories (including the one from Mr. Corporate Man who maintained that he was innocent of all charges and it was a misunderstanding). At which point he steps back and politely asks the other elderly lady if she’d like to smack Mr. Corporate as well. She declined, although she did add a few more choice comments about his upbringing and general disposition.

The conductor spoke breifly with the pregnant lady and the elderly ladies and myself, and then, as the train were pulling into Jamaica station, evicted Mr. Corporate Man from the train. With an admonition to be less of a jackass in the future. All the remaining passengers applauded. Several of the other reasonbaly young, quite fit gentlemen stood up and provided the elderly ladies with places to sit. The pregnant lady got Mr. Corporate Man’s seat.

And so justice was served.

wiping tears from eyes Fantastic! giggling helplessly

That was a hoot! Except the description of the pregnant girl’s background made me cry.

I just can’t fathom people like that. I have little springs in my knees that make me automatically get up if in the presence of elderly, pregnant, or otherwise encumbered people. If it were to happen that I didn’t happen to see such a person when they got on, and they had to ask me for a seat, I’d be incredibly humiliated. Let’s hear it for Mom and the Greek ladies!

Oh, lawd! I would pay money to have that on tape. :stuck_out_tongue:
Great story!

Behold the power of Little Old Ladies with BIIIG handbags. It is a force not to be reckoned with! :eek:

Aangelica that story made my day! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Now that is actual justice in action.


something of a sidejack: on a fairly crowded bus home a week or two ago, I noticed a few girls come on, one of whom looked like she might well be pregnant (not the typical overweight look, but relatively lean except with a very evident bulge in the belly area,) and all three of them looked around, saw that there wasn’t really anywhere to sit together, and stayed standing in the aisle, chatting. I was sitting on an empty two-seat in their area, so I picked up my bag and headed further down, past the rear doors, and stood as inconspicuously as I could near the back of the bus. (Not having taken off my headphones at all.)

Reflected to myself that in this age where chivalry could be seen as being offensive, the key to pulling off a maneuver like that was to make it look like you were about to get up anyway. :smiley:

That was a great story.

Heh the little old ladies were the best part :slight_smile: They were by damn going to give that guy a piece of their mind!

The pregnant lady actually is coping fairly well - although it makes me nervous to see her these days because she’s so overdue. She’s been taking the train every day to her OB/GYN’s office for a checkup. They’re a little concerned because her twins are overdue - generally twins aren’t, as a rule.

I think the yelling was therapeutic for her :slight_smile: Good for the soul.

I would’ve paid cash money to witness this scene.

Oh right, like that’s what the springs in your knees are for…

Great story! :smiley:

I figured I’d add subsequent events as they unfold. :wink:

In the interests of furthering the justice o’ the day, I just got off the phone with the Customer Service people at the LIRR describing the occurrence and being particularly profuse in my praise of the conductor’s handling of it. I’m of the mind that he was displaying particularly good customer service. Also I’m sure Mr. Corporate Man will be bitching presently. I’d like to offset if I can.

I did, however, leave out the part where he offered to let the other elderly lady have her whack. I figured that couldn’t possibly help him.

Agreed. Yet another reason I always carry my Olympus DM-10. I wish wish wish I’d bought the 20, though.

This story made me laugh and cry, like hillbilly queen.


I’m still laughing! :smiley:

Bravo! Well told, and well done! I wish I could have seen it in person.

Awesome. Story.

When I think of NY, it is stories like this that come to mind.

I have tears in my eyes from the tongue lashing and purse bashing.
When Pregnant Lady has the twins, please let us know. I need closure.

LOL :stuck_out_tongue:


According to her OB, if she isn’t actually in labor by Friday, they’re inducing her.

Apparently, 9 months and three weeks (which Friday will be) is plenty long.

They’re not worried about the delivery (well no more than with any other delivery that is). She said “I have plenty of room down there - benefits of having some actual hips”.

Her mother is arriving in town to help out tomorrow morning so I probably won’t see her for a while :slight_smile: She’ll have a ride places.