Keeping My Hand In

Extra Extra

Keeping my hand in – one middle finger at a time.

Anti-Christian slant illogical, prejudiced

Re; Politicians should leave religious beliefs at home

Letter writer Larry Lootsteen’s arguments are somewhat illogical and prejudiced by his own beliefs about religion. To suggest that politicians should leave any of their beliefs, principals (sic), values, and education or life experiences at home is equivalent to arguing they should leave their gender at home, or part of their brain at home.

And why center out only people who believe in the God of the Bible? Why be intolerant and non-inclusive of only one particular religious view?  Everyone has some religious belief; an agnostic claims not to know if there is a God, and atheist denies that there is a God.  Would Mr. Lootsteen be as keen to force those individuals to deny or suspend their particular religious beliefs on being elected?

Would he impose the same restrictions on other faiths; Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and devil worshippers, etc., as well as screen all new immigrants to Canada and insist that they promise to deny their faith and convert to his particular religious beliefs before they become Canadian citizens or run for elected office? Of course not.  Mr Lootsteen appears to have a narrowly focused resentment and prejudice of Christian believers who run for office because he does not think they will vote the way he wants them to vote.

Finally, to label everyone of faith as “right-wing” and not sensitive to the democratic and civil rights of Canadians is to ignore the Judeo-Christian foundations of all Western civilization.  It was our Jewish and Christian values and principals (sic) that precipitated our democratic institutions, hospitals and schools, freed the slaves and were the first to recognize the rights of women.  Has Mr. Lootsteen forgotten that?

Ed Jacob – from the Mennonite stronghold village of Wellesley

Pro-Christian Paranoia

He who takes offense when none is offered, is a fool.

In his letter, Anti-Christian slant illogical, prejudiced, Ed Jacob not only takes offense, but he takes considerable licence to do so.

It would, indeed, be foolish to expect a politician to leave all their principles, values, education or life experience at home.  All Ed Lootsteen suggested was that a local politician leave some of his specific, unproven moral opinions at home or church, while he is serving his constituents, which a majority of whom, including many good Christians, do not agree with.  His government job is administration, not Evangelization.

It would be arrogant to expect anyone, including immigrants, to be forced to accept anyone else’s religious practices, though many of them are forced to convert to Christianity if they want to be sponsored and supported by various Christian Churches. But neither should newcomers be allowed to demand that the rest of us wear yarmulkes, turbans or hijabs, bow to Mecca or mutilate our females’ genitals.  Not all religious morals and practices are acceptable.

(No wonder I’m) Grumpy Old Archon

Forgive me (insert name of your higher power here), for I have ranted. My tolerance cup has runneth over and I must empty it in order to move on. It has been too long since my last ranting (if that’s even a word).

Gad (not God), this guy is so verbose that he makes Archon look concise, and what he passes off as logic, and his straw-man arguments, could do a seven minute set at Yuk Yuk’s.  Once one of these Bible-thumpers gets up a good head of steam, you never know where the train’s going to end up.

The reason that the original letter attacked ‘The God of The Bible’, is that the local Federal politician is a ‘good Catholic’; at least his NINE kids think so.  There’s no sense complaining about the Sikh 75 miles away, because he intentionally, politely, leaves his religion at home.  BTW; Mr Lootsteen IS a ‘Christian believer.’

His Good News/Bad News list of “Christian” accomplishments is more a ‘Laugh?/Cry?’ list. Most of them were not ‘because of’ Christianity, but ‘in spite of’ it.  Democracy was given to us by the heathen Greeks, and Christian Europe refused to institute it for over two millennia, until we held a party at Madame Guillotine’s place in Paris.

Good Christians owned slaves for centuries. They only recently let women own property, sign legal documents, be ‘a person’ under law, allowed women to vote less than 100 years ago, and they still want to control and restrict their reproductive rights.  Mr. Lootsteen, and many of the rest of us, have not forgotten that.  😯

***

BTW; sic, sic, sic.  For the non-linguistic nit-pickers – He’s talking about ‘principles’, not the head of his kids’ school.

 

 

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Ars Est Celare Artes

olympic-rings

The above title is a Latin motto which means ‘The Art Is To Conceal The Arts’. To properly awe an audience with the performance of a difficult task, it is often necessary to make it appear easy.

