Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Irrational Hate #2

Clearly, everyone hates people on buses. Hating other people on public transit is part of living in a city. Chances are the person next to you is talking too loudly on their mobile, or they’re slightly smelly, or they’re crazy or they keep trying to engage you in conversation despite the fact that you’re ignoring them and have your face firmly planted in a book.

I am totally fine with all those people. They are normal bus passengers. I expect to see them, and if the woman with the screaming child isn’t on the bus with me, I find that I’m a little bit shocked. (Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying I’d prefer to have here there. I’m just saying it’s a bit of a surprise when she and her whiny brat of a kid aren’t annoying me.)

The point is, if I was that devoted to a peaceful ride, I would bankrupt myself and take taxis everywhere. Public transit is just that. Public.

It’s the other people that I hate. You know the ones.

Imagine, if you will. You’re on a crowded bus, most of the seats are filled, people are standing, it’s getting a little squishy. And there’s that one person. The one who is sitting on half of a two-seater seat. And, instead of sitting on the window side like a normal person, they’re sitting on the aisle side. Effectively blocking access to the coveted bus seat.

And, not only are they doing that, they’re also staring blankly directly ahead of them, desperately ignoring eye contact with everyone trying to gain access to the seat.

That would actually all be fine. People are annoying, I get it. And who knows? Maybe they’ve got some weird phobia about sitting next to windows. Maybe they can’t look another person in the eyes because they’re afraid of stealing souls. Really, who am I to judge?

It’s what they do after they’re politely asked to let someone slide past them to the unoccupied seat. That’s what really pisses me off. They sigh. And they roll their eyes. And they make it seem like it’s the biggest imposition of all time, ever. And poor person who just wanted to sit down is made to feel like the bad guy.

And they're not the bad guy! The seat hog is the bad guy!

I hate these people. So much that I can’t even truly express the rage I feel when I see these idiots. In fact, I’m getting all angry just talking about it. Jerks. They’re just jerks.

Now, all I need is a plan to make them pay.


Anonymous said...

Then there are the other people... I'm sitting by the window on the subway and the seat beside me is empty. It's slightly after rush hour, so still busy. I don't have a wide ass, I'm not even close to taking up part of the seat. Some lady sits down and then five seconds later stands up, walks a few seats down and sits next to somebody else. I didn't want her to sit next to me in the first place — but can't help being a little insulted. I showered only a few hours ago, so I don't stink or anything. I wasn't muttering to myself or acting generally crazy. I was staring out the window at the black nothing, like all good subway passengers, and avoiding eye contact. I'm not scary looking. In short, I am the model stranger to have to sit next to. If anyone is going to be a subway snob who is too good to sit next to someone it should be me dammit!

— Brad

Bette O'Callaghan said...

The absolute worst are the men who sit with their legs spread so far apart you have to perch on the edge of the seat next to them. I've found the most effective deterrent to this is to calmly say to them "no one is hung that well", its absofuckinlutely amazing how fast they clamp their legs together.