I’m going to talk about a very sensitive topic today and I’d like everyone to keep an open mind. I think that it’s important from time to time to bring up these types of issues to discuss them in a public forum. This is America, a country fused in the furnace of open debate and one that was birthed from the pains of contentious rebellion against ideals once considered to be status quo.
Race relations, abortion, capital punishment, health care…pishaw! Those are topics left to be debated by lesser people…people with no guts to tackle the important issues. Today I’d like to take a stand against a larger concern. One that is dealt with every day and has been the cause of societal strife for decades, yet has yet to have its day in the sun. That issue?
Sitting on public transportation.
If you’ve ridden public transportation before (especially in NYC), you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. You’re standing there holding onto the bar like a normal human being, minding your own business and reading a periodical while you listen to the lyrical musings of Lady Gaga. When in the middle of holding the paper in front of your mouth while you secretly whisper the words to ‘Bad Romance’, you feel a nudge from behind. That nudge turns into a shove and that shove turns into a stiff arm and you’re flung forward, twisting to the side as if a rogue wave has just slammed into the hull of your ship.
Headphones ripped from your ears and paper knocked to the wet floor, you turn just in time to see what looks to be a wild boar dive head first into an open seat and pant with a frothy wheezing as their fat congeals into place like jello in a mold. They waddle back and forth and fling their apocapurse onto their lap, cradling it as if filled with nitro glycerin, and put in their iPod, pull out their romance novel and begin eating something with enough calories to sustain a bear in winter.
They munch away, eyes scanning others in an angry defensive fashion as they continue their waddling, gaining precious centimeters until, two minutes later…BING BOOM…the next stop. They throw everything back into the apocapurse, lean left, then right, reach their arms to the heavens and fall forward, crashing back into you and then clawing and grabbing at clothes to move forward like a drunk cross country skier as they squirm their way out the door, saying “excuse me” in the same tone as one would say “fuck you”.
So…my point is, why in the name of all that is holy and good in the world do people feel that it is absolutely necessary to sit while riding on public transportation?
Now, I’m not just picking on those of extra girth. (They shouldn’t be out in public anyway) Rather, I am singling out anyone who feels that it is their manifest destiny to be seated when entering public transportation. As soon as the doors open, on either the bus or a train, you see these people rush forward like a running back spotting a hole in the defense. And, while their torso remains a football player, their eyes flash like a crazed hockey goalie, head on a swivel looking for even the slightest gap to exploit. Others be damned, they lose their fucking minds and run as if being chased through the jungle, human limbs turning into tree limbs that are easily snapped off as they hunker by.
As you’re reading this you’re thinking, “Oh, I know those people. I HATE those people”. Well, if you need to sit on public transit, those ‘people’ are you. You’re just in denial. If you walk onto a subway or bus and immediately look for a seat, you’re one of those people. If you’re only going to be on the subway or bus for five minutes and immediately look for a seat, you’re one of those people. If you’re not 80 years old, handicapped, pregnant or blind and you immediately look for a seat, you’re one of those people. (If you are 80 years old, handicapped, pregnant AND blind, then dear god you should be in an ambulance, or a record book.)
And on that point, those four categories are the ONLY people who should be looking for the seat. (Well, maybe not the blind as they really aren’t ‘looking’ for anything.) If I had my druthers, there wouldn’t even BE seats on public transit. I feel public transportation represents some modern form of Darwinism where only the strong survive. If you can’t stand for ten minutes at a time, then you shouldn’t be standing. Give your legs to the handicapped guy, he’d love to stand.
Where are these people coming from that they flop down so dramatically into the seats? It’s like they stormed a fucking beachhead to get onto the train and are diving into a foxhole to escape enemy machinegun fire. Are they really THAT tired?
Another point of contention…giving up your seat for a woman. Now this (shockingly) I actually agree with, but not because of any chivalrous bullshit sentimentality. I am in favor of men giving up their seat for two very distinct, indisputable reasons: 1) men shouldn’t be sitting anyway on any journeys less than twenty minutes and 2) wang in the face.
The first reason is self-explanatory, unless you’re on a long journey, you should not be sitting. Be a man. The second reason SHOULD be self-explanatory, but may require a visual. On the very rare occasion I do find myself seated on a subway (normally when going to fucking Brooklyn) I am mortified by the amount of wang in the face. As soon as I am seated, my head is almost exactly level with male wangitude, or what the Latin called, “wangus facialium”. This presents a very uncomfortable environment (for those of a hetero persuasion) full of bobbing and weaving to avoid said wang, however for some gentlemen, this scenario is akin to pressing one’s face against a window to look at cute puppies. Thus, the second reason a man should not sit down is due to wang in the face.
I could go on forever about reasons to not sit while on public transportation but I am curious to hear your thoughts. As mentioned in the beginning, this topic is one fraught with contention and contested with vitriolic sensitivity but I welcome all comments.
I will however leave you with one parting notion. The next time you’re on public transit, look at who is sitting and who is standing. Which club do you want to be a part of?