A comedian, commenting about the Olympics, said that all he understands about gymnastics is this; he hopped into the air, and landed on his feet, perfectly erect, and said, “That’s good!”  He hopped into the air again, and landed leaning slightly backward, so that he had to put a foot back to keep from falling over, and said, “That’s bad!”  To win gold, you have to make it look easy.

I recently had the chance to read the beginning of an online novel by a writer who, like many of us, hopes to be a published author. He’s a member of a highly respected profession.  He’s intelligent and well educated.  He has a (reasonably) good vocabulary and grasp of grammar and composition.  What he is not, is an author – or writer.

I only managed to read the first three paragraphs, before I had to stop, or suffer nausea and vertigo. Here are the three paragraphs.  Remember to take Gravol. (Americans may take Dramamine.)

You are on the beach, watching the swaying of the waves. The waves sweep across the steeps like a flock of stampeding sheep speeding over the steppes, the snaking waves hissing over the driftwood steeped in the sandy wrack.

A squadron of gulls lifts uneasily into the air and then dissipates against the grey sky. You look meaningly at the gulls. They hover, the flurry of gulls. The gulls lull heavily in the air, squealing their dull squeals.

You incline your head downward and stare at the inrushing waves, each one a hungry-mouthed sheep, coming toward you ravenously. The water is deliquescent twenty feet from the shore. Beyond the shoal the surface seems lacquered, solid, unbreachable, enameled, brackish, thick, as if it were a spreading mass of viscous aquatic jelly. From the shore you cannot fathom, through the spume lid, the pelagic fathoms. The lake’s lid is swarming with wavelets, each one undulant and alive—afroth, the lake’s lip, frosting wisps.

That opening is almost as bad as, “It was a dark and stormy night.” This thing has more verbiage slathered on than icing on a Wal-Mart birthday cake.  This is like the parlor of a Nevada brothel – cheap, gaudy and ostentatious.  Typos, overdone alliteration, excess words, redundant words, repetitive words, overly ornate words, eight-dollar words, employed to seem interesting and impressive, but used incorrectly.   Steppes, and steeps, and stampeding sheeps – oh my.

To ‘look meaningly’ is to use a facial expression to convey information to another person. You cannot look meaningly at seagulls, because their tiny bird-brains don’t get it. And speaking of seagulls, I can think of five verbs to describe the noise they make.  ‘Dull squeals’ is not on the list.

Deliquescent means; The process of a solid dissolving or becoming liquid through the absorption of moisture from the atmosphere. That obviously is not happening here. It’s a good, solid, proud word.  It’s just hanging out in the wrong neighborhood.

Instead of smooth, clear, economical communication, this writer seems to have gone out of his way to confuse and impress, and say, ‘Look how much work I went to, to attract and hold your attention.’ It is not concealed. (But it should be!)

spacehounds-of-ipc

I recently re-read E. E. ‘Doc’ Smith’s Subspace Encounter. Doc was the mentor who taught Robert Heinlein much about writing.  An engineer by trade, Doc always used the exactly correct word, and the exactly correct number of words.

In this book, he has Mankind meet another galactic civilization. Physically, they are Human, but their society is vastly different.  Not cruel, but they are pragmatic to the point of making the Spartans look like soft amateurs.

To identify their empire, he coins the word ‘Justiciate.’ This is literary irony.  It is like referring to The People’s Democratic Republic of North Korea.  It is not ‘for or by the people.’  It is not a democracy, and it is not a Republic.  There is little ‘justice’ in a society, where the ruler of 180 planets is identified as the Supreme Tyrant.  And the supreme ruler of the red-skinned sect, who wants to kill 90% of those of other skin colors and keep the rest as slaves – identifies himself as The Grand Justice.

Having invented the Justiciate, Doc went on to invent an interplanetary monetary unit for them – the Junex, meaning the Justiciate Unit of Exchange.  For an imaginary empire, he created imaginary money to give believability.  No sheeps or steeps or gulls were needed.

