It sliced through all of us like the blade of a knife that had just been sharpened a mere moment before...that word. Sure we've heard it; perhaps we've even been guilty of saying it, but it would appear certain that the guy in this story had it stored up in his arsenal (among some serious issues and self-control problems, which you'll come to see). I say this because in thinking back to the bizarre scenario, I think it's only safe to say he was insane. With a little bit of an asshole thrown in there.
Monday morning | 7:10 a.m. | Another Week Arrives
The day was typical: a crowded train with commuters piling in by the dozens, all holding false smiles, filled coffee cups and arguably empty souls (some of us). But one thing in common amongst us all -- other than the incessant thought of, boy, does this suck -- is that we were each gearing up for another week of whatever would come. Yet, no matter what we were planning for, I doubt any of us expected that together we would all endure one of the strangest scenarios of our lives, leaving us with a true what the fuck just happened kind of feeling.
You see, of all the NJ Transit workers I've encountered, there's one woman who prides herself on her by-the-book techniques. Of course, some might appreciate it, but my guess is that the majority lies in those who believe her methods to be somewhat irritating. Bluntly stated, she's a little bit of a Transit Freak. Perhaps that's hyperbole, but you understand. Having said that, she still deserves respect, something I thought everyone thought as well. But again, it was only 7:10 a.m. and I had a lot to learn.
Monday morning | 7:15 a.m. | Things Get Interesting
I'm not sure how many of you have commuted on public transportation in the past 20 years (if so, I feel your pain) but the general rule is you purchase a ticket and hand it to the operator as proof of your purchase. Why anyone would question this process, I have no damn clue; it's pretty much the exact same method for every ticket-related transaction in the world. But I guess some people don't understand...
"Ticket please, sir," she said kindly.
"I'm buying a weekly pass at Newark Broad St. I'll give you the ticket then."
Mind you, friends, Newark Broad Street was two stops away at this time. So, naturally, you can understand the look of confusion upon the Transit Freak's face... as well as ours.
"Sir, you'll need to purchase a ticket now. You can't get on and buy a ticket at a later stop. It's not the same price."
Monday morning | 7:16 a.m. | Things Start Escalating
(Rage fuels) "Are you f*cking kidding me?" he says, yanking on the lapels of his suit jacket (preparing for battle, I assume). "I'm not paying now! I won't!"
With this abrupt escalation comes confusion from the crowd. Ear buds drop, iPhones, iPods, and mp3 players pause, books close up... all for the purpose of observing the morning's sudden twist.
Monday morning | 7:18 a.m. | Escalation Turns to Absurdity
Upon further escalation -- and shouts of "Let's go! Take me to your boss!" and "Sir, please relax." "No! Come on you b*tch. Let's go!" -- it was obvious that mental stability was something this guy seemed to truly lack. In fact, I could see the sweat beads running down his face, not so much in nervousness, but in sheer, ridiculous anger. Oh, what ridiculous anger. He was legitimately getting bent out of shape over an NJ Transit ticket... a $7.00 transit ticket. Quite frankly, I'm rather surprised he didn't throw down his suit jacket and start swinging at us all. But no, he had something else in order.
Monday morning | 7:20 a.m. | The Final Blow
Heading down the aisle, stampeding like a true mad man on a mission to tell Daddy that Mommy is making him wash his own dishes, this deranged New Jerseyan remembered he had almost forgotten the finale, the one that would leave us all stunned, but not necessarily speechless.
"This is bullsh*t! You f*cking c*nt!"
Shock...and yes, awe.
It was the final bullet in the chamber...bang...and I don't know why but I knew it was coming. Perhaps it was his look: crazy-eyed, sweaty, or it was his already lack of respect -- or maybe it was the fact that he was screaming bloody murder over a train ticket. I'm not positive, but no matter what happened, I wasn't totally surprised.
"WHOA BUDDY," flew from my lips before I knew it. And within milliseconds my fellow passengers followed suit; each and every one stepped up in a massive anti-c*nt congregation, ready to take this sumbitch down. It's funny how much power one word can have, and even funnier how much we react when hearing it.
And with that, he ran out of the car... most likely for fear of being torn to shreds by a group of Brooks Brother wearing, J. Crew tote bag slinging commuters.
So, douchebag misogynists beware.
Bottom line: you can't call a woman a c*nt ... even a Transit Freak.
For more by Kyle Dowling, visit his site.