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5 people on public transport header

SocietyMay 11, 2018

Five people to avoid sitting next to on public transport

5 people on public transport header

Toby Morris sizes up the lord guardian of the extra seat, and other passengers we love to hate.

Jay Barker, bag-dozer

Jay’s got a bag full of textbooks and his head in an essay that’s due on Wednesday morning that he hasn’t started. Well, he hasn’t started started, but he has started thinking about it. He’s doing it right now. He’s standing in the aisle and – what was that? – he turns sharply and smacks that bag right into your head. He’s got headphones on so he doesn’t hear you protest. He smacks you again. He’s gonna get a B+ this time, at least.

Kaylen Jackson-Jardin, lost in the phone zone

Look, I’m not against phones on public transport, they’re magical. But can someone invent an app that recognises when pregnant women, disabled riders or elderly are standing and sends notifications to all the phones nearby? Or, you know, just look up once in a while, Kaylen. And I’m not judging that you’re still playing Candy Crush but just tuck those elbows in, eh?

Stacey Curness, multi-row chat trapper

You know it’s the school holidays by the groups of teens making easy public transport rookie errors. Bus and train etiquette is subtle but vital – it’s a small step between standing by doors and standing by the doors and getting in every single person’s way.

The multi-row chat trap is a common one – groups of teens who get on and take a row each when everyone knows all the seats will be full in two more stops. Three kids take six seats. Four kids take eight seats. It’s madness, Stacey, madness. And then when you fall into their trap and sit in between them, they’ll keep talking through you like you’re not even there. Like you’re a piece of wet Glad Wrap stuck to a chicken wire fence in the wind, little pieces of egg sandwich still smeared on it. Stink move Stacey.

Derrick Rambert, lord guardian of the extra seat

Yes the seats are filling up, yes people are starting to stand, but you must understand that it’s Derrick Rambert’s right to have an extra seat next to him for his bag. He has worked hard all day and it’s just … well … he doesn’t like other people … especially young ones or poor ones or weird commoners. Who knows where they’ve been, what they’ve been touching? He paid for his ticket and it’s his right to be comfortable, and anyway, he doesn’t want to put his bag on the ground. He looks around suspiciously and grits his teeth. People think it’s a crime to be a white man these days, he thinks to himself. It’s bloody outrageous.

Raelyn Mastraito, Queen Tut Tut

But wait, the readers cry! You know who isn’t on this list? People playing music on their phones out loud! So rude!
And here’s a hot take: I don’t care. I like music. I like people feeling relaxed and at home on public transport. Sure, if the music is stupidly loud or offensive that’s too much, but I’m not mad if there’s a beat going somewhere. That can be nice.

But not to Queen Tut tut here. She’s rolling her eyes. She’s crossing her arms, loudly sighing, uncrossing her arms, shaking her head, crossing her arms and loudly sighing, again. And again. She’s making it clear she’s unhappy, doing everything she can except, you know, actually saying something. She’s sending out negative vibes. Waves of grump to smother the tunes and make sure no-one is feeling OK.

I mean, who would waste time and effort complaining about mundane grievances on public transport? Don’t people have anything better to do?

Keep going!