Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Seattle Polite

Nothing To Live For

My cable and internet are back, after a 24 hour construction-induced blackout. I came home after an overnight rereat with sophomores, and cable/internet wasn't working. It took me a good five minutes of refreshing, checking my wireless, and rebooting before it occured to me to check to see if I had picture on my TV.

When I got static, I went outside and asked the dude when my cable would be back on. He said, oh, it's out? Whoops. We'll get it back on tomorrow. So last night I read a book and went to bed early.

This morning when I got to work, I wrote an email to the supervisor, telling him subtely that I hope cable was reconnected today, since without tv and internet, I really have nothing to live for.

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Full Of Juice

The student who had been serving as a guide turned to me and said, oh, that's our bus, we'll have to wait 15 minutes for the next one. Another, more energetic student said, we can catch it! Let's go! And with that, he took off sprinting, followed closely by the two girls in the group, who said enthusiastically "Come on, Mr. YouDon'tHaveToRead!"

Guide-boy also took off running, but half-way to the bus stop, he turned back to see me and another student walking casually. He started laughing and had to stop.

I turned to NotRunningKid. Are you going to run? No, he says. Why not? I ask.

Because I drank too much juice.

By this time, the three sprinters are at the bus stop with the bus, gasping for breath, hands in the air to protest our three block betrayal.

Of course they blamed me, but when we caught up to them, I blamed NotRunning. He was full of juice!
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Fancy Meeting You Here

I found out that my across-the-alley neighbors, the ones whose "noise" drove out the psycho neighbor, works at one of the social service agencies we visit. She was really nice, and I regret never meeting her, although I did meet her older sister.

She told me what was going down in the drug house since the drug boys moved out. Some rapper had moved in, who was quiet and fine, but apparently there was a couple of dramatic domestic scenes. They have since moved out, and a Mexican family who had been staying down the street is now there. I haven't met them yet, even though their kids played in the yard every day of the snow day.
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Seattle Polite


I was on a crowded 49 to downtown with 30+ students, who stood in the aisle quietly (!). Some regular riders were a little surprised to see the bus so full, but they were generally cool with it.

Then Mr. ButtonUpPeaCoat with a tight scarf and a stacking metal lunchbox got on the bus and yelled back a pouty "move to the back of the bus please."

Everyone shifted a step or two, but most people who were standing were getting off at the next stop, so there wasn't a lot of movement.

So Mr. PeaCoat was then walked around people standing as he made his way back. There was plenty of room for him to move. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough for him.

"So much for Seattle politeness," he muttered bitterly, choaking on the bitch sauce that someone had obviously dumped on his bitchy head.

I am Seattle polite, so I held my tongue. Besides, there were students all around.

Just so you know, Seattle people are culturally polite, moreso than other parts of America. Yes we are.

Also, we mind our own business, and as a rule we don't respond to people who yell back at us in general, as if he were the bitchy Prince of Pouting. And we don't move away from the door when a) we're getting off at the next stop, and b) there is plenty of room for Mr. BitchyPeaCoat to walk his tight ass to a less crowded section of the bus.

To us, being polite does not mean that we jump when someone issues a general order. I saw everyone around me look to see how they can make room, and when we found it impractical, we made room so he could pass.

And nobody got in his face, because in the Pacific Northwest, we mind our own business. It's the rule. For two centuries, people have been leaving their lives in the rest America to move to the rainy anonymity of the Pacific Northwest; the misty, mystic corner of the country where you can start over and no one will butt in.

Yes, this cultural tendency makes it harder for "community" to happen, the way it does in other parts of the country. But also, we will not be quick to yell "eat shit" when you bitch your way onto a crowded 49.

2 comments:

Chadwick said...

I hope it wasn't me in that peacoat! I'm Seattle polite too, so I don't think it was. That 49 crowded with students sounds awfully familiar though...

john patrick said...

No, it wasn't you! This guy had a more expensive haircut. And we're talking the 49 going south on Broadway into Downtown, so they're not used to seeing students. I usually get on the 7, and that's full of kids getting off at Franklin...