On city buses, passengers are requested to give up their seats to people with disabilities, senior citizens and pregnant mothers. I qualify on the first two counts. If you know somebody who scores three out of three, I’d like to hear about her.
Seating protocol is not the law, and relying on the kindness of strangers doesn’t always get me a seat. If nobody offers, I just shuffle down the aisle until someone does. I don’t make a scene, though I’d like to swat backward baseball caps off the heads of high school kids. “Oops, sonny, you dropped your hat.”
From squatters, I neither demand proof of disability, card seniors nor administer pregnancy tests. I let folks be. I studiously avoid conflict. I’m too blind to be a good CSI.
Occasionally, a sighted rider goes to bat for me. “Are you blind or what?” he’ll shout at a recalcitrant squatter. “Can’t you see the guy’s got a Seeing Eye dog?” This brings the retort, “Too bad for him and his dog. I’ve got a disability too.” End of dialogue. No evidence of disability demanded. After all, not all disabilities are visible, and those that aren’t, you don’t want to mess with.
Once, when my dog Randy and I boarded, a fellow muttered, “So what are they gonna let on next, horses?” Randy did not hang his head, though many horses I know would have had hurt feelings
Still, for every insensitive rider, there are nine who make me feel welcome. Some have canes, some have walkers. Even with their troubles, they caution others not to step on Randy’s tail. I do what I can to assist them. We do our best together. We may not break into a chorus of “The Wheels On the Bus Go Round and Round,” but in our little corner, at least, there is harmony.