I ... I just have to let off a little steam regarding today's commute.
The website informs me that it is only 94 days until the beginning of the Pan Am Games in Toronto. Let the record state that I thought getting the Games was a bad idea from day one, because our infrastructure is too strained to cope with the people it already has.
Just before I let the house this morning I found that the TTC was turning subways back at Eglinton (an uptown stop), because of smoke at a station I would normally use. This meant that not only could I not use the subway, my usual bus was coping with a crowd 3 or 4 times the size of its normal one. The only alternate transit route I could use was itself compromised by a major intersection completely torn up and impassable for the next 3 weeks. So it was the bus or bust. I called the office to warn them, and got in line.
Four buses went past too stuffed to take on new passengers. I got on the fifth bus, just barely. As it turns out the crowded bus was also accommodating two strollers. One of them contained a very small baby; the other contained a child of at least 5 whose actually had to fold her legs up so they wouldn't drag on the ground but who was still, for reasons unknown, in a stroller. She appeared to have complete control of her limbs. The child was bored so she occupied herself by kicking me at least 3x (this hurts a lot more than it might look because my knees are full of metal that is quite close to the surface), putting her foot under another commuter's skirt to lift it up, playing with the clasps of yet another commuter's purse, and putting her hand in the back pocket of a hipster (wearing a bucket hat and muttonchop whiskers, which say dedicated hipster to me) who said, tersely, "Please stop touching me", and fought his way further down the bus. At no point was the child told to stop and at no point was there an apology from the mother. I was this ready to say something - about not kicking or touching people you don't know or things that don't belong to you, about saying sorry when you have inconvenienced someone, about how maybe at five years of age that kid ought to be outta that stroller - and honestly the only thing that stopped me was the knowledge that an argument would only send my blood pressure up and that would trigger a hot flash and then I would faint because the bus was already overheated from the sheer number of people shoved into it. And when I fainted someone would steal my purse. So I held my tongue and focused my energies into beaming vast waves of hostility towards mother and child, which was very unchristian of me, I know, but still less unchristian than openly expressing my views on the subject. But my teeth hurt from gritting them.
It took me over an hour and a half to get to work today by public transit. The only good thing was a patient and good-natured bus driver who was sympathetic to his extremely stressed public. I said to him "How can we handle the Pan Am Games? We can't handle Tuesday", and he agreed.