Wednesday, August 09, 2006


It's not just the Catholics who carry the sins of the world with them. Future docs do it too.

This morning's episode saw yours truly getting on the Hammersmith and City line. Holding the handrail positioned by my seat, was a lady with Downs' Syndrome, aged thirty-five or thereabout.

This lady was shaking her head & talking aloud in a most irritating manner. She'd have been less tiresome if I'd not had a Sudoku to be getting on with.

The rest of the passengers moved on to sunnier, more peaceful climes within our carriage. Muttering and tutting, mothers grasped their healthy children tightly against their forms. I tried my utmost to be understanding, wondering whether it would indeed be appropriate to tell the aforementioned lady to respect the peace. Being obnoxious is not exactly a symptom of her condition, so why should the rest of the carriage have made allowances for it?

Three minutes went by before the lady found herself with 75% of the carriage to herself. My frustration had grown significantly, to the point of wondering whether it was worth my time to continue with another three minutes of frowns and steely gazes. I also wondered whether I'd be considered 'evil' and 'intolerant' for asking her to quieten down.

I eventually gave in and moved, pondering whether society is too lenient on those espousing the 'sick role' or not. Abdication from responsibility is acceptable to a point, but the point where these responsibilities are acts one is not hampered from participating in needs to be defined.

What would you have done?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I rode the San Diego trolley into school everyday and I've seen my fair share of people with psychological disorders. Sure, sometimes you want to tell them to shut up, but you must remember, when you judge, someone else is judging you.

One day a guy sat in the seat facing me and the first thing he said was, "You know some of those animals in Star Wars couldn't have existed." We had an amusing discussion of the absurd until I arrived at my station. He presented a case of why some monster's prey was too big/dangerous to eat and I'd tell him of some biological fact that proved him otherwise. I think we were both quite entertained. If you can't beat em, join em.