Thursday, September 28, 2006

Chivalry Is Dead

Chivalrous behavior: considerate and courteous behavior, especially shown by a man towards women.

I was at a neighbourhood supermarket and was in the queue to pay for my grocery shopping. Although I was next in line, the customer before me was redeeming some crockery and the cashier was tallying his coupons meticulously. Mildly embarrassed that he was holding up the queue, the helpful guy noticed that a staff on duty had opened up another checkout counter and kindly suggested that I make my payment at the next counter. The guy standing behind me overheard the ‘news’ and just as I turned around to ‘change lanes’ he sprinted ahead and dumped his basket onto the adjacent counter. I was rather taken aback by his swift maneuver and widened my eyes in mock astonishment. The bigger surprise came when that the fella had the effrontery to grin triumphantly at me from across the counter and say, “我比你快!”

If looks could kill, he would have died there and then. I gave him my iciest glare, pursed my lips in disapproval, twitched my nose in contempt, narrowed my eyes and turned my face away with disdain. “没风度!” I simmered silently.

Perhaps my reaction was rather sexist. If an auntie had done it, I would have grinned back at her and retorted, “我老了,反应也慢了。” But, no, this was an able-bodied male, thirty years of age, displaying such crass behaviour. ARGH!

A quick survey of a cabin on the MRT will reveal more telling signs that chivalry is dead. I see guys rushing to take any available seat, oblivious to needs of the elderly, the pregnant and the children. The worse scene to witness is to see a sympathetic female give up her seat while the 4 guys from the similar row warm their butts happily and drift off to slumber land. Fair enough, everyone’s tired from a hard day of work. But the elderly shouldn’t dangle precariously in front of you and all womenfolk—pregnant or not deserve the seat more than any guy. Why? It all boils down to physiology, my dear. Varicose veins. Women suffer from those ugly, bulging purplish green veins on the back of their calves as a result of prolonged periods of standing. And, any self respecting gentleman, or worshipper of the female form should never allow that deformity to take shape.

"The best index to a person's character is (a) how he treats people who can't do him any good, and (b) how he treats people who can't fight back."~Abigail Van Buren

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