I’m not so sure about this one.

It was a busy train this morning so, as is my wont, as soon as the announcement was made for Kew Bridge I got up and started making my way down the aisle to make sure I got out as quickly as possible. One woman managed to move herself so I could get past, but the second, who was standing by the seats nearest the exit, just wouldn’t budge.

‘Don’t worry,’ she said. ‘Plenty of people get off at the next stop.’

Well. It was the patronising tone she used that got me, as though I were some sort of bewildered tourist benefitting from her vast experience. I was unwisely provoked into telling truth. ‘I know that, I just don’t want to be the last one to do so.’ So then she picks up her bag, tosses her hair and said ‘Oh, for goodness sake’ before flouncing – in so far as it is possible to flounce in a crowded train – out of my way and sitting down in a seat that someone else had just vacated.

Note that well. She wasn’t about to get off herself, she just didn’t want to move out of my way to let me out until – well, when was she planning on moving exactly? When the train had stopped? When everyone else had got up and started moving, making it harder for her to move? Once more passengers had started piling onto the train? I found myself arguing crossly with her all the way over Kew Bridge, which would have been more effective had she actually been present at the time. I pointed out that she might not have go that free seat had I not provoked her to move when I did. I explained that I was late, having missed the earlier train. I even threw myself on her mercy and excused myself on the grounds that I was used to travelling on Silverlink where it’s never entirely certain that you will get off if the train is packed and the guard is in a hurry. But it was all to no avail. I still wonder whether I was in the wrong: wrong to be so impatient in the mornings, or at least wrong to openly admit it. I don’t want to be the last off the train. I have a gentler, politer colleague who was on the same carriage as me and he got into work a good five minutes later because he doesn’t elbow women and children aside in his haste to get away.

So does that make me a bad person? I worried about it all day, and then I remembered. She flounced. Nothing excuses flouncing. Right? Right?


5 responses to “Honestly

  1. RIGHT!
    I had the same thing happen to me on a 159 bus during summer, an older woman was taking the seat next to me and would refuse to let me out any time earlier than the next stop. Mind you it was an old double decker bus and I was actually planning on getting off at a traffic light somewhere on the way to the next stop. No offence, she was old that’s why I only smiled and let the rage pass.
    If I would’ve been you, I would’ve just elbowed her out of the way, looking back as she would’ve shrieked, and just smiled :-D.

  2. I’m with you on the flouncing. There was no excuse for flouncing.
    (By the way, I don’t think it was me on your train. Some other idiot. Seriously, though, there does seem to be a design fault with these alarms if they can be set off just by leaning on them. It should require something more than that, no?)

  3. So we’re agreed, flouncing’s a no-no. Unless shkj is disagreeing, but I can’t read chinese so I don’t know.
    Roger – you’re right, clearly a design flaw…

  4. I think it may be Japanese and unless I have misread the odd subjunctive the thrust is that you don’t flounce on the Bullet Train.

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