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Ride the Rocket!

Posted by Mike on February 24, 2007

OK, I’m going to diverge from my stated focus of technology briefly to describe a short experience I had yesterday on the subway.  While riding to my practicum on the Bloor line a bit of an altercation broke out quite near me.  It seems that a youngish guy had his feet up on the armrest of a seat that an oldish guy was sitting at.  I’m not sure what had gone on before as I was in the self-contained land of the headphones, but I noticed the oldish guy push the feet of the youngish guy off the chair and the youngish guy respond by throwing a really hard jab into the oldish guy’s temple.

As both guys stood up another guy jumped into the middle and kept them apart, about a minute later someone had the presence of mind to push the yellow emergency tape.  Luckily the train was very full, I get the impression that the youngish guy was far from done and the oldish guy would not have stood a chance.  As luck would have it we were stopped at Christie Station with the doors open, so after it was pointed out to the youngish guy that he had just hauled off and punched a guy in the head in full view of about a hundred people he slowly wandered off the train before the officials got there.

Judging from the responses I saw and the way the oldish guy handled himself once I started paying attention, I would guess that the youngish one had been doing most of the provoking leading up to the punch as well.

In my time here in Toronto I have, personally, seen very little violence.  There are plenty of homeless people in my neighbourhood and more than a few drug dealers, but, for the most part, people seem to be able to keep their disagreements reasonably civil in most of the parts of town I hang out in.  I must say though, that it’s kind of disconcerting to see something so minor as a foot on a chair in the subway turn into a fight.

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