An open letter to the pricks who ride BART, and any other means of public transport for that matter.
I’ve been riding BART for the last four months and I have witnessed and experienced more rudeness and inconsideration during that time than I have elsewhere in my life over the last five years. And today’s experience takes the cake.
The BART regulars know how to line up to get on the train, and ride the escalators, etc. If someone has special needs no one has a problem with them going to the front of the line. Today, this “man” pushing a single child double-wide stroller roles up, parks at the front of the line, pulls out his cell phone and makes a call; making an obvious effort to pretend not to see the rest of us. When the train arrives he pushes his way in inhibiting the people getting off from exiting without having to dodge him. The rest of us all file in and I head for the area where disabled people park their mobility aides. Now then, I’m legally (and hopefully temporarily) disabled and I use a eRazor scooter to get around as I can’t walk more than a few yards without excruciating pain in my left foot, due to bone spurs and a pinched nerve. But I don’t broadcast that fact and I don’t have a disabled sticker on my scooter because DMV won’t issue one to a vehicle that does not have a license.
Anyway, I start to head for one of the seats reserved for disabled people so I can keep a close eye on my scooter. (I tie it down when I park it but twice its come loose and I don’t want anyone to get hurt by it as it is rather heavy.) As I approach the seat this jerk’s 3 year old is whining that he wants to sit in the reserved seat but only if his dad will sit next to him. But the seat next to the open one is already taken. While the dad is trying to dissuade the kid I take the seat, and happen to be next to a pregnant woman (who is also entitled to those seats.) Now this is where it get’s “interesting”.
After I sit down, the dude looks down at his son and says “see what happens with people like that?”, seemingly referring to me. I thought WTH?!?!? Did I hear that correctly? I looked up at him but chose to ignore the snark. When we came to the very next stop, the women next to me got off as did many other people. I looked up at the dude, patted the seat next to me and said “he can sit here.” Then the dude looks at me, then at his son and says “we don’t sit next to people like you.” WTF?!?!? He turns with his kid to go to a pair of open seats and I say “sorry but I’m disabled. I have a bad foot” and he says to me as he passes “I hope it stays disabled.” ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?!?!? Like I deprived your brat from sitting in the seat he wanted? This isn’t Gymboree or Chucky Cheese. What kind of parent are you?
But, as usual, I took the high road and didn’t react or say a word but oh how I wanted to. Oh how I wanted to. So, to that prick I will just say this. (And you can be thankful I didn’t have a piece of paper with me or I would have written this down and dropped a note in your stroller as I walked out.) Oh, and that would be the stroller whose wheels you forgot to lock and I caught for you so it didn’t roll into the people standing in the door way when the train stopped, you putz.
“Dear asshole. I am disabled and that’s NOT a choice. You are an asshole and that IS a choice. If you don’t want your son to grow up to be an asshole too you might want to try to be a better role model. My infirmity is a disability. Your kid and stroller are an inconvenience and there’s a big difference between the two. As Seth Myers said about the person who ratted out Michael Phelps for smoking a little pot: ‘You sir, are dick’.”
The moral to the story: Just because someone doesn’t look to *you* like they are disabled doesn’t mean they aren’t.