Tuesday, 28 April 2009

The Battle For the Rear-Facing Seat (part 3)

Well, I was right. My adversary is now getting to the station at least fifteen minutes earlier just to get his favourite seat. If you haven't been following this adventure then you may want to read parts one and two.

My readers had provided some hilarious suggestions which I chose to ignore, but here are a few of the funnies:

BloggerCowguy said...Fake vomit dropped in the other choice seat would be nirvana...

jpooh said...You now need to enlist the help of your fellow commuters, and ALL of you take ALL of the rear-facing window seats.

chris hale said...Perhaps you should engage him in conversation, thus: Hello. Will you be my friend? I haven't got any friends. I had one once, but then I had to put him under the ground. They made me do it.'

Sassy Britches said...To make it extremely well-played, you must give him a Doc-Holiday-at-the-O.K.-Corral-type of wink. Now THAT I would pay to see.

Scope said...Commuters are such creatures of habit. I used to ride a long distance commuter train, and would get pissed if someone was in "my seat." (My manager is so bad, having her seat taken ruins her day.)

Instead of the seat war, I suggest doing the more infernal and totally against the rules thing: talk at him.

Not "talk to him" like you are actually engaging in conversation, but make general comments to him that are mindless and insipid. Make him choose. His seat, or quiet.

Yeah, I'm evil.

Oh, and pinching one off while sitting next to him would be perfect. "Jostled a little one out of me there, old boy. Sorry 'bout that."

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...I suggest winking, smirking, and handing him your phone number, preferably while wearing a pink dress shirt. He'll probably change jobs so he doesn't have to ride that train any longer.

Cameron said...Take a little satisfaction is knowing that you've forced him to alter his schedule by 15 minutes. You may have skipped coffee once, but he's going to have to hurry up for the rest of his days, knowing that if he is lax, even a little, you will pounce.

Mr London Street said...
1. Turn up 20 minutes early.
2. Put chewing gum on "the seat".
3. Leave train.
4. Get on train 10 minutes later.
5. Convincingly feign disappointment that he has yet again nicked "your" seat.
6. Feel smug all the way to work.

In the end I ignored all of these. My plan was to lure him into a place of complacently by letting him have his seat unchallenged yesterday, then today I would pounce. My train gets into the station fifteen minutes before our connecting train and sure enough, as I alighted from my first train I could see the fella, anxiously waiting on the other platform. Goodness knows how long he had been there. I kept my distance. He kept looking furtively up and down the platform. When the train arrived he scurried to his usual seat. I calmly waited a few more minutes before getting on and nonchalantly strolling past without so much as a glance in his direction.

The plan worked. This morning he was complacent. I was on the platform long before him, waiting in his exact spot. Literally as our train pulled in he materialised and scampered down the platform. I was waiting right at the "about to open" train door along with a crowd of other passengers.

[wait for it]

As the doors opened he barged in front of us, literally elbowing his way through the crowd and forcing himself onto the train and taking his seat. I suppose I could have grabbed him by the coat and held him back, but (contrary to popular belief and general public opinion) I am a gentleman, so I let him take his precious seat. I think, after all that I will let his keep his seat. Captain Dumbass will no doubt lambaste me for being a sissy, but that's a risk I'm willing to take.

On a different note, Psuedo has kindly nominated me for this fantastic Zombie Chicken Award. It comes with the description:

"The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all..."

I had a tough time picking only 5, but didn't want to list a million, so I've picked five bloggers that are simply exceptional. My definition of exceptional in this case is this. They make me buzz when I see a new post from them in my blog list, I feel excited to go read and comment and want to rush to their place RIGHT NOW DAMMIT. Am I the only one who gets a buzz with these guys? I don't know if these five are the types to necessarily put the award up, or pass it on, but seeing as it is such a damn fine one I thought it worth a try. Here are my five:

C.B. Jones
Mr. London Street

If you choose to ignore the award then that's fine by me, but take it as a compliment, your blog is a beauty.


Kat said...

I think you have thrown that poor chaps OCD into overdrive!

Minka said...

Congratulations on teh award - you deserve it!

Scope said...

You have won the mental game. He is now going to wonder what scheme you are hatching. Every move you make will be viewed as a feint of some sort. If possible, engage someone else in lively conversation at the platform, and then when he approaches, both of you clam up like nothing was happening.

The constant worry will eat at his very SOUL, leaving him a broken shell of a man.

