26 October 2010

A Snotty Attitude

This morning I was merrily ranting away on Twitter about my dislike for passive-aggressive bus passengers who sit in the aisle seat, unmoving, even as the bus fills up, forcing other passengers to ask them to move over to the window seat so that they may also sit down, a request to which the pass-agg criminal responds with a sigh, much demonstration of wounded feelings and a sense of human rights violation.

Or, you know, something of that ilk.

And might I say that it disturbs me that these passengers are so often women who place their handbag on the seat next to them like the precious receptacle needs a place of its own - well if that's the case, ladies, then get Virginia Woolfbag its own SmartRider too!

As our journey progressed this fine a.m., I was aware that there was a man sitting in the row behind me, occupying the aisle seat despite the people boarding the bus and standing in the aisle. (He was also coughing, very wetly, and not covering his mouth, so even without the seat protocol violation he was dead to me.)

For some reason I was not looking out the window that I was sitting next to, but looking across the aisle and out the other window. As a result, I had pretty decent peripheral vision taking in what was happening just in front of me, and just behind me. A young guy had spotted the empty seat by the window, next to the aisle-sitting man. Out of my left eye, I saw him beginning to work his way up the aisle. What my right eye suddenly saw behind me was that the aisle-sitting man was furiously picking his nose, extracting his finger to inspect the goodies and then idly flicking them away hither and thither. If I had any survival instincts at all, I would have ducked to avoid any flying debris, but I sat there transfixed, my right eye boggling at the sight before it.

My left eye was keeping itself fixed on the hopeful passenger as he made his way up the aisle, until he got to the point where The Flicker hove into view, at which point he stopped dead in his tracks and turned, with a defeated slump of his shoulders, to walk back the way he came. He didn't have to, of course: he could have stayed standing where he was. But I guess he didn't want to take an incidental hit from the shrapnel.

As for me, I couldn't help but smirk. I didn't laugh. That would have been cruel, and it would have looked weird. And a wide braying mouth at that juncture would have been just asking for trouble.


pistachio said...

I've always travelled by the motto that you can't be too picky about who you sit with in public transport.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

also...thanks for that HB - I won't stop shuddering all day