In the online edition of yesterday’s Boston Herald was an article about the possibility of policing, and fining, rudeness on the MBTA. Specifically, fining people who are “seat hogs.”

Now, the Herald, much like its prissypants sibling the Globe, has a “thing” about comparing our little burg to New York City. Whereas the Globe tries to make us feel BAD about not-being-New-York, the Herald would have us believe that we, in point of fact, are much more civilized. New Yorkers are, according to the article, “notoriously rude,” so rude that they need to be told, via steep fines, NOT to be rude and take up more than one seat on the bus/train. RUDE.

Listen, I was born in Boston, raised in the suburbs south of Boston. I work in Boston, and up until last year, lived in Boston for most of my “adult” life. I feel more than fairly qualified to say this: Bostonians are quantifiably ruder than New Yorkers. I love my city, but don’t deny for a nanosecond that we are a surly, rude bunch. I find it hilarious that the Herald seems to think otherwise. Because while the article itself provided me with a chuckle or two, the real mirth is to be had in the section reserved for reader comments.

Comment sections, as a general rule, are pissing matches for the incontinent. At last check, the Herald article had whelped ten pages of comments from civil, gracious, and polite Bostonians. To wit:

…even if gas climbs to $10 a gallon I’ll be happy spewing carbon into the air than smelling and converging with the debris that rides the T …

I believe it was Newt Gingrich who called people who take public transportation “elitists.” Yes, people who live in apartments and take the subway to work are not as “American” as people who own houses and drive to work. Trust, I’m still puzzling that one out. First I’m a smug elitist, now I’m smelly debris. I just can’t figure out what I am, anymore. Elitist debris?

I’ve noticed it’s mostly the non-WASP crowd that likes to take up more than one seat…and I don’t mean Asians.

Well, thank goodness you made THAT disclaimer. I’m just glad you didn’t refer to them as “Orientals.”

It is hard to do with so many people with fat rear ends. Maybe they put a scale on the step getting into the buses and charge the person for two seats if they are too large for one seat. They also could have an electronic device to measure a person for their fare before depositing the money.

I had to read that a couple of times as well. I believe some kind of “fatty alarm” is being proposed here. If that’s the case, I also feel that anyone wearing clothing with an “Ed Hardy” logo should also pay extra.

An enormously obese woman entered the train and went for the open seats adjacent to me. When she sat down, her girth actually overflowed the two empty seats and into my seat like a slow moving lava flow of cellulite. I got up and asked her, ‘Did you really think you were going to park that caboose into that space without crushing me?’

Did you REALLY say that to her, or are you just trying to show off on the internets? It must have taken your entire coffee break to come up with those three sentences. I can see you in your cubicle, chewing on your pencil, then checking Google to make sure you used “girth” correctly. You, sir, are a Master Commenter.

See? Boston is WICKED POLITE.

One thought on “Politeness

  1. No where does the slime and vitriol appear in such disgustingly vast numbers than comment sections in newspapers. These nasty, lint-brained slobs flock there to unleash their hatred for most of humanity. I’ve had to avoid reading the comments sections lest I desire slashing my wrists. I just can’t imagine that these few seconds of satisfaction the writer gets is really worth anything. But some lives are lived in such small ways.

    The only problem I have with public transportation is the smells — the array of diverse smells. It’s a bit hard to take sometimes.

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