Old Lady Get’s Shoved, and the Universe Thinks it’s Justified

I ‘m back from Spain and I’m jetlagged like crazy.  Newark bumped us from our flight home on Wednesday night and made up take a 7 AM flight, thus robbing us of the opportunity to sleep off most of it.  Newark can suck my balls, by the way.  First off, it’s a {s-t} town in a {s-t} state.  Almost all of New Jersey’s 15 electoral college votes come from people who use it as a {f-king} storage facility for their crap so they can actually afford to work a job in New York City.  It’s like Erie, PA, if you replaced the farmland and deer surrounding it with concrete and whores – whores who can’t even make it in Queens.  Seriously, how {f-king} industrial does your paper mill {c-t} have to be to realize that you have failed at your epic plan to make it big in New York City, and crawl back to Newark with your tampon string dangling dejectedly between your legs.  Anyway, Newark Airport is the biggest {f-king} travesty of public transit in the world, including Indian trains, yak herds, and cargo crates.  Every goddamn flight that goes through that place is eitherlate arriving, delayed leaving, or something just out-and-out {f-ks} up and ruins your day.  My wife  and I were delayed arriving because of weather in Newark and then a complete inability of our pilot to find the gate (I know that because he {F-KING} TOLD US THAT OVER THE PA!!!).  We made the ONCE DAILY flight to Barcelona by, and this was terrifying, no more than 8 seconds.  Literally, they would have closed the doors in 8 seconds, and they told us as much, and that was at a full-on sprint.  Several things made this much closer than it should have been.  First off, our {c-t}/whore pilot decided after waiting for ten minutes for our normal gate, which was right next to the Barcelona flight gate I might add, that he would drive to the opposite side of the terminal and park us in Delaware.  That was a dick move on his part.  Secondly, we were about twenty rows back in the plane and we knew we were under the gun, so we desperately tried to get people to let us by and even called up ahead to get people to let us through.  And {f-k} them all, the vast majority of people on the plane ignored us, even when a lady behind us screamed at them to let us past.  One older lady even grabbed her bag just as everyone else stepped aside and then slowly trotted her way off the plane.  Here’s one simple rule for airports:  If you hear footsteps running at you from behind saying “Excuse me, excuse me, we are about to miss our flight” and approaching at a rate of speed so great that you can audibly discern the pitch rising like an English police car siren under the influence of the Doppler effect….


I mean, come on.  That’s riding that fine line where insufficiency of the expressive nuances of the most staggeringly degrading and horrifying profanity begin to subconsciously transition into mild physical assault.  After that experience, I think that I can honestly say that I have a new and truly profound understand of why our legal system makes a distinction between first and second degree murder, because frankly, in the event that the infuriatingly callous and oblivious people of this world catch you in just the wrong set of stressful circumstances, even the most mild-mannered and well-adjusted citizen can be moved to perpetrate acts of unbelievably savage and uncontrollable violence against a total stranger.  

You know, I’ve talked a few times about how this artifice of “civilized behavior” is actually no more than a fanciful Rococo ornamentation of the law of the jungle.  A naive 15 year old home schooler wanders onto a Denver Post abortion chatroom, says something stupid, and then gets annihilated by everyone in the general area.  It’s the same herd-thinning principle we see on the African Savannah, except humans do it psychologically rather than by physically killing and eating each other.  Honestly, When you get right down to it, all this great human achievement of “civilization” is for us is a general agreement that we will argue for a slightly longer period of time than a gorilla or a baboon before we break down and start beating the {s-t} out of each other.  See, man realized very early on that farming meant living in large groups and living in large groups means lots of people pissing each other off and throwing spears at each other.  As such, he quickly saw that he needed to alter his behavior to suit his new social organization or there wouldn’t be enough people around to harvest the crops and build houses.  Therefore, man decided that it would be better to move conflict out of the realm of the physical and into the realm of the psychological by way of a highly complex system of verbal cues and nuances, cultural institutions, and social morays.  That way, we can use the tacitly implied threat of violence to solve our problems before they escalate to an actual manifestation of retribution. The perfect example is how religion uses the ultimate psychological bludgeon, sin, to get you to do what they say.  Rather than just outright kicking our ass for not doing their bidding, they scare us by saying if we don’t do what they say we will be branded as “sinners” and go to hell when we die.  However, even though they didn’t say it out loud, we know that what they are really telling us is that if we don’t do what they say the church and everyone we know will treat us like {s-t} until we subjugate ourselves to their will and give them an appropriately large percentage of our income.  That’s got a lot more teeth to it than something that may or may not happen in the afterlife.  Anyway, sin is nothing more than an imaginary rack that religion has somehow gotten us to willingly strap our psyche to, and then faithfully ratchet it up on the honor system.  Seriously, we all know that when our boss “suggests” that we come to work on Sunday that he’s not really asking to be polite, he’s threatening us with the fear of losing our job.  When you ask your neighbor to please keep their dog off your lawn what you are really saying is “If your dog {s-ts} on my lawn again, I’ll kick your {f-king} ass, dickhole.”  This thing we call “civilized behavior” is a thinly veiled attempt to assert a threat using subtle verbal nuances to avoid violent conflict, and it is shocking how quickly this fragile little system breaks down when normal people are confronted with unbelievably thick and stupid morons who arrogantly fail to realize that their continued survival in this world in defiance ALL laws of logic and nature is BARELY perpetuated on a day-to-day basis by the sheer gracious providence afforded by their fellow man.  

