Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Man Who Is Standing


"Have you ever noticed," asked an observing young woman recently, "how much politer men are standing up in street cars than men who are sitting down?"

I confessed that I had not.

"Well, you watch, and you will find out that I am right. It is comparatively seldom that I enter a crowded car and have a man rise to offer me his seat. Most men settle themselves comfortably, stick their noses more deeply into their newspapers and pretend they don't see me hanging fast to the strap. But if any one should then vacate a scat and a man was standing by it the chances are 50 to 1 that he would beckon me to come over and take it rather than sit down himself.

"Now, this isn't imagination. I've noticed it scores of times. I think men go on the principle that 'possession is nine-tenths of the law,' or rather, I might say, nine-tenths of politeness. What a man has he keeps, and he says, 'Hang politeness!' But if he is already standing it is just as easy for him to keep on standing, and in that case politeness has some show with him.

"I'm not talking nonsense now," she went on, with a merry laugh. "I'm talking fact, and if you don't believe it you can easily get proof for yourself." — New York Herald.

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