Well played.

Sass said...


And thank you, thank you, thank you...from the heart of my bottom.


Harmony said...

He is more determined than ever...and that's a little scary on his part, as it turn out. Yikes!!!

Congrats on the award!

Anonymous said...

I agree - let him have his damn seat...but keep letting him think you're after it. One of these days, he's going to elbow the WRONG person in the WRONG place getting to his precious seat, and, well, let's just leave that to the imagination.

I'm enjoying it.

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

you do realize, of course, that you're helping to get some shrink's mortgage paid off, right?

lizspin said...

You've done the right thing. . .

Let him obsess about a little thing like a seat. . . it didn't matter to you at all, now did it???

Comedy Goddess said...

I can't believe it's over!You'll find someone else I'm sure.

andy said...

you seem to elicit the strangest emotions from within me.

not sure if it's a bit o' anxiety, or just giggly anticipation of reading through the post of someone who knows way better words than I do.

i google A LOT of words...'cause i think spell check is shit.

now i must ready 3 children for school...not to mention i still look like i've been drug through a hedge backwards. and i have 35 minutes. awesome.

but that will not stop my jiggety jig from your cool award to me.

again, i am such an attention whore.

my friggin head is getting hard to hold up, dude.

andy said...

oh, i guess i should've said thanks.

now i'm an attention whore AND rude.


Shawn said...

Sooo, how good are you at spitballs? I'm thinking you should oh-so-nonchalantly just sit a little back and zoom one at him at random intervals when he isn't expecting it.

Just to keep him on his toes.

Oh..do you have a Kevlar vest? Just wondering...

Anna Russell said...

Oh, it's like that is it? Stupid zombie chicken award and stupid nobody giving me one. Pah.
Cap is right, you are a sissy.

(also, just kidding. But really, can you just assault the guy and film it and put it on here? It would be so entertaining and we'd all help to pay your bail. Maybe.)

Samsmama said...

That guy has probably gotten no sleep, has lost his appetite, and is pulling out his hair, one by one. I almost feel sorry for him. Almost.

g said...

Well, it sounds to me like this thing is ON now!! You really do have to mess with him. I like Tristan's idea (wouldn't THAT throw him!), also Cameron's point is good - perhaps the best. You've messed him up, but don't let him mess you up.

Keep posting, this is hilarious!

Joanie M said...

Obviously, there is something wrong with this man. Maybe he's OCD.
Congrats on the award!

The Jules said...

Good post(s)! Damn - another exellent blog I have to follow.

You could just sit next to him, take out a peice of A4 and a black crayon, then start colouring the whole paper in, looking at him occasionally and sighing melodramatically.

That would take advantage of his train-protocol-defying ways.


The Jules


Courtney said...

Congrats on the award and on clearly winning the (hilarious) mind game.

You have f-ed that guy's morning ritual right up!

Eric said...

It's a good thing Anna Russell wasn't there to give the guy a good kickin'.

Anonymous said...

First, congrats on the award. It seems there are people out there that like you. Not saying I'm one or anything *shifty eyes*

The seat war has been won. You are the winner. He may not realise it but you have scewed up his routine FOR LIFE! Muahaha

Minka said...

Can you imagine this seat war to be a part of a series? A shrink TV series? Not Frasier, something more serious where the origin of this rear seat fixation would be researched to details? What do you think they would find? A great loss or insecurity or a non-breastfeeding mother? I wonder.

Another option:
Print out the posts from your blog (or at least one of them) together with the comments and place that in the middle of your newspaper in a way to make him curious and he will probably try to read it in a protocol-violator way... What do you think?

Peggy said...

So that's it Mo? No more commuter man stories?

Can we at least get one little furtive blackberry photo out of you?

C.B. Jones said...

I cannot yet put into words the feelings I experience when looking at that award. I'll come up with something by the end of the week.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I think just your standing there and watching him fret is enough. You don't even need to get his seat to make him sweat. However...if you enlisted one friend to grab his seat while you sip coffee from a safe distance, you two could really drive him bonkers.

I plan on making time to check out that blogs you listed. I don't think I know them and they come Mad dog recommended.

Amy @ Milk Breath and Margaritas said...

But I was just having fun! You can't stop now. You must continue to mess with this guy.

Personally, I like Tristian suggestion. It's awesome.

Call Me Cate said...

Definitely keep giving him an occasional look. Just to keep him on his toes.

