I did take heart from the news that I’m not alone in getting hot under the collar about music played out loud on London Transport, (http://www.gopetition.com/online/9646.html), to the extent that I diversified. (Actually, it will never get worse than what follows because I’m not so misanthropic as all that, neither do I get a kick out of these altercations, nor do I feel the need to push my point of view all the time).
Early morning and I get onto an empty Central Line train. Next stop, two people take the seats closest to the doors, one of which is a priority seat. This always happens and it’s been a long time since I was bothered. But I do think it’s a really unthinking and selfish thing to do. By Leytonstone the train is crowded, standing room only. I notice an old woman with a stick and an unhappy expression standing near the door. I catch her eye and give her my seat. I position myself so I’m standing in front of the bloke who took the priority seat. He’s seen everything and ignored everything. When the train starts again (more noise, less of a scene) I initiate a conversation: “Excuse me.” Bloke tries to ignore me. I persist, “You should have given that woman your seat.” He muttered that he hadn’t seen her. I replied “But you saw me give her the seat. And you sat in the priority seat even though there were lots of seats free when you got on”. Him: “Do you want this seat?”. In the split second I was thinking about it, he was back to his paper which made me angry so I said “Yes I will have the seat”, and he got up abruptly and stood with his crotch unreasonably close to my face until he got out at Stratford. I spent the rest of the journey scanning the carriage for people who might need the seat and hardly managed to read any of my paper by Ofira Seliktart. That’s why priority seats aren’t a good places to sit – you have to be vigilant. At the same time I wish the long-suffering idiots who stand up with their enormous pregnant bellies and lame legs waiting to be offered would get a grip on themselves and find their own seat, rather than prevailing on people like me. Bastards. All of them. Hrmph.