Sorry Courtesy Remember

Sorry Doesn’t Make a Dead Man Alive

My dad used to say that to me when he didn’t think that I was sincere during an apology*.

It is one of those phrases that has stayed in the back of my mind over the years, resurfacing every once in a while when someone utters an insincere pleas for forgiveness.

This sprang to the front of my mind the other day when I was getting on the subway.

The train had just come to a stop and the doors opened. A young woman barrelled out of the car like a bat out of hell, nearly knocking over an older lady standing next to me.

Without even looking back, she muttered a quick sorry, speeding off to wherever the hell she was going.

Bewildered, the old lady shook her head and made her way into the subway**.

What is is with people these days?

Words like sorry and thank you are becoming trivialized by people who really don’t care about anyone.

I know when I apologize for anything, I make sure that the person knows that I really mean it. Same with everything else.

Far too many people put thank you or have a nice day at the end of their e-mails as part of their signature. As if having it there, pre-recorded, will make it mean something.

I figure if you are going to put those things, you should mean them. Otherwise, they are just empty gestures.


Ever have a really bad day, and then someone says something to set you off, and rather than keeping quiet, you actually let your tongue fly with abandon?

That happened to me a few weeks ago.

I was riding subway home, and the cars were relatively full. An older lady slowly made her way into the car, walking along with her cane.

Not one person offered her a place to sit.

Even worse, the last available seat was taken by a younger guy who actually pushed his way past her to get to it. The old woman looked stunned at this guy’s audacity.

What made this even more annoying is that I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine who told me that in her entire pregnancy, only one person offered her a seat***. The issue was fresh in my mind.

Though I normally would speak up in a situation like that, the mood I was in that day made me a little less patient…

Jorge: Hey dude. Maybe you should let the lady sit down.
Punk: [Doesn’t even look up.] Maybe you should just fuck off.
[People stop what they’re doing to listen to us chatting.]
J: It’s common courtesy to give the seat up to someone who might need it more than you.
P: Didn’t you hear what I just said? I got here first, anyway.
J: Yeah, but you’re not elderly, or pregnant. You’re also not disabled.
P: Nope.
J: You know, breaking your knees would probably earn you the right to sit there.
P: [Finally looks up at my not-so-pleased face.] Oh. Uh. Sorry man. Here you go, lady.
[Punk gets up, and the old lady sits down. She looks up and smiles.]
J: That’s a good lad.
[Punk makes his way through the crowd to the other end of the subway. Probably a good idea.]

Stories like that make me sound like I go around picking fights. But I’m not really a violent person. I find that some people just need a bit of a prod to gain a new perspective.

If he had a problem, or was looking really tired, then he probably could have remained there. That would make sense.

But he wasn’t tired or disabled in any way. He was also rude.

I don’t have patience for that.

The Things We Remember

It’s funny what sticks in your head from when you’re a kid.

I’ve been meaning to do a sketch of my friend Shatton as Iron Man, but I’ve been procrastinating. Last night, I printed up some pictured of Shatton and Iron Man so I can get to work on it sooner than later.

Recently, I was chatting with him about this when the conversation took a weird tangent. If you never went to Catholic church you may not understand this…

Click to enlarge…

* – At least, I suspect that was the reason. Maybe he had no reason to say it at all.
** – Of course, no one offered her a seat right away. When someone finally did, she waved them off. Her rejection of the offer was let go too easily for my liking.
*** – And he was visiting from Europe.