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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Race on the train

(Another brief exception to the ban on job-related blogging:) I got business cards at work today. Pretty nice for an internship, right? They don't even have the "i" word on them, actually -- I'm an "Analyst."

And now, yet more discussion of the train. On the ride home yesterday evening there was a small flare-up of racial tension. I didn't get a seat, and was standing in the middle of the car. I was in iPod oblivion, but I knew there was a black man standing next to me talking to two (black) women who were seated. It got my attention, however, when the old white guy in the row of seats in front of them turned around to the standing guy and said "Shut up!," and maybe something else, with a very angry look on his face. Then a black guy standing to the other side of me said, very loudly, "You've been pestering the shit out of us for 400 years!" Heads snapped to attention around the car, and I'm sure it appeared to many that I was the source of the trouble. I did my best don't-know-what's-going-on expression. And that was that, but there was plenty of furtive glancing and whispering for the next few minutes.

While I don't know what caused the white guy to get angry, the other guy's choice of the word "pestering" was certainly interesting. Maybe the Shut Up man said something about pestering. Anyway, it's sort of like saying that getting the crap beaten out of you is "annoying."


hannah said...

I like it, especially the mild "pestering," versus "the shit out of." And all in all, not a bad way to handle the situation, I guess, as far as public transit encounters go.

lj said...

Off topic comment, but I didn't feel like digging back to your DeLay posts:
The man is actually proud of what he's done. Argh!

This train is really starting to sound like quite the source of drama and action, between racially fueled exchanges and drinking. I hope you don't get caught in any drunken brawls.

teague said...

Yeah, after I got past the "400 years" part, I was like "Hold on...'pestering the shit out of?'" I guess it was fairly effective -- succinct, and the whole thing sort of stopped there.

LJ, it no longer surprises me that DeLay is beyond help. (Though I did enjoy the article's line about how he "was not about to distance himself from himself.") The DeLay approach seems to have been institutionalized to a significant extent by his party, so, DeLay or not, the country needs to deliver them a very firm kick in the ass this fall. Anyway, it is extremely dispiriting that that poisonous idiot might leave public service in disgrace (though he refuses to accept it) and still become a highly effective, highly paid lobbyist.

Also, re: drinking on the train: Maura, Caroline and I decided last night on the way home that we will meet up Fridays for train happy hour. There's a liquor store in Union Station.