An eleven-year-old boy refuses to take his dirty shoes off a seat on a bus in Altötting. The driver slips out a swear word, the matter ends up in court – and since the verdict, the people’s anger has been trembling in the city and far beyond.
The columns of letters to the editor in the local press have been overflowing for days, because the people’s anger is trembling in Altötting and far beyond. The outrage was triggered by the verdict of a district judge who fined a bus driver 500 euros. She had described an eleven-year-old “snotty rascal”, as many letter-to-the-editors call him a “pig,” after he had diligently ignored her request to take his dirty shoes off the seat several times.
The description of the incident shows that the bus driver also nudged the boy with her hand. Whether this happened on the shoulder or in the area of the lower back of the head, which would amount to a bitch, remained open. The only thing that is certain is that the intervention, which was probably meant to be educational, resulted in a complaint from the parents. Even if the boy suffered no visible injuries.
The judge made it clear that the fine is primarily aimed at physical violence and not at the use of the word “pig”. This is of course a differentiation that the majority of the people do not perceive very much. An eleven-year-old recalcitrant “pig” and “cripple dog”, so the tenor, is the result of a lack of education. A group of regulars and several individuals now want to take over the bus driver’s punishment.
The incident in Altötting is an almost traditional continuation of a long series of similar disputes, all of which express how risky it is to express one’s displeasure in a rustic and dialectal way in everyday life. Years ago, a tram driver in Munich got into an argument with a recalcitrant passenger. “You’re a bastard for me!” he scolded. He was lucky that the court tolerated the peculiarity of the Bavarian culture of abuse and did not recognize any “particular reprehensibility”. “The tram is not a boarding school for older daughters,” said a supporter of the driver.
A Post customer, on the other hand, only complained about a counter clerk because he had spoken to her in Bavarian. “He didn’t even say cattle to her,” as the SZ said at the time, shaking his head.
The Altötting magistrate remained unaffected by all of this and warned the boy to follow the instructions of the bus staff in the future. He wished the bus driver more serenity.