I've seen it many times: A subway passenger accidentally sits on part of another woman’s (or man’s) coat, something bound to happen when people sit next to each other in crowded places. But the coat owner doesn’t see that her jacket spilling onto someone else’s seat is an invasion of space on par with manspreading. Instead, she acts as if her neighbor is the offender and proceeds to violently yank her coat away like she’s pulling it from a pit of quicksand. She barks at the poor passenger, who, for some reason, is often a confused French tourist, and says, “Do you know other people exist? Did you hear me? Hello?” The poor passenger freezes—he has no idea what to do—and the scowling continues for countless stops.
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If you take the subway in New York, this lady (or man) is a familiar character to you. This kind of commuter also exists in standing form and can be seen yelling, “Try me! Try me one more time!” after your shoes accidentally touch when the train comes to a halting stop. Pay no attention to the giant mass of people behind you, currently shoving you toward the yet-to-open subway doors.
What the hell is wrong with these people? Not only are their expectations for a public transit system at rush hour way out of whack, but they have serious aggression problems. If they want a completely pleasant commute, they should order an Uber or invent some kind of climate-controlled bubble suit. As for the rest of us, we know what we signed up for when we hopped on the 4 train at 9am: a bloody mess. We’re going to suck in our guts and hold our noses as best we can until we (hopefully) get off this train in one piece. So next time, keep your mouth shut, or maybe just say, “Could you please watch out?” ν Keenan Steiner