Thigh’d by Thigh’d

Look, we’d all like more room on the train. We’d all prefer not to be sitting in the middle seat hemmed in by passengers on either side. But that is no excuse for doing the thigh-on-thigh ratchet – exactly what I got this morning from the guy who squeezed himself into the middle seat when he got on at Clapham Junction. I, of course, moved my leg away a little to avoid coming into full hip-to-knee contact with a stranger. He shifted a little so that his leg was back in contact with mine. I shifted again, this time sneaking a bit of a glance over to see if he was some sort of a wierdo of the creepy kind. He was doing this ‘gosh, look at me, totally oblivious, just lost in my music and staring into space while my knee creeps ever wider of its own accord’ thing that made me think it was neither creepy nor innocent but a calculated invasion of my personal space in order to maximise his own. Every time I gave an inch, unable to stand the sensation of someone else’s bodily warmth seeping through the fabric of my jeans, he took it, and stuck his elbows out a bit for good measure. Eventually I tried fighting back, shifting a little in my seat to regain territory, wearing my ‘gosh, look at me, totally oblivious, just turning the page of my newspaper and heaving you accidentally in the ribs, you horrible person’ expression on my own face, but I’m just not brazen enough to get away with anything too obvious. So side by side we sat, battling it out without either of us batting an eyelid, nothing to see except the subtlests of movements back and forth, until Kew Bridge came and I was able to escape.

Next time I’ll be tougher. I’ll let my thigh rest snugly against his and start playing with his foot for good measure – that should sort him out. Or I’ll nudge him harder in the ribs and say, ‘Oi, sit in your own seat, fatso’ in a carrying voice. Or I’ll … er spinelessly let him encroach on my the space while resenting it furiously, like I always do. Oh well…


6 responses to “Thigh’d by Thigh’d

  1. There is the other possibility, though: that he felt you didn’t give enough space as he squeezed in. I’m often annoyed with the person sat on the end, themself having avoided sitting in the middle seat as they know how uncomfortable it is. In that case, I start fighting for (arm) space. But also if I can see someone is being cautious of taking up too much space by me, I am equally respectful back.
    It’s a complicated business, all this. It sounds like your guy was being an offensive little arse.

  2. Offensive Big arse more likely

  3. Oink – it’s possible but what I forgot to say was I was in the window seat and thus had no space to move into. So he should have been putting the move on the guy in the aisle – but I bet he wasn’t. And fighting for arm space is fair game as long as you’re using your elbows – it’s not as yucky as putting your thighs right up against someone …
    Huttonian – you might be right – I didn’t check

  4. Buy a coffee and spill it over him by accident, do what I do, start scratching your hair and body all the time – people will soon move, I find it works every time!!
    Or if I’m feeling wicked or naughty. I make sure that I wear a T shirt on the train which I have worn for about 4 or 5 day before i travel. Nice!

  5. It’s for situations like this that I am actually thankful I am walking to my job at the moment. I remembered these so well.
    Just because I am reasonably slim and therefore might not use the whole of my chair doesn’t give some else the Godforsaken right to invade my personal space. If they are being kind, I might not have a problem with it, but if they just barge themselves half on top of me, then they’ve got it coming and I’ll fight back… all very subtle of course, engrossed in my Metro and iPod (not too loud )

  6. I am reminded of a friend whose tactic for getting a seat (if not a whole carriage) to himself was to pick his nose, examine the results and then say in a loud voice ‘ew, I’m not eating that
    Not sure I could go that far though…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s