Think about the asshole in the fast lane on the freeway who drives 65 because “Goddammit, that’s the speed limit and I have a right to drive the speed limit in the fast lane because I’m within the bounds of the law.”  People are flicking lights, hurling profanity at them, and generally endangering the lives of other drivers as they go rocketing around them at a million miles an hour.  Have you ever stopped for a minute and wondered, how is this person still alive?  No, seriously.  This person has clearly decided that they are going to go through life willfully ignoring social cues designed to avoid violence.  I mean, we have to assume that they do the same {s-t} in the line at the grocery store and a whole host of other situations in their life.  How can they possibly have all 32 teeth in their head with that kind of life policy?  For those of us who are normal, well-adjusted people, our first thought upon approaching someone like this who happens to be in our way is very simian in nature, as are most of our simple constructs:

“I am passing you.”

OK, so “you” often sounds more like “this {f-king} dick” or something, but you get the idea.  Anyway, replace the word “passing” with almost any other verb and you’ve got the thought process behind anything any animal ever does, but unlike our society, in the animal kingdom the next rung on the failure-to-comply ladder of problem solving is “I am {f-king} killing you.”  But we as humans don’t do that.  We realize that this person diserves enough respect to be given the opportunity to resolve this on their own in an appropriately non-confrontational manner.  We go through a progression of social cues to get a result non-violently:

1.  Tailgate.

2.  Say, “come on, move it.”

3.  Yell, “move it asshole!”

4.  Scream, “Get the {f-k} out of my way, you {f-king} {c-t}!”

And you can’t really take the words any farther than that.  Seriously, after you call someone a {c-t}, you’ve pretty much exhausted the depths of human communication on the subject.  Really, what are you going to say next that’s going to top “{c-t}” for emphasism in the English language, call them a stupid {c-t}?  Say {c-t} louder?  There’s nothing left, and if they haven’t gotten it by now you have to either keep calling them variations of {c-t} and slowly develop a brain clot, or take it to the next level and physically remove them from the lane with your bumper.  That’s how fast {s-t} breaks down in this world, and as much as we like to think that we are far more socially developed than the animals, we really haven’t come all that far.  It’s only the most meager of pleasantries and courtesy that we are displaying when we extol the virtues of “civilized behavior”, and unfortunately this little buffer zone between continued existence and a full-scale demolition is just enough to allow a whole host of assholes to exist and ruin it for the rest of us.  Mark my words, there is no other species on earth where you see self-righteous assholes, because in nature a tiger would have skipped the {s-t} above entirely and gone directly to mauling their crotch and licking the skin off their skull while they were still screaming.  I think the only way these {f-kers} manage to squeak by day to day is that subconsciously they realize what is going on are willing to gamble their own selfish arrogance against the general unwillingness of the average person to engage in petty physical altercations, and I firmly believe that a few more good ass-whippings now and again would probably sort a lot of that {s-t} out pronto.  As far as I’m concerned the rest of us are doing them a FAVOR by allowing them to continue living. 

That being said, I feel that I am now properly prepared to explain to you why I felt it was OK to shove a 70 year old woman out of my way while running down the jet ramp to catch my flight to Barcelona.

She didn’t fall down.  I’ll say that up front, and it makes it MUCH more easy to stomach.  I will say this though, after how she acted if she had fallen I can’t say that I see myself stopping to help her or even really giving a flying {f-k}.  So anyway, my wife and I are sprinting down the jet ramp to the terminal, yelling ahead as we go, and people are by-and-large politely {f-king} off to the right side of the ramp so we can pass.  We weasel our way past people, and come within sight of the terminal, and I’m thinking “maybe, just maybe, we might actually make it.”  And all of a sudden, there it was.  Picture this in your head:  A line of people with their luggage all in a nice, out of the {f-king} way line on the right side of the terminal so we can pass, and  I can see the bright blue interior of the terminal winking at us just ahead.  I can smell the Cinnabons and cheap perfume of terminal commerce,  and in between us and freedom, like a fucking cholesterol clot slowly working its way towards the brain, is a short, squat, poofball gray-haired lady dragging a piece of carry-on luggage the size of a {f-king” CANOE behind her.  She’s the ONLY person in our way, and she was walking like {f-king} Moses had made a special trip from Heaven just to part the crowd for her wrinkly ass.  Plus, there’s no WAY that piece of luggage should have come on the airplane, and so I think of her less as a person and more as an asshole with hair and a rim and everything.  However, she’s clearly really old and I’m a good midwestern boy, and so as my natural disposition is to be polite I calmly but clearly said as I was coming up the ramp full {f-k} tilt”:

“Excuse me ma’am, we’re about to miss our flight.  Can we please get by?” 

