According to the little poll on the sidebar, my next topic should be "Rage against the Bus Service." While I am looking forward to unleashing a catharsis of verbal butt-kicking upon the Pittsburgh Port Authority in a longer post in the near future, I thought I would just go ahead and get started now, while my ire is freshly-stirred.
A little while ago, I was on an extremely overcrowded bus -- as they usually are -- and I was trying to get to my stop. I was running late, because my bus and several others had gotten stuck behind a broken-down bus -- again, a pretty common occurrence. I elbowed my way to the front of the bus as gently as I could. I managed to get to the front one stop early, about a block from my corner.
As the bus halted with a jerk, I realized that the driver was sitting at a green light with the doors closed. Hopeful-looking people waited on the curb. I glanced over my shoulder at the full bus behind me. Was the driver not going to let these people on? Because I could get off right then and walk the last block. I felt a super-speedy guilt rush for taking up space on a bus that would be more fruitfully occupied by a sweet little old lady, or a brain surgeon on the way to work or something.
I shifted my backpack and politely asked the driver, "Are you letting anyone on at this stop?"
With the disdain of a British talent show judge, and the boorish snarl of a cavetroll, she roared back at me:
"WELL, ARE YA GETTING OFF OR NOT?! Either get off or move! I ain't got time for yo'unz farting around at the front of the bus and blah-blah-blah-blah..."
Shocked and frozen for a second, I then stepped backward and almost took out a sweet little old lady behind me. I flashed my bus pass at the driver and hustled off the bus, as her troll-like rant followed me out the door and onto the sidewalk.
As I got off the bus, I was met by an almost overwhelming urge to extend my middle finger in her direction. However, I held back. As the bus waited at the now-red light and I walked past it, I again resisted the urge to flip the bird at the maltempered ogre in the driver's seat. I hurried down the street to my appointment, and though the bus beat me to the corner, it had to wait at another red light while I crossed the street in front of it. This presented one more golden opportunity to offer up the one-fingered salute, but I swallowed my anger one last time as I sauntered past her bus. Why?
I have never given anyone/anything "the finger" -- not even in middle school, when everyone was trying out swear words and rude gestures, did I give it a go. Over the years, when the impulse to demonstrate my feelings in this manner has arisen, I have always stifled it by balling up my hands into fists or something. It seems to have become a point of pride with me. Maybe I crochet so much because my fingers need to release their repressed emotions... In any case, being a "flip-off" resistor has been a silver bullet for games of "Never Have I Ever."
However, today was different. I really WANTED to flip off this bus driver! She really deserved it! If I talked that way to someone at work -- anyone -- I would fire MYSELF. But I just can't bring myself to actually do it when the situation presents itself. My middle finger seems to suffer from performance anxiety, and I fear that the finger might just feel a little... used afterwards. That's the reason that I'm posting.
I need a Middle Finger Alternative.
This is a 100% serious request, Internet. I can't find myself caught in another situation like today. I need to be prepared with a satisfying angry gesture for the next Gorilla/Human hybrid that verbally assaults me. Here are some of the eliminated contenders:
1. Sticking out tongue: First grade called.
2. Thumbing nose: Takes too much hand-face coordination. Also, rather juvenile. And too British.
3. Angry shrug: Too easy for target to ignore.
4. Smacking own butt as if to say "BOO-YA!": A little dated. Also, doing so on a public bus is like sending an open invitation to the spank-party to all bus patrons, including the super-creepy ones.
5. The "Hand over Fist" thing: Again, takes too much coordination. Also, requires both hands. I need a gesture that can be executed with one hand, as I am usually juggling bag, books, and coffee on the bus.
Please give me your suggestions with instructions for execution. I'll try them on for size and let you know what I implement. Thank you for your time!