Dear reader, it’s so good to see you again! It’s been months, hasn’t it? How’s the significant other? And the things you look after, they’re doing okay? Boss being good to you?
Well, let me not waste any more of your time with idle small talk. After all, we’re both here to discuss matters of the practically passive-aggressive gentleman as regards the urban sphere. And the rudeness therein. Right?
For this instalment, I’ve been blessed with the endorsement of the Toronto Transit Commission. Sort of. Lets not belabour that point because what’s important is the general agreement that as temperatures drop, people will be required to be in close quarters with one another as public transit passengers. Notwithstanding the challenges of H1N1, an even larger threat looms on the horizon. It wears the face of the young buck who decides to use the seat in front of him as a footrest, or the young buckette who insists that everyone should hear her mobile conversation, or sometimes that young crowd over there who believe that no one should disembark the train before they first board.
Such behaviour is crass, uncouth, and frankly, insolent. So what’s the practical gentleman to do?
A great deal has been scribed on the walls of public washrooms as regards these matters, but please allow me to at least get the ball rolling:
Flatulence for Feet
A variation of this technique was featured in a previous guide. However, on closer inspection, the advice within that guide proved most unpractical. Gathering large numbers of people together is difficult enough. Doing so for group farts, even more so.
However, working individually, I believe it could be accomplished. The premise is the same as in the previous guide; load up on legumes, Brussels sprouts, and anything that will arm your gut with something genuinely unpleasant. Improvise: eggs, onions (good on both ends), fried garlic (ditto! plus delicious!), pickled cabbages, and so on. Make a meal of it. :D
Then, when you spot yonder young man with legs outstretched o’er the spot in front of him, shoes dripping wet muck directly into the middle of the seat, you must smite him directly! And of course, by that I mean that you simply sit beside him, saddle up good and close, and start tearing off some justice. Be all cool and relaxed about it, like you’ve just come home, sat on the couch, and just let it all hang out. “Ahhh. Comfy.” The odour should infect the cabin forthwith.
If the offending party protests, simply smile and inquire why he should get to make himself at home and you can’t. You paid your ticket like everyone else, didn’t you? Feet on the seat? Okay. But I get to fart. It’s how I get comfortable.
Hopefully the point will be driven straight up the nose and off the seat.
Of course, you could also simply try asking him to take his feet off the seat first, but that would defeat the purpose of the ghastly meal you’d ingested the night before, wouldn’t it?
Music for Mouths
Is it safe to assume that most of us have cell phones today? Why not use them to battle those who abuse their own mobiles by TALKING TOO LOUD. For this, you need to read a section of your owner’s manual for the device to figure out how to preview ringtone sounds and set the speaker volume to maximum. You probably already know how – I trust that all TCL readers are exceptionally clever.
In this exercise the offending party, who is making a racket into her mobile, is simply approached. No interaction required; in fact, a nonchalant looking the other way is more effective. Then, our mobile phone is extracted from its hiding place, and the previewing of the ringtones commences. At top volume. Start bobbing your head. Damn, all so good – can’t decide. “Hello, Moto” – funky fresh!
“Excuse me sir, could you please stop doing that?!” (over the din *giggle*)
“Huh?!” *looking genuinely puzzled, but not enough to stop playback*
“Could you please stop doing that?!”
“Oh!! Oh!!” *sudden stop*
“Sorry, I couldn’t hear my phone over the din of your voice. And din (*wearing a look that says “smarten up!”*) means loud noise.”
You can leave that last bit off; it’s there just for extra bite. :D
To be even less conspicuous you could use the music playback capabilities of your phone to loop a frenetic sounding ringtone. Many phones may have a record option, in which case you can simply scream into the phone to record your message. Plug your headphones into your MP3 player, turn that bad boy up, and do the same with your phone. Use your back pocket to host the merry noisemaker – good if you’re standing and the offending party’s sitting. You get the added benefit of having the racket coming directly from your ass. Terrific!
Again, there is the option of approaching the offending party and simply asking them to tone it down if possible, but what waste of much research and masterful skill, don’t you think?
Pricks for Pushers
This particular example of insolence may do more than simply annoy you, it may cause you to miss your stop entirely. In this scenario, the offending parties are multiple, seemingly aligned against you and closing in as a unit (this actually happens regularly!). You just need for one person to step aside and let you through because you’ve got nowhere else to go but back onto the train. Alas, no one does you the courtesy.
In this case, I feel it’s fair to single out one person who seems to be particularly obstinate, and simply approach him, stare at his crotchal area for a bit, point firmly to it, and returning to look him in the eye say, “Your penis is showing.” Fully serious face.
If it happens to be a woman who is hell-bent on pushing you back on the train, the same words may work just as well if delivered with conviction. I find that a single nod while speaking to drive home the point is the gesture that makes it a serious matter.
The point here isn’t to deliver a crushing insult or even a glancing blow, it’s simply to stun the opponent momentarily while you brush by them with an “excuse me”. Classy.
This example is one of those rare cases where I believe there is no alternative approach. There simply isn’t time to reason in that situation, and the offending party’s ego shouldn’t be sufficiently bruised to make him want to miss his train. Or her train. Though in all honesty, a delivery by a lady to a gentleman is probably the most powerful version of this technique. Ladies will have an advantage over the gentlemen here, I’m afraid. Sorry fellas, we can’t win ‘em all.
Well, wasn’t that a rousing collection of techniques? I certainly do hope you get some practical use out of them. Apply liberally, for insolence does not sleep when we are tired. We should seek to banish it from within our midst at every opportunity. Because, and I don’t know about you, but I must admit to an innate dislike of the wet seat, the unnecessary noise, and the strange unwillingness to hold back just one second so that I can leave the train.
However, I firmly believe that together, we can lick this problem, one offending party at a time. As long as we hold to the ideals of justice, truth, an eye for an eye, and two men enter — one man leaves, then we can be sure we’re doing it for the right reasons.
Till next time!