This one’s been rolling around in my brain for quite a while and last week an incident at the airport brought it to the forefront and is now being thrust upon all of you!
Where are all the seats? They’re being taken up by purses, briefcases, suitcases and coats, everything but people! This is the case at the airport, movie theatre, buses, trains/subways – you name it. Somewhere along the line it has become acceptable for inanimate objects to occupy seating.
Last week I was at the airport for a business trip and found myself looking for a seat in the gate area (why is it that planes that seat over a hundred people are serviced by airports with gate seating for forty?) when I approached a man with two open seats adjacent to him; the one directly to his right had a newspaper on it and the one directly to its right which was empty. I proceeded to sit down in the empty seat only to be told by the man, “I’m sorry, my friend is sitting there”. “Your imaginary friend?” I said to myself (it begged asking, but even I’m not that rude). What are we, twelve? We’re saving seats now?
Turns out that I can be a “little” rude after all because without skipping a beat I found myself saying (in my outside voice) “And your newspaper would be sitting here?” pointing to the seat directly to his right occupied by three sheaves of a newspaper. This took him a back a bit and he considered the questions for a good five seconds before struggling to say the words…”I guess I could move it”.
Really, really, you mean you’d actually pick up your newspaper and let a person sit down? No, it’s too much. I can’t accept (I said to myself, again – I do a lot of that). What I said out loud was “No, that’s ok, I’ll find another seat”. Which I did, only to see the man refuse two others who wanted to sit down and then finally when his friend returned (turns out he wasn’t imaginary after all), regale him with the story of our encounter complete with a poorly veiled finger-point in my general direction.
What is up with this? Buses and trains have luggage racks for this very purpose, yet people put their stuff on the seats. And when you ask if it can be moved, you get an eye roll, typically accompanied with a big “harrumph” and punctuated at the end with an audible sigh over the injustice of it all – as if the backpack were a third class citizen!
We need to go to the streets and take back the seats! People have been discriminated against for far too long and I for one am going to reclaim my rightful place in society as a second-class citizen and show that backpack that I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore! Are you with me?