Thursday, October 05, 2006

Life on Public Transportation

I'm so glad I live in the middle of a big city so that I don't have to own a car. Within two blocks of my apartment are over a dozen bus lines and access to every single train/subway line in Chicago. Needless to say, I ride the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) a lot.

There are always lots of irritating people on the train. Always. I usually adopt the following modes of defense: (1) Ignore everyone, even if a homocide is occuring (2) Never make eye contact with anyone (3) Avoid sitting in urine.

However, a couple of days ago I was on my way to the North side of town, taking the red line to meet a friend for lunch. There was an elderly, blind man standing in the car, announcing to all the passengers that he was blind, that he'd had such a hard life, would we all find it in our hearts to donate a few coins, blah, blah, blah! Now, mind you, there's a $200 fine for soliciting on CTA property. I really get annoyed at these people who still do that, because they know we're a captive audience.

I could tell that this fellow really was blind, you know, he had those spooky, grey, non-eyes. He also kept tap-tap-tapping our feet with his damn stick.

So, when he got near me, I stood up and quietly told him:

"Sir, I'm Officer Wheat with the Chicago Police. It's illegal to solicit on CTA property and I'm going to have to ask you to stop. Now, can I help you to a seat?"

He was all, "Okay, okay, okay, yes sir."

I helped him get seated and everyone on the train was staring at me, probably wondering what I did to get him to stop.

I loved it!

Yes, I have all the sympathy in the world for him. But he was violating a law and annoying all of us captives. It's also dangerous for him to be walking around in a train that's lurching about. He could have hurt himself, or worse, fallen on a little one.

For the rest of my ride, he remained quiet and seated.

Yay! I love being in control like that.


At 8:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

$200 fine for begging.

Jail time for impersonating a police officer.

At 7:45 AM , Blogger Kyle said...

But getting your way? Priceless.


At 11:39 AM , Blogger Iwanski said...

I think the CTA should give you a badge.

At 12:35 PM , Blogger Jon said...

Thank you, Kyle.

Iwanski, I would SO love a badge!

At 4:28 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

A shiny sliver badge with an eagle on it! And eagle eating Thai food! A Thai food eating eagle that's playing the piano!


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