Soda and Candy said...

Heh, I love your commuter tales.

There's a point where you have to decide if you're going to buy into it... clearly it means too much to this guy. He might go postal if you push him too much!

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

I honestly think you should continue the mental barrage, because it will make your life so much more fun, as well as ours...Do the reverse psychology trick. Works every time. Give him a few days, or even a week or 2, of nonchalance, then POUNCE!!

Captain Dumbass said...

I won't call you a sissy (unless you'd prefer it), I'm satisfied that you've screwed him over mentally. I just hope your fellow commuters appreciate your efforts.

rubbish said...

"Mad dog"???? More like "irritable kitten".
I take it you've nver played Rugby because the first thing your learn is how to get your retaliation in first.
I suggest a rolled up newspaper, umbrella or laptop. Stand by the door and watch out for his reflection coming up behind you. Just when he gets alongside swing your weapon of choice backwards, just hard enough to shoot his bollocks upwards, somewhere near his chest cavity should do.
Either that or casually walk up behind him when he's standing in line and stamp down the back of his leg making sure you rupture his achilles tendon.
Whichever you choose, make sure he sees you taking his seat and nothing wrong with the old finger across the throat gesture just to warn him his card is marked.
So, is it "mad dog" or " irritable kitten"?

Diane said...

You were the bigger person.

And a sissy.

But good for you!

Nikki-ann said...

As Kat says, sounds like major OCD to me! Still, you won :D

cactus petunia said...

Mo, you are one magnanimous dude.

You can afford to be...I'm sure there'll be another Protocol Violator along shortly.

Cora said...

Well, now I've seen everything. A Zombie Chicken Award? Really? Go figure.

Nej said...

Elbows and everything? Wow, this guy is OCD to the nth degree.

If he's that determined about his seat, you know there are other things he has to do every day. Find them and battle on!

Girl Interrupted said...

Congrats on yet another award, ya big award-winning blogger, you!

I think you've won the situation too ... just promise me that if he ever gets complacent again you will sieze the day and steal that seat ... it's just too funny for the rest of us not to.

Great to see Mr L S being deemed a zombie chicken! And so apt since the poor love is currently suffering from raging bird-flu :)

The Rambler said...

You totally effed with his mind. (my two year old's around, my potty mouth has to stay in check :)

You, my friend, have won this battle. :)

(he just doesn't realize it yet)

Hit 40 said...

How about hopping on the train one stop ahead of him? Is this possible?

Could you even imagine his face if you were already on the train??

Gwen Gwen Banana Fo Fen said...

I really wish you could wrap the seat in some of that yellow CAUTION tape that the police use. And draw a chalk outline on the floor next to it.

Or arrange to have the seat removed for a day.

Man, I really want to get this guy. Wish I lived closer, I'd help.

Sassy Britches said...

His mental health will never be the same again. Thank you for putting money in my pocket through people like him.

the mama bird diaries said...

I'm glad you are taking the high rode. You didn't get the seat, but you got the damn award.

blognut said...

You're a good man, Mo. A girly man, but a good man just the same.

I'd still take his seat every once in a while just so to keep him on his toes.

Jay said...


I never realized it (or wanted to admit to it) before reading this, but I am commuting creature of habit myself. I have a seat on the train, and I'm very partial to it. Very.

Of course, there's not so much competition when you work at 11pm. I haven't tussled yet, but you can bet your socks you'll be the first to know.

♥ Braja said...

I wish I'd known you in London when I was catching trains. We could have done lunch.
Still can.
I'll call.

Oh, and go and see Amy at Bitchin' Wives, who's moving to the UK...she'll love you :)

♥ Braja said...

I wish I'd known you in London when I was catching trains. We could have done lunch.
Still can.
I'll call.

Oh, and go and see Amy at Bitchin' Wives, who's moving to the UK...she'll love you :)...tell her i sent you :)

Stacie's Madness said...

hahhah, you showed him. LOL

Shana said...

Who knew that train-riding could be so fun!!!!?

Maria Roth said...


Tooj said...

You have shown such restraint that I almost wonder....would you really be so mean to him if he deserved it? You can't possibly be so nice.

Jan @ Struck by Serendipity said...

I just love this story. I hope you can give us weekly updates throughout the year.

Anonymous said...


As I have quite a few new readers since I became a "Jelly Biter" I've put this up here again. To understand the context you must read this post!