Thursday, October 27, 2005

Crotch man and tissue lady

BART was messed up today because of some track switching issue in Daly City. This meant that the Fremont train was late. Not by much, but enough to cause a normal 4:15, 9-car train to be standing room only by the time it left Embarcadero.

Somehow I lucked out. I'm not one to rush a seat when it becomes empty because there's a possibility of not being fast enough or falling over because you usually have to make your way through a sea of people when the train begins to move again. And I just don't need that kind of stress. So I usually get stuck standing half the time I'm on the train. Today a lady got off at Embarcadero and I somehow, without having to do anything fancy, got to sit in the empty seat. And I even waited a bit before making my move.

A lot of people got on the train at Embarcadero, and since I took the last free seat, everyone had to pile in and hope for the best.

That's when I became acquainted with crotch man.

One of the many things I hate about aisle seats, which was the seat I was sitting in, is that you're an open target for body parts that "accidentally" touch you. Sometimes these touches are accidental and aren't even in the touching category -- more like I'm in a hurry and you're arm is just a thing in my way. The other thing that happens is invasion of personal space. Again, I love my personal space. If I could draw a chalk outline in the air around me to indicate where my personal space begins and end, I would. And if I could use a stun gun to shock people who invade my space, I would do that too.

By now you've probably guessed that someone invaded my space and that this someone was crotch man. Yes. You're so very correct. He decided that the best place to stand was right next to me, with his crotch right next to my face. I can deal with that to some extent because what else is he going to do? What I can't deal with is him leaning towards me to make room for someone who was trying to get to the door. Nothing like having a stranger's crotch a couple of inches away from your face.

At one point, he leaned in and then must have forgotten he was leaning in because there was no one trying to get by him. I'm going to keep thinking it was forgetting and not that he wanted to do what he was doing because that's just not right. I did contemplate the thought of asking him to kindly remove his crotch from my personal space box or I would have to elbow him in his crotch, but I didn't.

By the time I was getting close to fuming and getting ready to explode, he decided to move a few inches away. Goodbye, crotch man, I hope I don't ever see your crotch again!

The guy next to me got up and left the train, so I got to move to the window seat. For some reason no one near me jumped at the chance to sit in the empty seat (maybe they feared crotch man), so a minute passed before an Asian lady sat down next to me. She squeezed herself against the arm rest, like I had some weird disease. A small child could have sat in between us. Not that this was a problem for me.

When we were at Bayfair, the train was delayed a bit for some unknown reason, and I looked over towards to platform to see what was going on. Doing this gave me a better view of the Asian lady. She had a tissue pushed against her nose. No, not too weird, not too weird until many minutes passed and she never took it away.

Oh no, I thought. She's one of them loonies that think if they're in a confined space with other people, they'll get germs and somehow a tissue will save them. Perhaps you've seen these people. They often use surgical masks instead of tissues. Nothing like seeing someone walking down the street with a light blue mask on their face. There are the mask wearers and there are the sun visor wearers, and sometimes, if you're lucky, you'll see someone wearing both!

(Sun visor wearers: Giant sun visors with green tint that pretty much cover the whole face -- more like a helmet than a visor, really. Usually worn while driving. And when driving, this person must sit so close to the steering wheel that if they got into an a accident, the steering wheel would have to be surgically removed from their chest. Are the visors for skin protection? Eye protection? Protection from someone throwing a mud ball at you? Who knows).

There's nothing like watching someone with tissue attached to their face. When she got up to leave, she proudly walked out with the tissue still stuck to her face. Not a care in the world. I would just feel plain silly, but hey, if it's going to stop me from getting the bird flu, then maybe I should do it too. And people on BART can be really nasty as far as hygiene goes.

Hmm...maybe I should have stuck a tissue to my face to protect myself from crotch man?

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