Man Hands and Justice for All!
Some examples of Seat Hoggery include:
1) Spreading your legs so no one can squeeze in next to you. You're not in your office, you're on public transportation. It's not supposed to be comfortable. If you need that much room then you should just stand.
"I'm texting a very important message so I can ignore you."
2) Falling asleep across two seats. I've fallen asleep on the Metro many times. You really only need one seat, by the window, where you can lean your head and others can utilize the seat next to you with ease.
"Metro naps are the BEST!"
Kudos to this guy with the mad takin-up-four-seats skillz!
3) Using one seat for you bag. You know how in airplanes you have to put your bag on the floor? Consider it the same for the Metro.
"My Goach" (that's a fake Coach) "requires its own seat, thankyouverymuch."
(No photo for you but I will paint you a picture in the story below.)
You should know that in any of these cases I will hover over you and stare you down until you acknowledge me. If you don't acknowledge me I will say, "May I sit down?" This has embarrassed many a friend and coworker, but you know what? My ankle has been jacked up since last summer's attempts at exercise, and if there's a seat available, I'm sitting in it, daggommit!
So two days ago when I saw a woman committing TWO Seat Hog crimes (3 and 4), I walked right over to her and stared her down. She did not acknowledge me. So I said, "May I sit down?" She did not acknowledge me. So I combined staring her down and repeating "May I sit down?" until she did.
She sloooooowly turned her head up and her eyes sloooooowly met mine. In hindsight I'm surprised her head didn't go ahead and turn all the way around and lasers didn't shoot out of her eyes to make my head explode. But at this point I was blissfully unaware that she wanted to kill me, so I happily sat down as she scooted to the inner seat. A couple of people standing beside us (Wonder why they're standing? This is a perfectly good seat! I thought) chuckled and looked away when I looked up at them.
Then the Seat Hog began grumbling. At first I couldn't make it out, but then I heard, "Imma be in the f***in' headlines tomorrow. You gonna f*** with my family? S***." She repeated this statement and grunted several times. I wondered, Is she talking to me? Surely not, I haven't f***ed with her family. Why would she be in the headlines? Who would dare f*** with this woman's family? She is scary! Sure glad she isn't mad at me!
But as we sat there and I did my little Sudoku on my lap in my little floral skirt and little silver flats with little flowers on the toe without a little care in the world, I began to change my mind. And when I caught the two people standing next to us smiling at me like You are such an idiot, I knew she was talking to me.
Suddenly she pushed me out of the seat. "I'M GETTIN' OUT!" she announced to the entire train, as my hand slapped the lady in front of me in the back of the head while I scrambled to catch my balance in the crowded aisle. The Seat Hog didn't care. She barelled on through the crowd as if I wasn't even there. "I'm SO sorry! I'm SO sorry!" I pleaded with the woman whose head I'd accidentally attacked (she looked pretty ticked at me too). The Seat Hog continued to bellow "I'M GETTIN' OUT!" We were nowhere near a stopping point, so this went on for a while.
As soon as the train did stop and she indeed got out, several people around me laughed. The guy who'd been watching the whole thing said, "If you can't laugh at this then you're not alive." A woman jokingly explained to other riders, "That girl is so mean! She should not have sat down when that woman clearly owned the seats!" Another rider sat down next to me (I had scooted to the inner seat, of course) and promised to be nice.
As the nearby passengers chuckled and talked about what a crazy hose beast that woman was, I envisioned what would have happened if we'd sat there longer. Would she have, as she claimed, gotten herself in the headlines tomorrow? And if so, how would she have accomplished that? By stabbing me, perhaps? It would have been a feasible outcome. There are no metal detectors in the Metro and few police, so she could have easily taken out a knife and cut me up. And I'm not so sure the Laughing Standing Man would have intervened.
But I got out okay so there's really no need to imagine how else she could have gotten herself in the headlines.
I did, however, make a doctor's appointment the next day to get my ankle checked out. Time to get this thing on the mend so I can freely stand on the Metro and focus my Metro Girl efforts on other issues, like Loud Talkers. (You know who you are.)
P.S. Thanks to Unsuck DC Metro for the photos!