Dear Elderly Lady on the Museum Submarine Tour

Submarines are historically cramped vessels. Having been designed for stealth rather than luxury, there is not much space for people to occupy. This is the main reason you should consider, if it is possible for you to consider anything outside of your own comfort, moving forward to allow the entire tour group inside the control room.

This tour lasts nine minutes. Some of us here, myself included, are developing an unexpected interest in submarine lore. As such, you can imagine this tour, although brief and delivered by an impatient man in a decidedly non-period fleece, could be perceived as worthwhile. Also, it cost five dollars extra. So, kindly shuffle forward so that we all may hear the carefully timed description of this submarine's legendary capture.

Should I feel guilty for wanting you to walk into the periscope? Reason says yes. But reason does not seem to govern your actions, so it shouldn't govern any of ours. This small boy, for example, the one you're standing directly in front of, should reasonably become disappointed with the fact he cannot see or hear anything because of you. Instead, he is being brave, much like the nine-man boarding party that raised this behemoth from certain doom and guided it back to American shores in 1944. It is this boy's bravery that has inspired me to not try and shoulder past you. For your reference, you are the Germans in this metaphor.

OK, elderly lady, my anger has subsided. At some point in this man's half-hearted delivery of this tour, a capacity for compassion has swelled to the surface. Perhaps it some underdeveloped and latent form of patriotism. Perhaps it is the food court hot dog. It is uncertain. Nonetheless, something tells me we will make it through this nine-minute tour together. My desire to see you step awkwardly into the sea strainer as you enter the galley has subsided. My ballast tanks, once full of anger, are quickly emptying as we make a heroic charge toward the daylight.

This is all based on the unlikely assumption that you will stop blowing your nose like a depth charge every four seconds.