As a young adult, I missed much of his precision. Re-reading it now, with life experience, I have a greater appreciation.  He made it look easy, when it really wasn’t.  I’m glad Jim Wheeler made me do it.  😀

Flash Fiction #104

Liberty

PHOTO PROMPT- Copyright – Jan Wayne Fields

POLITICAL GAMES FOR POLITICAL GAINS

He said
She said
They both lied

Deleted emails
Mexican wall

Polarised positions
Confrontation, not co-operation

Donald hates Muslims
Hillary loves photo-ops

Gunfire in the streets
Politicians in public washrooms

Clinton’s no lady
Trump’s an egomaniac

NRA and oil pipelines
Freedom and fairness
sacrificed to political expedience

Democracy’s dilemma decision
between bad and worse
No ‘leaders’, only selfish pedagogues

No discussion, only entrenched positions
Nobody’s right, when everybody’s wrong

Aching ears from raddled rhetoric
Public apathy – or anger

Drip….drip….drip
Make it stop
Please, make it stop!

~~~~~

Does Lady Liberty look like She’s hitchhiking?? Her tablet reads “Canada – or Bust”   😳

***

You can click on ‘Nobody’s right,’ above, to hear The Buffalo Springfield, from 1967, tell you how nothing really has changed, except maybe got a little worse.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

 

FEELINGS

Scotty

The young stay-at-home mother looked out through the front window – and was devastated. There, in the middle of the street was the dead body of the family’s adorable, much-loved (and very expensive) Scottish Terrier.  Somehow he had got out, and some unfeeling fiend had hit and run over him, and hadn’t even had the good manners to stop and report the accident.

Bad enough how bereft she felt, but her young daughter would be inconsolable. Thinking of her loss, and how she would have to explain the trauma to her child, she burst into tears.

“What’s wrong Mommy?  Whyya cryin’?”  Standing there at the window sobbing, she was suddenly aware of her daughter, who had come up from the basement playroom – followed by their Scotty.  She looked back into the street – just in time to see a crumpled black garbage bag blow on down the road.

QUESTION – Is she entitled to her feelings??

Some years ago, the wife was rebuking me for a statement I hadn’t made, about an opinion I didn’t hold. She was telling me how insulted and unsupported she felt.  Since I hadn’t said what she’d accused me of, I told her that she shouldn’t feel that way.

I suddenly found that husbands, like small children, should be seen and not heard. Now I had sinned twice.  Not only did she think I’d ‘said something’, but now I was robbing her of something that was hers, something that she’d worked for, and owned, and deserved.  “How dare you tell me not to feel like that!  Don’t I have the right to my feelings?”

QUESTION – (based on my presumed innocence) Does she have a right to her feelings?

I was discussing this and related situations with a co-worker one day. He was of Turkish descent, from Cyprus.  I brought up the fact that, if a businessman meets with an Arabic official, and sits down and crosses his left leg over his right, so that his left foot points at the Arab, it is considered an insult.

I asked, “If the American doesn’t even know of the cultural beliefs, and intends no insult, then how can it be taken as an insult?”

“Oh no”, he says, “that is an insult!”  No knowledge – no intent –HOW??!!

QUESTION – Does the Turkey (and the Emir) have the right to his feelings?

A young, New-Age Mennonite co-worker went on and on about how gay people chose to be gay, and sin.  Finally tired of this attitude, one day I asked him just how he thought that homosexuals chose to be so.

He launched into a story about, “You know when you’re 12 or 13, and you first start noticing boys and girls, and you decide who you’re most attracted to? They decide to be gay”  12 or 13??!  He must have led a sheltered life out there on the farm.  I knew I was hetero by 4, when the little girl up the street taught me to play Doctor and Nurse.  Perhaps he just stopped noticing sheep.

I objected to his use of the word ‘decide’, and suggested he replace it with ‘realize.’  “It sounds to me as if they go through exactly the same development and situation as you did, only, instead of finding that they like the opposite sex, they find that they like the same sex.”

“Oh no,” he says! “I’m normal!  They choose to sin and be gay.”

QUESTION – Does this narrow-minded little twerp and his pastor have the right to their feelings about fags?

Do the Westboro Baptists have the right to their feelings when they interrupt funerals?? Do ISIS and al Qaeda have the right to their feelings about women, gays, Christians, and Democracy?  Big or small, it’s all the same.

I would never deprive anyone of the right to express valid emotions, but they have to be BASED ON REALITY. Are any of you incensed at that statement?  Tough luck – get over it.  You shouldn’t feel that way.   😉

Religism

Bible    Koran

Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘Religism’ as animosity, intolerance, conflict, oppression or bigotry towards religions or belief systems.

Archon’s Street-Usage Dictionary, based on keen observation of desperately insecure individuals and groups, defines it as opposing, doubting, not holding, or even merely QUESTIONING any religion or particular set of beliefs.

