Serious question: What kind of person sits next to you on the train when there are empty rows?

Usually I do. This morning, no, because I didn’t feel like it.

Truth. I’ve actually seen people on crowded trains stand when there was a seat which would have been empty were someone’s bag not there. Fuck that, I tell people to move their crap. Your bag didn’t pay for a seat, homegirl; I did.

I’m also like you re: my stuff on the seat next to me. When it starts to fill up, I move it. Maybe that’ll change soon. The tiny old ladies who sit next to me likely will be too afraid of confrontation to say anything. No, that’s a bitch move. I won’t do that, but I can so understand why other people do.

Edit: Would have been foiled by **Vihaga **anyway! A gal can’t win.

Yeah, i sometimes do this, too.

I also hate the people who sit in an aisle seat in the hope that no-one will squeeze past them to get to the window seat, and who also sigh like it’s the end of the world if you say, “Excuse me, can i get in?”

The best way to prevent someone sitting next to you is to look up, give a big stupid smile, and pat the vacant seat a few times with your hand. :slight_smile:

I promise I only do it on crowded trains! Besides, on the train I ride, men are the worst offenders, anyway.

The same people who, in an empty movie theater, decide to sit right in front of (very short) me.

I tell my family I am an idiot magnet. I attract them somehow.

This really made me laugh, which is no good because I was on the phone when I read it. I really want to try this, but I see myself cracking up and not being able to pull it off. Wait! Maybe the uncontrollable giggling might make it even better.

Tis why stadium seating is key. I’m not even short, and somehow 30% of my theatre trips involve people who are significantly taller than I am sitting in front of me. That is way too high of a percentage for at least two reasons.

Meanoldlady, I’m going to ask a different question on the psychological profile of the riders.

I take the bus to work most days. There’s a good number of people on the bus who read the Bible on the commute. As in, they sit down, open it up to their premarked page, pick up where they’d left off, and keep on reading until they get to their stop.
But last week I saw some guy doing that whose Bible was stamped as owned by the local library. And I’m just wondering who this person is. What sort of person is so seriously invested in the pursuit of his religious studies that he’d spend his free time in public reading the New Testament…and NOT own the damn book himself? What? Who? An ironic hipster? A guy who owns the Guttenberg Bible at home but doesn’t want to crack its spine? I don’t get it.

Reverend Lovejoy?

Was he wearing oversized eyeglasses and an asymmetrical haircut? If so, yes, hipster douche.

Speaking of which, my friend and I were in one of this city’s many hipster douche neighborhoods when we encountered some skinny-jeans-clad young man propped up on some sidewalk railing, casually reading a book. I’m sorry – what? You seriously just thought the corner of Damen and North on Friday night was a good spot to prop yourself up on some rails and start reading a book. Is this guy even for real? He was probably reading “Death In Venice” or something like that. I really wanted to punch him.

Okay, I’m done hijacking my own thread.

So anyway, I suppose these people do it because they want to find the most harmless-seeming person there is in fears that if they sit in an empty row, and when the train fills up, some creepy weirdo will be next to them. It’s funny because back in LA if someone sat next to me on an empty bus, there was a 99.8% chance it was some idiot guy trying to hit on me. Here, it’s almost always little old ladies who just sit quietly. Must say, I vastly prefer the old ladies, but it’s still irritating.

Wear a tin-foil hat and a lot of accessories denoting Satan worship (though what those might be, I haven’t a clue). Foam at the mouth and gibber a lot when a likely little old lady approaches. They’ll sit elsewhere, I guarantee.

Remember to divest yourself of said accessories before going in to work.

Maybe he bought it used from a library book sale? I’ve done that (not a Bible, but other books…), and all the library books still looked like library books (those sideways stamps on the pages and inside the cover don’t come whited out), but the page with the checkout card was removed (or in more modern times, the electronic strip).

It’s often the cheapest way to get nice hardbound book, or the “library binding” version of softcover books that last a lot longer and almost never loses pages.

This is the trick - eye contact from the second they enter the car. The smile isn’t necessary, either. You can just go for intense. Flare the nostrils a little. I’m watching you, motherfucker. Sit wherever you’d like.

Actually, I’ve always assumed that some old ladies just don’t give a shit and they’re tired, so they plop in the first seat reasonably available. I’d guess that every time this happens, it happens in the first few rows of seats, rather than actually bypassing the empty seats.

Nope. I even started sitting in the middle of the train purposely, which is farthest from the doors, under the theory that people are just plopping into the first available seat. A woman this morning passed *two empty rows *to sit beside me. Happens all the time. Time to ratchet up the creepy factor.

Clarifying question (with apologies if I missed it earlier): Are you sitting in the inside or the outside seat?

I really hate getting “trapped” by people sitting on the outside of me (meaning, I’d need to make them move in order to get out of my seat), so I almost always take the outside seat on an empty row (be it train or subway or whatever). I find that when I do so, people rarely bother sitting next to me, despite the fact that I occasionally shower, and will sometimes rather stand even if the last empty seat is next to me.

On the rare instance when I am sitting on the inside seat, people never hesitate to sit next to me. Perhaps you’re just being too inviting?


In that case, I don’t see how you have any other option but to start peeing on the seat, really.

Inside. I don’t like people crawling over me. Perhaps I should switch to outside?

If you call sitting there quietly while reading a book inviting, I suppose I am.

And I see this sometimes with other people too. Someone will get on the bus and just sit next to someone else even though there are empty spots. Very bizarre. I also would like to understand the types of people who go upstairs on a two-story train even though there are seats downstairs. Why do they go up there? But that’s a different thread.

When I was on a two-story commuter train, I always sat upstairs. I was usually reading or sleeping, and upstairs was always much quieter (in terms of both the number of people gabbing and the various noises from the train, like rattling doors).

Might I suggest you sit on the outside (aisle, right?) seat until the one next to you is the only one left and then slide over?

I can do this, but I’m not sure it will work. I can already see the people wanting the window seat next to me, even though there are other places to sit, then I’d have to be crawled over anyway. And now I’m shaking my head at myself for theorizing on how best to minimize human contact while on trains. Heh. I need more fulfilling work.

MeanOldLady is bothered by sitting next to LittleOldLadies?

Mean hates little

Or right beside you. This happens to Jim and me all the time.

Do you have an iPod, MeanOldLady? Maybe if you started singing along (loudly and badly), that might scare them off.