Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Makin' it look mean!

If you are ever in a situation where you are sitting in a seat, chosen of your own volition, on a vehicle, and there are other people coming on the vehicle which you are presently aboard but who do not have assigned seats, there is a very strict procedure that you need to follow in order to ensure that they will not sit next to you, because you don't want them invading your personal space, since, as we all know, we Americans are entitled to our own personal sphere which others are not to violate except under very specific circumstances or in cases of extreme intimacy with another human being which act as a sort of communion between two souls; what I am driving at here is that some fat dude talking on his flip phone, wearing too much Aqua Velva and carrying a bag that is clearly over the size limitation of that mode of travel is not one of those cases of extreme intimacy or communion and should not be one of the people who is allowed to violate your personal space by sitting next to you on your chosen mode of transporation, be it a discount airline, discount bus, or overpriced rail system.

If this is ever the case for you, make sure you have the following:
-headphones (preferably attached to a music-making device, but not necessarily)
-a book (the thicker, the better - short books like Goosebumps or Martha's Guide To Good Business Practice will not cut it)
-a scowl (if you smile, you lose your extra seat, so make sure you have...)
-a will of steel (any flinch, glance upward from your reading material, or flicker of a smile will spell certain doom for your imaginary friend sitting in that "empty" seat next to you)

This is what you need to do. Arrive early. Before embarking upon the vehicle, apply headphones to ears. If they are not attached to anything, make sure you hide that cord! Find an empty set of seats, sit in the one closest to the aisle, and pull out your book immediately. Hold the book in your lap and point your gaze down at it. Whatever you do, no matter how hot that mom is that's walking by or how much noise her fucking kid is making, DO NOT LOOK UP. For the love of everything holy, read that book as if your life depended on it. Even if you don't (can't) read it, keep staring at the jumbled mess of letters and see if you can catch some of the secrets of the universe in the text of The DaVinci Code (sorry, they're not there). If you think that someone is hovering above you, waiting to pounce on that inside seat, don't look at them or even acknowledge that someone might be standing where they are, in fact, standing at that very instant. There are very few people who will actually make physical contact with you in order to grab your attention, but if they do, act offended and roll your eyes a lot. If they stay, make a lot of noise moving your bags, standing up, and stepping into the aisle. Sigh a lot, even more than that time that your soccer coach asked you to cut the grass on the game field while the rest of your was practicing. Make sure they get the inside seat if they still insist of sticking around. And make sure you claim that armrest in the name of decent humanity.


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