The truth is, like all of you out there, I am a criminal. I cross the street even when the orange hand CLEARLY states that I should wait for the cars that aren’t coming and miss my train to prevent me from being hit by cars that are not there. I travel 64 miles per hour even when the sign says 60 mph plain and clear. I break laws, I do, I know I do… but I like rules, they make me happy. They keep me safe and secure, and let me know that there is order to the world around me. So when this scene unfolded, I had particularly passionate feelings about it.
“I need to see tickets and passes please! Tickets and passes,” the conductor comes through to check our passes. She has a job to do, and I happily show my pass upon request. She does remind me of the Grim Reaper version of the “peanuts! get your hot peanuts!” guy at the baseball game.
To my dismay, the jerk next to me on the train doesn’t have a train ticket. He won’t take his ear buds out, and as she kindly explains to him that it takes a train ticket to ride the train (this new policy has been around since the 1800′s if you were wondering). He begins to yell at the train attendant . (Side bar- how are you going to do something wrong and then yell at someone else because you were wrong????????????) She politely but firmly says he will have to get off at the next stop. His response, “I am a veteran show me some kind of respect.”
As we wait for the police officer to arrive and take over the scene, The Un-Vet continues cursing at the lady in front of several children, a girl begins to cry. He looks at me and in some type of sorcery-induced decision making scheme, he decides that I am the one to plead his case to. We clearly haven’t met.
I said, “SIR, You have my appreciation for your service, but you have failed to uphold the honor associated with the title you claim. . Veterans are heroes and to be honored and respected for their service to our nation, but you are not living with honor or integrity. You didn’t learn to lie and cheat in the service. You did not learn to disrespect women in the service.. Please don’t use that title any more. You have forgotten what it means.
He asked the attendant if he could just sit back down and an older gentlemen in a veterans hat who was sitting across the isle slide over next to me instead and said, not here you can’t.