This morning, the BART (light-rail) system was running about a half-hour late due to some mechanical problems. When i finally arrived at the Fremont, CA BART station, it was packed to the rafters.
Despite (small) signs indicating that bicycles are not allowed on the escalators, I decided I was in no mood to wait with the other 50 people for the painfully slow elevator, and opted for the escalator. I respectfully let everyone else in the throng down the escalator first. Only myself and another man remained at the top. He looked remarkably like Ron Jeremy, and was pushing a loaded wheelie-cart with probably 50 lbs of stuff on it.
He stepped onto the escalator before me, only to look up a second later and tell me "You're not supposed to do that."
I said, "I know," and stepped onto it anyway.
He looked at me for a second and said "No, really, you can't do that."
"Well, you can't do what you're doing either," I said, motioning to his wheelie cart. The hypocrisy that was plain to me was apparently invisible to him. The point of the escalator rules, of course, is to ensure the personal safety: so you don't drop your crap and push someone else down the escalator. It's not like strollers and bicycles are capable of such things, while 50 lb. wheelie carts aren't.
He flashed his BART badge at me and said "Yeah, but I work here."
"So the rules don't apply to you if you work here? That must be convenient for you," I said. He narrowed his eyes and blinked a few times.
"This isn't a stroller," he said. (Strollers are also prohibited.)
"What's the difference between that a stroller?" I asked.
"Well, there's no BABY on this," he said.
I responded with the only sensible response: "Okay. There's no baby on my bike, either."
He just scowled at me.
"Are empty strollers allowed on the escalator, then?" I continued.
"So what's the difference between that and an empty stroller?" I pressed. At this point the guy looked like he was about to pop a vein. He didn't say anything.
"When you start following your own rules, I'll follow them, too, okay?" I offered.
He was positively seething at this point. "You need to go get a f***ing clue, you f***ing Johnny Bicycle f***," he yelled. Yes, that's right, he called me... Johnny Bicycle. Actually, not just Johnny Bicycle, but a Johnny Bicycle f***, which I presume is even worse. "Next time I'm going to give you a f***ing ticket!" he finished.
"You can't give me a ticket; I didn't break any laws," I countered.
At this point, he just rushed away from me. I yelled that he should take some anger management classes, and left.
I spent the next 10 miles of my bike ride alternating between laughter and thinking of things I could have said to goad him further. If only the escalator had been ten feet longer, I'm sure I could have added a few jabs about his pudge, or his unfortunate career. It would have been positively brilliant if I had pushed him over the top and he had assaulted me on the escalator. If you can get a million bucks for spilling McDonald's coffee on yourself, I can't even imagine what you can get for tumbling down an escalator with a bicycle and a wheelie cart full of crap after having been assaulted by a government employee.