Chivalry On A Cellular Level

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A cell phone is all that’s necessary to summon chivalry in the rain. (Photo © Jon Murray)

I look forward to my walk beside Central Park to the SkyTrain in Burnaby every morning.

I watch the seasons change, leaves now turning and falling, people out and intent on transit, work and school.

Tuesday morning was cloudy but no rain so the umbrella was stowed in my backpack. When the first fat drops began, quickly turning into major rain I had no worries. Umbrella out .

As I walk a young woman steps out in front of me. She’s wearing a thick sweater, no hat or umbrella and now it’s raining harder and she’s getting seriously wet. Thirty years ago I wouldn’t have hesitated to share my umbrella but although she looks 15 or 16 she could be 12 or 13 and I’m a 60-year old man with visions of accusations of everything from lechery to pedophilia.

She gets wetter, and as I pass she’s busy texting on the phone.

Half a block later a young guy comes running toward me, one of those kids who has probably grown eight inches in the last six months, legs, arms, elbows and knees flying everywhere.

His coat is flapping, umbrella streaming, loaded backpack shifting madly, side-to-side. I note that his eyes are focused, he’s intent, he’s on a mission.

And then I get it. Sure enough as I look behind I see that chivalry and a cellphone have come to the rescue.

About the author: This story by Allan White originally appeared in the Nov. 12, 2009 edition of The Province.

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