No response, continuing to look and move like the guardian aliens from the beginning of the Fifth Element.

(louder) “Excuse me, sorry, can we please get by?!?” 

So {f-king} slow, no response.  About this time, other people are starting to tell her to move.  I am literally almost standing over her left shoulder and but for her {f-k)-off huge piece of luggage I’d basically be dry humping her shoulder blades, but she remains either stultifyingly oblivious or willfully ignorant.”  One more time:

(quite {f-king} loudly) “Ma’am, PLEASE!” 

The waver of desperation was painfully audible in my voice, and she gives me a total stone wall.  There’s no way she didn’t hear that one as I basically shouted it into her ear, and even if she was truly innocent up to this point by virtue of being completely stone deaf in both ears, the vibrations coming from my {f-king} mouth hole alone were definitely powerful enough to have at least made her at look up.  Plus, there were people in front of her who were saying the same thing, and if she was deaf and blind she’d be bouncing off the walls of that {f-king} terminal like a {f-king} slow-motion pinball, now wouldn’t she?  This land-whale had decided to take her sweet {f-king} time, with her big {f-king} bag, and no matter what anyone else around her said, by god she was going to take her {f-king} sweet time walking down that ramp.   

All at once, and in a single instant, it finally hit me.  I’m going to miss my flight.  I’m going to miss my flight and screw myself out of this hiking tour because I’m too goddamn polite to scream, and just like every other time in my life when this I’m confronted with somebody like this I’m going to keep my mouth shut, silently get really, really, mad inside until I want to explode, and have something ruined because this {c-t}/{t-t}/slut/whore is going to win and get her way because she has decided to be a {f-king} {c-t}  (See what I mean about {c-t}?  There’s no way to top it at the end of the sentence if you already used it at the beginning)  I saw it all unfolding before me.  Yelling at the people at the terminal, begging them to let us on to no avail, three hours with a booking agent getting new travel plans sorted out, a thirty minute wait at the bus stop to get to a {s-tty} Newark hotel at three in the morning, no sleep, waiting at the airport for seven {f-king} hours because the hotel boots you at 2 PM and the next flight was at 9, the whole shebang.  And all of that shit because this {f-king} hateful whore has decided that she should have the right of way.  It all came to me just like that, and in a moment reminiscent of Keanu Reeves at the end of the Matrix, it all came screeching to a halt, and I experience the silence and stillness of total conscience and clarity as my brain echoed the single word:


Not again.  Not this time.  You have no idea how much sheer force of will it took to do what I did.  To do something that was so far outside the realm of what is acceptable for a young man from Ohio, that I scarcely had time to consider the ramifications of what I was doing.  I looked back at Robyn, saw the look of helplessness and terror on her face, looked forward, put out my arms, and {f-king} barreled right past her.  And kind of over her.  It was hard to tell. 

And let me be completely clear about this, I did not slide past her.  I didn’t turn sideways and jump through a little crack between her and the wall, slightly jostling her as I went past.  I didn’t insistently edge past, bumping her with my shoulder and moving her luggage with my foot as I gently pushed through.  There was nothing so polite about it.  I {f-king} squared my shoulders up like a running back, pushed her fat wrinkly ass to one side with my arm, and hoved the {f-k} through.  I even turned my right hand over to make sure I got good traction when I shoved her.  And before you {f-king} judge me, realize that I gave her more courtesy than she showed me.  I at least had the presence of mind to make sure it was gentle enough so she didn’t fall over, but make no mistake about it:  That bitch got moved.  Her and her {f-king} Albacore on wheels piece of luggage too.  Robyn, god love her, didn’t even blink.  She followed me over that pile of blubber and blood thinners like the 20th of Maine at Gettysburg.   As I streaked out of the jetway and into the terminal, the volume of the ensuing commotion escalating behind be, all I could think about was, what had I done?  Are these people horrified?  Am I in trouble?  Am I a bad person?  Although it was all behind me, the wind whipping through my hair as I careened through the freedom of the bright blue terminal to my flight, my fears were waylaid as I just caught the fleeting comment of the last person behind us as we left the ramp.  A large guy in his late thirties said just loud enough to be audible as we rushed past,

“Can you believe that lady?”          

Thank you, citizens of Earth. 

I remember settling into my seat for that nine hour flight, comfortably feeling the constraints of the world dropping away behind me to the soothing hum of the jet engines outside my window, and calmly thinking to myself, “It’s probably best that I’m leaving the country.”

Ben Tomkins is a violinist, teacher, journalist and critically acclaimed composer currently living in Denver, Colorado. He hates stupidity and generally believes that the volume of one’s voice is inversely proportional to one’s knowledge of an issue. Reach Ben Tomkins at BenTomkins@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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