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Friday, July 19, 2013

I guess he didn't like it when I asked him if he wanted a pillow and a blanket

Early morning express train to Union from Oshawa.

Kid gets on with his bike despite the CSA having looked right at him (no announcement over the speaker with respect to no bikes during rush hour but I can't say for sure the CSA clued into the bike). The kid blocks the entire bench with his bike because, as he pointed out to a man (seen near the door in the first photo) who tells him to move his bike, the sign says this is where he should sit.

Then second, in an act of defiance, he lies down for emphasis and ignores the man who stands and stares at him.

For once, it wasn't only me who was enforcing courtesy and respect. The man won't give in. He tells the kid the bike has to go as the train will fill quickly with people and the kid says he's paid his fare, he's allowed to ride and begins asking the guy how he got to the station. His eyes never leave his phone.



"Did you drive, big guy?" He asks. "Well I rode in. You keep on polluting the planet with your car and you're going to stand there and give me a hard time about my bike?"

Finally I decide to back the man up.

"Hey," I say, getting out of my seat to approach the kid. I said something to the following affect:

I don't care what you do with the bike, but do you want a pillow and a blanket to make your ride more comfortable? You've mucked the seat up with your shoes and just an FYI, you're now lying in your own dirt. People have to sit there. Bikes are generally not allowed during rush hour because they are an inconvenience on trains already operating at passenger capacity. So if you want to prevent me from tossing your bike onto the platform because I don't like your attitude, I suggest you sit up and act like the nice young man that your mother thinks you are.



He stares at me. I tell the man I've got this. He mumbles something at the kid and stalks upstairs.

I stand right in front of the kid. I tell him I will stand there for the whole ride until he sits up and acts like a respectful human being. I remind him he paid one fare which entitles him to one seat.

He gets mad and starts slamming his stuff into his bag and announces he's leaving.

"I thought this was fucking Canada not a dictatorship. Fuck you, lady," he says as he takes his bike off the train. (Today's youth truly do have a muddled view of what the words "rights" and "freedom" are actually about).

"I didn't ask you to get off," I said. "I asked you to sit properly. You're only leaving because you know you're in the wrong and if you act like you should act, you feel like you're giving in or that I've won something here and you've lost."

He slams his bike onto the ground and climbs on.

"Make sure you get a refund and pedal your way to Toronto! Enjoy the heat!" I yell after him from the doorway as he rides away on the platform, proudly displaying a middle finger above his head.

I turn to go back into the train. I climb upstairs and pass the guy who had spoken to the kid earlier. I give him a recap.

"So he just left?" He asks.

"Yep," I say.

"Did you think I was being unreasonable?" He asks me.

"No," I said, "The problem is, we've bred a whole society of people - young and old - who think they can do whatever they want because we've all grown complacent and tolerant when it comes to bad behaviour. No one wants to say anything because no one wants to be THAT person."

"I guess we're a minority," he says.

"Look, I feel bad the kid felt he had to leave but he did that on his own accord. I never asked him to get off. He truly believed I was the bad guy. So let him think that. I don't care."

He smiled at me and went back to reading his book.

I really don't care anymore about what people think. I'm just fed up with people thinking they can do whatever they want.

14 comments:

CanuckGirl said...

YAY. We all need to do this more, myself included.

Way to go CJ!

Anonymous said...

Was this on the 7:28? I saw someone with a bike heading towards the train but not sure if it was this bellend or another one.
Good for you for standing up to him!

C.J. Smith said...

Yes.

Squiggles said...

5.10 last night had a bike on it. Announcements were made. Announcements were ignored. Had they been on my car, I would have said something. But alas, the person wasn't. Did see people giving him nasty looks at Ajax when he left the building.

Makes you wonder how these people earn a wage. Or maybe they still live in their parent's basement and have no idea how the real world actually works.

Dib said...

Good for you, CJ!!! But I think the man should have stayed with you rather than slinking off upstairs, leaving you alone to deal with what he started.

You rock, big time.

Anonymous said...

I wish there was more people like you who put these jerks in their place. So many of these kids have no common courtesy or respect anymore,it's an epidemic.
I see this happening all the time, why CS doesn't do more to enforce the rule drives me nuts. However I also think these people know how to avoid them by going to the last cars of the train as well.

Anonymous said...

Good job!

I'm assuming from your story that he rode his bike away from the train. Probably against the GO rules, def. a bylaw infraction to do that on the TTC. I wish they would ticket people riding their bikes on the platforms.

Dakota said...

Way to go CJ!

Taylor said...

I saw transit enforcement officers telling 2 cyclists they could not bring their bikes on rush hour trains at union last night. I was on the 5:20 LSE, but they could have been aiming for the Richmond Hill train too. They need to do this every day.

Lori said...

You and that man are my hero. I've got to start standing up to assholes on the train. If we remain complacent, it's going to keep going on.

AllanVS said...

*stands up and claps ... slowlyat first but faster as people join in.*
Mayors of Oshawa, Whitby and Pickering, Mayor Blob Ford, and CEO of GO... I Allan VanderSpek, being of sound mind and thoroughly pissed off with the douchebags of society, do hereby nominate CJ for "Citizen of the Ye... no Decade Award". Thank you.

C.J. Smith said...

Yes, he rode away, into the sea of people with zero fucks given yet satisfied he was doing his bit to save the planet but not knowing that myself and the man don't own cars and take the bus to the station.

Anonymous said...

What can I say that hasn't been said? CJ you're an inspiration to us all. @IansofaK

TTC employee said...

I would have thrown the guys bike onto the platform at the next train. If things get ugly then pull the fire extinguisher and start firing at the guy.