Thursday, April 22, 2010

Observations on the Bus

Yesterday was a cane day.
And yesterday was a bus day.

I’m used to the silly comments I get when I have my cane in the saddle bag of my bike. People who don’t bike don’t know that biking uses different muscles from walking. And they are shocked or surprised to see someone get off a bicycle and remove an extendable cane from her saddle bag before walking off on 3 legs.

When I take the bus, I don’t take the Reserved for Handicapped and Elderly seats. I like to leave them for folks who are more in need than I am. I don’t even think about it when youngsters are sitting in them. After all, I use the handicap toilet in public restrooms if it’s the only one vacant. A seat is to sit in. I figure the kids will move if somebody handicapped gets on the bus. Or maybe they are handicapped in a way that isn’t obvious.

The kids were talking about how many points you had to get on a test to get a letter grade. In one class 70 points was a D. In another it was a C.

I walked past the kids and took a regular seat.

A few stops later a gray-haired, but definitely able-bodied looking, man got on the bus with a younger woman. He yelled, “They shouldn’t be sitting there! It’s wrong!”

The kids looked at him like he was an amusing distraction. They clearly had no idea that he was talking about them.

A gray-haired woman who had a cane, and was sitting in a Reserved seat, got up and gave her seat to the man. The younger woman sat down beside him in an already vacant seat.

The kids resumed their discussion of teachers and grades. They never even mentioned the angry man sitting across the aisle from them. He continued to discuss them. The younger woman said nothing.

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