Wednesday, September 19, 2012

An Open Letter to the Guy on the Tram.

Really? REALLY?

Dear Guy on the Tram,

I am sorry that this letter threatens to interrupt your intense tap-tap-tapping on your iPad (I'm sure what you're writing is super, super important), and to rip your steely gaze from the very shiny screen of your iPad (I'm so jealous) but as it happens, I have a bone to pick with you sir.

When I leapt upon the tram outside the Arts Centre last night, it was with a spring in my step and with jubilation in my heart. I'd managed to turn what had started as a crummy morning into a lovely day, and I was on my way to a friend's house for dinner. She'd offered to cook me dinner. Dinner not cooked by me is like to be a tasty dinner, so I was suitably excited.

Then! I spotted you, dear be-suited man on the tram, and the empty seat beside you. I noticed your backpack occupying said seat beside you, but I thought that would be NBD and you'd apologise to your backpack and let me sit on the seat it had been enjoying. You see, as someone who frequently goes about my day with a backpack filled with things I hold dear to my heart (my notebook, my phone, a sandwich for instance), I can understand that you might feel reluctance in relinquishing the seat of your darling companion backpack. As I soon found out however, warmth in your heart for a backpack was not the issue at hand.

"Mind if I sit there?"

I asked you, and received no response. That's okay, I thought. He's obviously writing something very important on his shiny iPad, and he is listening to music after all. 

"Hey. Can I sit there?"

I thought I'd raised the volume of my voice slightly, but obviously your music was too loud. Silly me, and I should have realised that it'd be a task to interrupt your Very Intense train of thought, such was the steely and determined gaze directed at the shiny iPad, and the staccato stabs of your index fingers on the screen.

I leaned forward. "Dude. Can you hear me? I'd like to sit there."

Alas, your gaze remained trained at your iPad. What was your deal? Hey? Buddy? Pal? What was your deal? I stared at you for a moment, as your fingers tap-tap-tap-stabbed at your iPad.

Did you not notice me out of your peripheral vision? Were you that enraptured by the iPad goings-on? Well, I was wearing a bright red dress and very chunky white shoes and as luck may have it, I am currently sitting pretty at the Fattest I Have Ever Been, so I'd hazard to say that YES YOU DID in fact notice that I was standing very near to you and staring right at your conspicuously tanned face.

After staring at you in disbelief for a moment longer, I stepped back and grabbed hold of a pole as the tram lurched into motion. As I walked to my friend's house I accumulated in my mind an entire arsenal of razor-sharp quips I might have lashed at you with in that moment, but alas I was too dumbfounded by the fact that you chose to PRETEND YOU DIDN'T NOTICE ME standing less than a metre from you, leaning down to speak quite close to you indeed. Repeatedly. I spoke to you repeatedly. Only for you to pretend like you'd not registered anyone speaking at you or standing near you.

I looked over at a fellow tram traveller, to see her smirking. Everyone was looking over at my failure to acquire a seat, in favour of your backpack, man on the tram. But then, maybe what you were typing on your iPad really was just much too intense and you'd been sucked into a trance filled with graphs and buy buy buy sell sell HOLD there's a meeting tomorrow that must be prepared for. I am not sure, I can't comment on that, because I didn't speak to you again, Man on the Tram.

Instead I stood in the doorway and watched as a similarly be-suited fellow hopped on the tram and strode down the tram and immediately took the seat next to you as you acknowledged his presence and removed your backpack so he'd be able to sit there unencumbered by a backpack against his derriere. If it hadn't been in my own backpack, I would have thrown my copy Feast for Crows at your conspicuously tanned head. In hindsight I'm glad I didn't, as I'm sure I'd be less inclined to keep reading if Feast for Crows was all of a sudden covered in fake tan.

Look Man on the Tram, if you were saving the seat next to you for your pal, you should have just said so. It doesn't take much to interrupt your furious tap-tap-typing in order to turn to the person attempting to ask you something and reply politely.

"I'm sorry, my pal is about to get on the tram. I told him I'd save him a seat." See? Not so hard.

I would have said something along the lines of, "That's cool, guy! Enjoy whatever you're doing on your shiny iPad! It looks very important. Carry on!"

Instead, I took an empty seat and stared at you and your similarly be-suited pal and watched as you said the absolute minimal amount of words to each other then sat there next to each other in steely silence. If you went to all that trouble to save your pal a seat, surely you'd want to actually speak to them? Apparently not.

I sat there and imagined - through my unwavering death stare, which of course neither of you noticed - that you were robot aliens from outer space who had no knowledge of strange human customs of acknowledging those who speak to you, or common public transport etiquette. I imagined that if what had just transpired had transpired in some wacky comedy about two inept yet loveable alien robots fumbling their way through a mission on earth, it'd be quite funny. I think for all my amusing imagining though, one fact remains:

You're most probably merely a douchey jerk, and I hope a bird poos on your suit, and that you drop your iPad and the screen smashes spectacularly. And I hope you get AIDS.

Yours sincerely,


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