Tuesday, November 18, 2014

baby, what a big surprise

Nearly every morning, I see this guy on the train. He's one of those people that — just based purely and superficially on appearance — you know is an asshole. You know the type. I can't quite pinpoint what it is about him that assures me that he's an asshole, but I know that he is. It may be his default facial expression. It's sort of a haughty sneer; mouth turned down slightly at the corners, furrowed brow, heavy-lidded judgmental eyes. Maybe it's that fact that, despite numerous cautions and warnings from SEPTA, he still insists on placing his expensive-looking briefcase on the seat next to him. Perhaps it's the one time, on a particularly crowded train, the only available seat was the case-filled one next to him. When I asked to sit, he hesitated before he moved his bag and then refused to give up the full 50% of the seat. He encroached on my space for the entire journey to work, trying to edge me out onto the aisle. I think he even leisurely crossed his legs at one point, revealing a designer sock between a tooled-leather shoe and a hairy shin.

Know your train.
This morning, I saw him in his usual spot (last car, left-hand side, briefcase on seat). The train was unusually empty this morning, so I grabbed an aisle seat on a three-seater two rows behind him. I removed my book from my messenger bag and began reading. Suddenly, someone's cellphone began to ring. The ringtone wasn't the generic, factory-installed, synthesized series of "beeps and boops". This was a customized ringtone. A popular song chosen specifically to reflect the owner's light-hearted and carefree outlook on life. A song that hearkened back to a simpler, less-complicated time in the owner's life, when innocence was the driving force and the sweet sounds of four mop-topped lads from Liverpool held a place of high esteem. Someone had purposely sought out and selected the Fab Four's international chart-topping hit "She Loves You" as a way of alerting them to an incoming call. 

It was the asshole.

He fumbled from pocket to pocket in a mad search to locate his phone. All the while, the bright vocals of Lennon and McCartney soared loudly above George Harrison's jangly guitar, filling the train car.

"Wow!" I thought, "Maybe I had this guy all wrong. No asshole could possibly have a peppy, cheerful song like 'She Loves You' as their ringtone!" I looked up from my book, cocked my head, and silently pondered this guy again, reconsidering my earlier stance. 

Then he stepped out into the aisle, blatantly cutting in front of a woman trying to exit the train. He had that regular scowl on his face. 

Looks like I was right all along.

1 comment:

  1. His girlfriend probably put it on his phone. Or he's just bragging that somebody out there likes him -- but not you. You can't possibly be worth as much air or bus space as him.