It is a particularly useful concept and term for the most adamantly religious, to allow them to hold and foment the most extreme acts and views.  They couch the holding of every position except theirs as an attack, to justify outrageous actions.

He who takes offence, when none is offered, is a fool! – Brigham Young

Groups like the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and ISIS view the very existence of the peaceful, democratic freedom of Western society as an affront to their particular narrow view, and claim that it needs to be met with IEDs, torture and beheadings, to ‘defend’ the Muslim faith.

At home, it is only the rule of law which protects all segments of society, and prevents some of the more Fundamentalist Christian groups and individuals from going that far.  I feel that thugs like the Westboro Baptist Church should be weeded out, root and branch.  I grant them the right to hold their noxious opinions, but not to disrupt polite society by ‘defending’ them with graceless attacks and accusations.

I recently read a quote from the President of the Christian Screenwriters’ Guild.  The very existence of this group says, “We’re better than you, and we’re going to fight for the right to keep telling you that.”  They’re the kind who refuse to be inclusive, and view any attempt to speak of plural ‘Happy Holidays’, and add the year-end celebrations of any other Faiths, as Religism, and an attack on Christmas.

The somewhat dated quote, from Barbara Pelosi said, “I find it beyond naïve, to convince myself that the folks who are lapping up The Da Vinci Code are on a ‘search for truth.’ They’re not. They’re on a crusade to validate their own rejection of the authority of Christ and the Church.”

As an analogy, which she and many other Christians would refuse to accept: – Barack Obama is the President of the United States. Within legal limits, his word is law. He is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and his orders must be obeyed. He has the authority!

But wait. I live in Canada, a completely separate country. I don’t have to obey him, or even respect him, and the truth is, our rejection of him and ‘his authority’ doesn’t make my Prime Minister the Devil, nor do I live in Hell. People like Pelosi have convinced themselves that the ‘authority of Christ and the Church’ is universal and valid, and any rejection is an attack. They simply can’t accept that their faithfully believed “TRUTH” could be wrong, or anyone else’s, right.

If Christians go to other countries to convince ‘misguided’ natives to accept the Christian faith, they are viewed as kindly missionaries.  If the natives object to these interfering do-gooders, and they end up in prison, or dead, they achieve the exalted status of Martyrs.

If people of other faiths attempt to do the same thing to Christians, they are insultingly dismissed as ‘Heathens’, and, until a couple of hundred years ago, would have been tortured and burned at the stake as heretics, by a Church ‘defending itself from an attack on its narrow set of beliefs.’

In a recent MSN article about the 20th anniversary of the movie Pulp Fiction, the line uttered by Samuel L. Jackson’s character, just before he killed someone, was quoted.  “Ezekiel 25:17. The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.”

As an English language purist, I questioned whether the word should have been “iniquities”, so I looked it up in ‘one of my Bibles’.  Ezekiel 25:17 does not exist!  Nor does Ezekiel 17:25.  They say that you can get people to agree with almost anything, if you tell them that, “Benjamin Franklin said it.”  Evangelical Christians just claim, “It’s in the Bible.” whether it is or not.  Pay no attention to that deluded person behind the curtain of a “Holy Book!”

 

The Skeptic’s Fate

The miraculous tale that you tell

I don’t credit.  I’m under no spell.

I don’t swallow events

when there’s no evidence.

So I guess that I’m going to Hell.

 

P.S.

English-speaking Christians have ‘The Bible.’  Sometimes it is ‘The Holy Bible’.  In selecting the picture of the Koran above, I found that English-speaking Muslims have ‘ The Koran, The Holy Koran The Noble Koran, The Glorious Koran, and a companion study volume, whose title firmly states, “There Are No Contradictions in the Koran!”  I am underwhelmed by religion.  🙄

 

Hysterical History – Part 1

It is truly astounding, what havoc students can wreak upon the chronicles of the human race. The following is pasted together from genuine student bloopers, collected by teachers throughout the United States, from the eighth grade, through to college level. Read carefully and you will learn a lot. This is how our society came to be, seen through the eyes of teens.

Ancient Egypt was inhabited by mummies, and they all wrote in hydraulics. They lived in the Sarah Dessert, and traveled by Camelot. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants had to live elsewhere, so certain areas of the dessert are cultivated by irritation.

The pyramids are a range of mountains between France and Spain. The Egyptians built the pyramids in the shape of a huge triangular cube.

