YES! JOIN FOR FREE!
Enter your address below to receive free email alerts when a new comic or a blog post is published:
You may unsubscribe easily at any time & your email will never be shared with anyone!
SHARE
FOLLOW
SEARCH
EAGANBLOG ARCHIVE
Explore the current collection.

Taking a Stand
Maybe I’m just a crabby tourist. That would certainly make sense, since I’m crabby when I’m home alone watching the tube.

The grievance I want to discuss, however, is about more than just my level of gruntlement. As proof, I point to the particularity of my travel crabbiness. It is never directed toward the locals, but almost always at my fellow tourists. Furthermore, it centers on just one dispepticizing offense.

Standing in the doorway. I repeat — which is what I began to do out loud after two weeks abroad — “standing in the do-o-o-orwa-a-ay.” I don’t think my growls actually registered on these folks because they were standing — utterly transfixed and oblivious to their fellow humans — in the goddam doorway.

It is only natural, when encountering some new situation, to pause and survey the scene while getting one’s bearings. Yes, perfectly natural, but so is farting. The challenge is to act naturally while also thinking of others. I even get their temporary disconnection with those around them. But that’s still no excuse. As with cutting the cheese in an elevator (natural though that may be), you should be mindful of others and for Pete’s sake (and mine) not just stand there in the doorway. Please, thank you, safe travels my friend.

Not only were those people standing in my way, they were standing in the way of everyone lined up behind me who wanted to use the doorway for its paramount purpose: moving from one space into another. It might be a good place to stop and gawk, but that usage undermines the whole door concept.

The example that still preys on my mind came at the railway station in Segovia. I don’t know if she was also farting at the same time, but that would have been consistent with her mindset: blank. The train had stopped, and many of its passengers, including me and my nemesis, wished to get off. She and her luggage were among the first to descend to the platform, and I was right behind. As her feet hit the ground, however, she seemed struck dumb. She put down her suitcases and began a slow scan of the train station.

I guess it wasn’t a classic example of standing in the doorway, but the principle was the same. She blocked the only way off the train for me and the increasingly impatient travelers behind me. It took some tricky footwork to squeeze by her, and my completely insincere “excuse me” seemed to awaken her from her reverie. She stepped slightly aside, but even then I saw no recognition from her that she had erred. Instead, she seemed offended that I dared to get ahead of her in line.

Which only made my relative gruntletude that much worse. Indeed, it chafes at me even now, and the fact that it does further exacerbates my feelings of aggrievement. She has long forgotten the boorish American who cut her off in Segovia; I seem destined to keep the memory alive indefinitely.

Maybe those are the wages of crabbiness. I guess I should accept that. No matter how just my complaint, I am forced to carry the burden of it with me — which makes me the perpetual loser and notches another victory for all my tormenters.

And that really pisses me off.
image
No "new normal" for me, this shit ain't normal.
~ MS, Truckee