Stranger and stranger on a train

This may be my last entry…

I got on the train and there weren’t many places to sit. It’s a busy commuter train and it’s always verging on the sardine tin side. I had a brief look around for somewhere to park myself for the journey into work. I weighed up the limited options and noticed that there was a window seat which was unoccupied – that would be my goal.

It was a rainy morning so there were quite a few umbrellas around which made it slightly but not unmanageably treacherous under foot.

I should mention here that the person I ended up sitting next to was in the minor douche position – let me try to explain that:

In most coaches on the cross-city train there are arrangements of four (or six seats, depending on which side of the aisle you are) which comprise two double seats facing each other. This means that there are 2 window seats and two aisle seats available. The minor douche position is when someone is already sitting in one of the window seats so the next person sits on the opposite aisle seat effectively blocking the two remaining seats like so:


The douche position is where the person inexplicably occupying the aisle seat places their bag on the seat next to them.
The major douche position is where both people take up the aisle seats and put their bags on the seat next to them.

I hope that’s clear.

I gingerly danced myself into¬†position, narrowly avoiding window sitter’s umbrella, and sat down next to douchey aisle lady. Now, as commuters know, if someone sits down next to you you shuffle toward the aisle a bit to give them room to be comfortable. Douche lady did not do this, in fact she made it hugely uncomfortable for me by refusing to give a millimetre. I sat my ground and thought ‘well, this is odd’ but accepted that she was a douche and that was that. Then she did something unforgivable – with an overly-dramatic flounce she rested all of her weight on her elbow and used my ribs to move herself towards the aisle.

At this point I started to wonder what was going on but, being unwilling to give her the acknowledgement she was clearly craving, I just assumed that she had some kind of debilitating mental condition and that it was probably best to ignore her. That was that – I had room, she had room and everyone was happy. Apparently not.

She got off two stops before me and made as much fuss as possible (which couldn’t be much given her position) about getting up with audible ‘I’ve been slightly inconvenienced’ huff sounds. Once off the train she glared at me through the train window with a look that made me feel that I had just been released from prison for killing her entire family.

I genuinely don’t understand why people are like that. She doesn’t own that area – I’m pretty sure if I’d asked to see her ticket it would have been the same as everyone else’s which doesn’t actually entitle her to one seat to herself, let alone two (or three given that she was in the minor douche position).

It’s been on my mind all day and I thought I would share it. Courtesy costs nothing – we’re all in this together!

The one piece of solace I get from it is that there is no way she could tell this story without sounding like a maniac.

-I couldn’t believe it. This man got on the train and sat down next to me!
-Right, then what?
-Uh, sorry?
-This man got on the train and sat next to you… then what?
-He was just sitting there!
-Did he smell?
-Was he in any way rude or discourteous to you?
-Ok, I’m not sure what you’re telling me then
-He sat down next to me! I had to give him a good poke in the ribs!
-Because he came and sat down next to me! Why aren’t you getting this?
-Listen Carol, I’ve been meaning to tell you for some time now that you are a weird douche bag and I can’t be bothered with your crap any more. Please never talk to me again.

Thanks for reading, now budge up a bit – I’m going further than you.


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