The Bible is full of interesting caricatures. In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. One of their children, Cain, asked, “Am I my brother’s son?”

God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Montezuma. Jacob, son of Isaac, stole his brother’s birthmark. Jacob was a patriarch who brought his 12 sons up to be patriarchs too, but they didn’t take to it. One of Jacob’s sons, Joseph, gave refuse to the Israelites.

Pharaoh forced the Hebrew slaves to make bread without straw. Moses led them to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the Ten Commandments. He died before he ever reached Canada.

David was a Hebrew king, skilled at playing the liar. He fought with the Finkelsteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times. Solomn, one of David’s sons, had 300 wives and 500 porcupines.

Later came Job, who had one trouble after another. Eventually, he lost all his cattle and all his children, and had to go live alone in the desert with his wife.

The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them, we wouldn’t have any history. The Greeks invented three kinds of columns – Corinthians, Ironic and Dork. They also had a lot of myths, which are female moths.

One myth says that the mother of Achilles dipped him into the river Styx until he became intolerable. Achilles appears in The Iliad by Homer. Homer also wrote The Oddity, in which Penelope was the last hardship that Ulysses endured on his journey. Actually, Homer was not written by Homer, but by another man of that name.

Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock. After his death, his career suffered a dramatic decline.

In the Olympic Games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled the biscuits and threw the java. The reward to the victor was a coral wreath.

The government of Athens was democratic because people took the law into their own hands. There were no wars in Greece, as the mountains were so high that they couldn’t climb over to see what their neighbors were doing. When they fought the Persians, the Greeks were outnumbered because the Persians had more men

Eventually, the Romans conquered the Geeks. History calls them Romans because they never stayed in one place for very long. Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be made king. Dying, he gasped out the words, “Tee Hee, Brutus.” Nero was a cruel tyranny who tortured his subjects by playing the fiddle to them.

Rome came to have too many luxuries and baths. At Roman banquets, the guests wore garlic in their hair. They took two baths in two days, and that’s the cause of the fall of Rome. Today, Rome is full of fallen arches.

Then came the Middle Ages, when everybody was middle-aged. King Alfred conquered the Dames. King Arthur lived in the Age of Shivery, with brave knights on prancing steeds and beautiful women. King Harold mustarded his troops before the Battle of Hastings.

Joan of Arc was cannonized by Bernard Shaw. And victims of the blue-bonnet plague grew boobs on their necks. Finally, Magna Carta provided that no man could be hanged twice for the same offense.

In midevil times most people were alliterate. The greatest writer of futile times was Chaucer, who wrote many poems and verses and also wrote literature. During this time people put on morality plays about ghosts, goblins, virgins and other mythical creatures. Another story was about William Tell, who shot an arrow through an apple while standing on his son’s head.

The Renaissance was an age in which more people felt the value of their human being. Martin Luther was nailed to the church door at Wittenberg for selling papal indulgences. He died a horrible death being excommunicated by a bull. It was the painter Donatello’s interest in the female nude that made him the father of the Renaissance.

The government of England was a limited Mockery. From the womb of Henry VIII Protestantism was born. He found walking difficult because he had an abbess on his knee.

Queen Elizabeth was the “Virgin Queen.” As a queen, she was a success. When Elizabeth exposed herself before her troops, they all shouted “hurrah.” Then her navy went out and defeated the Spanish Armadillo.

It was the age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented the Bible. Another great invention was the circulation of blood. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes and started smoking. And Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100 foot clipper.

I’ll bring you a little more up-to-date a bit later.

Classy Manners

While I’m all for respectful social comportment, “good manners” is often like “good Christians”, just another way for those at the top of the pile to enforce their version of acceptable behavior on those subordinate to them.  Often, the reason for certain behavior is lost or changed, but the demand for ritual continues.  Kitchen forks and knives came into existence to reduce the slashings and stabbings with daggers at Renaissance banquets.

Much of good manners is either the rich trying to get the poor to imitate them, or the poor trying to pretend they are not poor.  Everything is relative.  The, a plate for this food and a glass for that wine, means nothing to a kid from Kenya who is lucky to have an old tin can or half a gourd to hold a little food.  When first married, my father always left a little something on his plate, and it disturbed my Scottish mother.  When asked about it, he said that an aunt had told him that it showed you were well-off enough to waste a bit.  Mom soon cured him of that.

