A couple of mornings ago, I boarded the slightly-crowded Rapid Transit out of Scarborough, as is part of my usual commuting routine to get downtown.
So there I was, saddled down with bags, newspaper tucked under my arm and minding my own business, when I heard this unintelligible nattering behind me. And then I felt this hand give me a semi hard tap just above my elbow. I turned around … and saw her.
And by “her”, I mean this crazy Chinese lady who I swear just rides up and down the subway all day. I immediately stood near the doorway and gave her a quick glare.
I was already annoyed by the fact I couldn’t read my paper. But having her on the subway really made my ride a little less pleasant. I’ve seen her a number of times before, so she’s not new to me. It’s not the fact she yammers and sometimes raises her voice in an unintelligible language that’s neither English, nor seems to be Cantonese. It’s not even the fact she sometimes scratches her long, dandruff-y hair, or that she can’t look directly at you because one of her eyes rolls to the left.
It’s this unbelieveably irritating habit she has of snatching newspapers out of other people’s hands like she can’t stand the crinkling and rustling of the pages, stuffing it behind her, and then proceeding to take it out a few minutes later and pretend to read it. I witnessed this later on in the trip to the subway. Some kid was reading a leftover copy of the Epoch Times to pass the time, and Crazy Paper Lady just reached across, past the passenger sitting between them, and slapped the paper out of the poor guy’s hand. Then she proceeded to stuff it behind her, then pull it out a few minutes later like she just noticed it was there, pretend to read it, then stuff it back behind her, only to pull it out again and pretend to read it.
The guy was pretty good-natured, and gave her the customary “crazy lady …” look that anyone would have. But seriously, though – for whatever reason, I was mad. I mean, I know the woman can’t help it – she’s mentally ill. But irrational thought had already taken over. I was trying to picture myself in that same situation and lemme tell you, the outcome wasn’t good.
I pictured myself snatching that paper back, rolling it up and whacking her with it. I even imagined myself towering over her trying to wrestle that paper back from her. For real – is this what white-collar rage is like? ‘Cause I’m pretty sure I’m an eye-twitch away from choking the woman if I ever run into her again.
Seriously, having Zanta on the RT would probably be more entertaining … mmm, wait. Maybe not.