For those who think our North American culture has progressed over the last fifty years, I offer this conversation I heard on a city bus mere hours ago.
This is between two gentlemen sliding out of their sixth decade. One was even wearing the garb, and affecting the pony-tailed hair, of the actual Sixties of the last century. The other had a sports coat and neat pants, and was carrying a number of books.
Sports Coat (to bus driver): Do you go past the New Library?
Bus Driver: No, but I go past the end of the street. A ten minute walk.
SC: OK – I can do that.
Pony Tail: You taking books back?
SC: Yup. My Sunday chore. I’ll get others.
PT: There’s a closer library – right along here.
SC: Jeez – I can’t go there.
SC: Loud as hell.
SC: The kids. They run the place.
PT: You mean after school?
SC: All the time I’m ever in there.
PT: They can be loud.
SC: They’re savages taking over.
PT: They’re just young.
SC: In my day, kids showed some respect.
PT: It’s a small library. Things sound louder.
SC: The librarian would shut us down.
PT: It isn’t that bad.
SC: She’d tell us to shut up, and that would be it.
He never – it is true – used the phrase: To Hell in a Handcart.