Be warned….they are out there…living amongst us, waiting, watching…..to claim some of your oxygen, all of your arm space and find the smallest imperfection on your boat race…
So one thing I did notice on my recent trip to London was some folks’ lack of respect for others’ personal space.
We’re all used to having to suffer others’ armpits or admiration of chest rug when bustled into a cramped lift or in a busy queue for the train but the seating situation on my last train journey nearly led me to a large guffaw at, let’s call him, Mr Bumble’s expense.
I run for my train as, like usual, I’m always late but manage to bag a seat with a table – to write some of my blog funnily enough – and sit opposite a suited gent, busy working away on his iPad.
We’re on the earlier 4.10 train from Charing Cross, with quite a decent selection of places to park our bottoms, when an elderly gentleman decides to plonk himself pretty much on top of poor businessman, let’s call him Suits...hurrah to the fact it’s not on top of me – efficient use of my bag placement trick detailed below…
He then proceeds to pull the arm rest down, without a word of excuse me to Suits, squashing him further into the plexiglass of window, pulls out a paper flapped into face and pretty much uses the businessman as a headrest. He is obviously far too polite to ask for some of his lap back, although looking thoroughly miffed at not being asked to move.
I struggle to hide my rather unfair sneer but plough my head into my handbag for a quick titter and to retrieve my iPad.
We carry on our journey for literally two minutes, when Bumble decides to cough his way into the next century – quite openly onto Suits into his paper and in my direction, hurtling his leftover lunch onto his chin (cue gross out) – no hand over mouth, apology….NOTHING….
At this point, my seating choice is hanging in the balance – do I move to avoid catching the ills that Bumble has coughed all over us or do I sit here in support of Suits in the hope that Bumble will straighten up, the cough will subside or even better he’ll alight at the next stop.
But he sits…or should I say lays… for the next three stops – we carry on with a few coughs here and there until Mr Suits cannot take it any longer and pretty much screams “I CAN’T MOVE ANYMORE MATE!” – we’re all sitting thinking exactly the same but now looking worried that a rows gonna break out…but Bumble nonplussed, stubbornly (although not really allowing Suits any extra space) apologises before gathering his belongings and staggering off at Sevenoaks….
I doubt this is an uncommon difficulty between us humans, and I’ve seen a fair share of space invaders…..what makes them so keen to climb into the face/chest/laps of others I’ll never know…
Moral of the story is……always travel in pairs, or carry a large inflatable person with you or failing that… always start off your journey in the aisle seat with a mountain of bags that you can place next to you as a sign of “please don’t speak to me let alone think of asking to sit next to me”…it saved me from the SI on this last occasion…but he is still OUT THERE….