Knuckle deep warrior

This morning I sat next to a man on the train. He started by impolitely lingering next to me (I was sitting on the aisle side of a 3 seater) and when I looked at him to see if he wanted to sit down, he just grunted. Taking that as a yes, I got up and let him into the seat. As there was already someone sitting on the window side, he sat in the middle.

Not a problem right? Three people, three seater… maths is not my strong point but it seems to add up to a reasonably comfortable commute. Well… NO!

This guy proceeded to put his large backpack, not on his lap like the rest of us fools, but squeezed it in front of him at his feet, between his legs. This forced his legs to spread wider than is acceptable on shared public transport.

So here we were, three strangers forced to touch legs unwillingly because of this inconsiderate person. I get it. It happens. But it’s preventable nature that annoys me.

So we settled in for a good ol’ fashioned leg touching commute of around 45mins. While constantly uncomfortable, I had dealt with the situation… until… out of the corner of my eyes I see one hand of this guy head north, towards his face. Could be innocent enough right? WRONG!

This guy is now knuckle deep in his nostril using his flailing elbows as leverage to pick all the bats out of his cave. Even with a slight head turn from me and a semi-shocked audible gasp, he continued to forage for goodies like he was a hunter and gatherer for his whole community.


So legs spread, finger in nostril while other hand frantically scrolled social media on his phone, this guy was so enthralled with what he was looking at that I think he failed to remember (or care) that he was on public transport.

But wait, there’s more. Using the same finger that had just got a decent wriggling workout, he then started scraping all the goobies out of his eyes. Once he was satisfied with that, he then started playing with the sides of his mouth. I don’t know if by then he had enough body fluid build up on his fingers that he thought he double up as lip balm, but it was like a train wreck that I couldn’t stop watching, yet regretted every moment.

Nose, check!
Eyes, check!
Mouth, check!

Then with whatever residue was still left on his hand, he then played with his hair, helping to style it. All he needed to do was belch, fart and cough without covering his mouth and I do think I would have physically been ill.

This kind of thing happens all to often. Maybe not all at the same time, but why are people not aware of their surroundings and considerate of the people around them. It’s downright wrong and should be left for the comfort of people’s private homes/spaces.

We need to stop this epidemic before it becomes the social norm.

I didn’t have the courage to say anything to this person, but I really really wanted to. Would I then have been seen as the ‘rude’ one for calling him out on his actions. I did get up a couple of stops early so I didn’t have to be in his presence any longer, but that wouldn’t have been enough for him to realise what he had done wrong.

How do you get the message to someone that what they are doing is inappropriate without feeling like you are overstepping a social boundary yourself. I feel like I should get some of those business cards made up and keep a pen with me so I can tick the boxes that are relevant, and hand them the card and walk away. As a bit of a socially awkward person myself, the non-confrontation of that might be the best option. So i’m off to visit fro a quote…

Lauren P