Don’t pick up food with your hands, because we can afford cutlery.  Don’t lick your plate or bowl, because we can pay for more food.  The only one that makes sense is the, don’t lick your knife, admonishment.  You might cut your tongue.  You can be sure that the Kenyan kid is licking his food holder.

When it comes to manners, much is expected of us, simply because it is expected.  England, supposedly the home of freedom and democracy, even today, is rigidly stratified by wealth and region.  The lower the position on the social totem pole – assigned by those at the top – the more one is expected to know your place, and act your role.  In one of Agatha Christie’s mysteries, two murderers are caught for an otherwise perfect murder, because they didn’t speak to the housekeeper.  Why didn’t they ask Evans?

In a perfect world, no-one would be disturbed by anything, but the world is far from perfect, and some people’s expectations and turn-offs are somewhat excessive.  I once bathed, immediately before going to work.  I put on clean clothes, from the skin out, including a brand-new pair of socks.

After working 8 hours I had to remove a shoe and sock in the locker-room.  Even I was shocked to see the foot was completely black.  Some bitchy wimp asked, “Don’t you ever shower?” After I explained that I seldom shower, I assured him that I had just had a nice long bath.  The black on my foot was just fiber from the new socks.  “Yeah, well, it’s still gross!”  What do you answer to that?  It’s not my problem.  It’s his!

Go Transit, the commuter railroad in southern Ontario, has instituted *quiet zones*, cars where there are no loud talkers, no cell-phones, and no music leaking from earphones on empty heads.  A Toronto Sun columnist wants to transfer that to the streetcars and subways of the Toronto Transit Commission, and adds his list of dislikes.  Here’s why I don’t think he has a chance.

He rails against coughers, spreading germs.  He wants them to cover their mouth, and wonders why they don’t just stay home.

You’re sitting down, while I have one hand full of strap, and the other with a tote-bag with my Joe-Job uniform.  It doesn’t leave many free limbs to suppress coughs.  I’m going to work, with my cold, because I have a shitty job, with shitty pay, and a shitty boss.  I need the income, and I need the job!  I’m gonna keep ridin’ the bus, till the day after they embalm me.  You could peel off $300 and say, “Here, take a couple of days off.  What’s your boss’s name and address?  I’ll tell him what a stand-up guy you are and slip him a C-note to pay for a temp, and to hold your job.”  Until you do, Shut Up!

Sniffers, just bring a Kleenex, or a simple handkerchief to clear the nasal passages, so I don’t have to listen.

Plug in your earphones, because I suffer from hyperhidrosis.  I am constantly producing saliva and nasal fluid.  It’s a steady post-nasal drip.  I could blow my nose with aloe flavored tissues till I sand it off, and it would still drip down my throat.  You think it’s irritating on the outside for a half-hour ride; you should try living with it on the inside, 24/7!

Watching somebody spend 30 minutes putting on makeup is just off-putting.  Organize your morning ablutions.

Gee, Bob, why don’t you close your eyes and doze off.  I’d like to.  I’m a working Mom, and I’ve been up since 5:30 AM.  I woke a husband and two kids, made sure they all got washed and dressed while I made them breakfast and lunches.  I got Hubby off to work, and the kids delivered to daycare, and now I have to endure the ride-from-Hell, to work.  I finally have a free minute to call my own, and you don’t like it?  If you don’t want to see me apply my makeup, why don’t you get up a half hour earlier, and take a different train?

He did have an insightful comment about seat-baggers, but it just proves what sheep most people are.  Who knew that bags and parcels get tired?  That must be the reason some people feel the need to sit on one seat and take another for their carry-ons.  It is both rude and selfish.

When I took the bus home from a day-shift, I rode the same one that the Good-Christian, Catholic School students took.  Since my stop was almost the last, on the outbound run, I tried to sit on the raised section behind the back door, to give others room.  That’s where the students always rode, too.  Some of the loving couples must have felt a bus seat was less expensive than a motel room, but provided an entertaining, in-flight movie.

I stepped up there one day, and there was only one seat open (?).  It had José the Jock’s school-books in it.  I looked at him, and then at the seat.  He looked at me, and then looked away, dismissively.  I walked over, picked up the pile of books, dropped them in his lap and sat down, with my carry-bag on my lap.  My working ass is more tired than your books.  There are places where these actions might be more dangerous, but the look on his face was priceless.  Somebody gotta teach ‘em some manners.