Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Quiet Car

The rich people, the ones who commute to work on comfortable trains, they get quiet cars. They don't have to listen to people yammering on and on about nothing. The people with the deep pockets, they get peace and quiet in the morning. All Dennis Nicholl wanted was a little equality in the commuting world.

Chicago's public transit system does not provide quiet rail cars like the Union Pacific or the Burlington Northern. There are no comfortable padded seats, either, but you get what you pay for when you're getting to work on the cheap by riding the elevated or subway trains in the city. Why can't the poor, who rely on cheap transportation, have at least one of the pleasant amenities that the wealthy commuters take for granted?

Dennis Nicholl wanted a quiet car but did the transport system pay him any mind? Not for a minute. He could complain all he liked but they weren't listening. Too busy yacking on their cell phones probably, ignoring the mild-mannered financial analyst whose daily commute was a torment of dissonence. Voices, so many voices, disturbing his morning. He could no longer endure.

Making the world quiet, one rail car at a time
Surely others wished for a quiet car, like he did, but too many would be afraid to act. Afraid to ask that selfish bastard sitting next to him or her to shut the fuck up for twenty minutes out of fear that said selfish bastard would pull out a gun and start shooting.

A bold man took a stand. Dennis Nicholl purchased a device that blocked cell phone signals. He sat in his spot on the train and turned it on, and just like that, the car descended into relative peace. Once the riders jabbering away were cut off from cell service and got over the shock, that is. They were whining mightily while Mr. Nicholl relaxed to admire his handiwork, but once the shock wore off, it was an end to the chatter. Ah, heaven.

For well over a year he spared his fellow riders from the misery of mundane, one-sided conversations. His commute became as quiet as that of the well-heeled business executive who paid far more for his fare. Equality of treatment at last!

But alas, it could not continue in blissful silence. The device that ended every phone conversation was illegal, and using it is just as illegal. Mr. Nicholl was arrested and charged with a felony for interfering with a public utility.

All he did was bring equality to his morning commute.

Where's Bernie Sanders now, to speak out against this outrage, this class-based privilege?

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