Tuesday, May 1, 2012

There should be no need for a "quiet car" on the train

Remember being a kid in school, and you had to whisper whenever you were in the library?  Or when your teacher would use the expression "indoor voices please?"  Both of these social norms were pounded into my brain over and over again in my formative years.  Based on this, I have come to one of two conclusions: Either a surprisingly large percentage of the American public never went to elementary school, or that same cross section of society simply has no respect or concern for other human beings around them.

For years I have been riding a bus back and forth from Boston to Cape Cod on the way to the Vineyard, and each time at the beginning of the trip the driver asks that everyone sets their ringers to vibrate, listens to their headphones at a volume no one else can hear, and talks on their phones only in emergencies and as quietly as possible.  I was always proud of Peter Pan for doing this.  Recently I've discovered a "quiet car" you can ride in on the commuter rail that has all the same rules.  I'm hoping this may soon apply to subways as well. 

But it's pretty hard to make similar rules for the general world at large.  I guess this blog is along the same lines as my idea to charge $1 every time somebody honks a car horn.  Maybe cell phones could all be built with an automatic shut off feature if a person speaks into them above a certain volume, kind of like restrictor plates on cars.

Amazingly I think this is the first time yet I've found an excuse to work a clip from Old School into my writing.


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