Posts Tagged ‘#comutinginlondon’


This is one that really bothers me, because it’s something we all learn as children, but for some reason we don’t respect as adults. Too many times whether it be on the train or in other public spaces, some people don’t like to share seating space. For sake of this rant I am referring to public benches or train passenger seats.
Let me give you a few examples.

Scenario 1: The Seat Filler.

I board a busy train in the morning and look for a seat. Many people are standing up but I can still see random spaces. I look to see why people are not using any of the available seats and low and behold there are bags on them.

Extreme case of chair filling

As if that wasn’t bad enough when I ask a person to move their bag, instead of apologising and moving it quickly, you have the audacity to look at me and scoff. it’s not like I have asked them to share their morning coffee with me or anything, JUST MOVE YOUR BAG!

Scenario 2: The Bench Hogger.

I’m walking in the park or some other open public space. My legs eventually get tired and I decide that I want to sit down. I walk over to a bench that is easily able to seat two possibly three people easily, but some idiot has sat right in the middle of the bench. As he sees me approaching he makes no effort to slide along to either end. Please don’t be like this guy, he’s an idiot. In cases like these I will choose to sit as close to you as possible to make you feel uncomfortable and eventually obliged to move along.

Extreme case of bench hogging

Scenario number 3: The Seat Blocker. 

I board a busy train looking for a seat. There are a few darted around but all appear to be the middle seat of a three seater, or a single seat next to the window. For some reason some adults don’t like to sit in these seats and they try to keep them vacant for their imaginary friends. When you see people desperate for a seat just MOVE DOWN! Don’t make me have to step over you and your bags like a poor mans obstacle course and attempt to acrobatically contort myself into the space. Either way I’m sitting down so you might as well make it easy for all of us instead of getting your feet crushed as I “accidentally” step on them to get in.

When I am in an aisle seat an the window seat is vacant I shift across to the window seat making it easy for the person standing to sit in the aisle seat. This is logical behaviour. Don’t be an idiot and make people’s lives more stressful than it has to be.

This is a key indicator to give up your seat.

Also I shouldn’t even need to type this, but shame on you if you’re one of those people who bows their heads and pretends not to notice the elderly person or a women wearing a baby on board badge when she is standing and waiting for a seat. Get up and stop being selfish.

We teach our children to move down to allow other children to sit down, so why do we throw away this logic when it comes to each other when we are adults. We all like to sit down at times but some of us make it more difficult for the others. The next time you’re sitting down and somebody else is standing check yourself and make sure you are not the reason why.

Art by Niko Grimwords

When I first heard that China had introduced designated walking paths for people using their mobile phones, I laughed and thought it was a ridiculous idea. Fast forward almost a year and I find myself begging that London will introduce something similar.

Mobile lane in China

Apart from the consistently unreliable bane of my life that is London Public Transport, mobile phones are the leading cause of crowd congestion in the city. Actually let me rephrase that, idiots on mobile phones are the leading cause of crowd congestion in the city.

One moment you are perfectly happy walking at a normal socially acceptable pace, only to find yourself taking pigeon steps to your destination. Sometimes it takes me longer to get out of a tube station than it does for The Undertaker to walk to the ring at Wrestlemania (If you’re not a wrestling fan you will have to trust me on this one, it’s long). The most common location for the congestion for some reason is near the entrances and exits of all Tube stations. The cause of this is usually some bloody nincompoop walking at a snails pace whilst looking down at their phone either texting or checking directions.

Some people are completely overwhelmed by their texting and come to a complete halt. They stand there oblivious to the world whilst everybody else tries to shuffle around them like a disobedient child that won’t get off of the floor in Tesco’s on a Saturday. Move tot he side or get out of the way you fool.

Everybody in the city has a phone and unfortunately everybody thinks they have mastered the capability of multitasking. The truth is they haven’t. I must admit I am a culprit of this myself. However not all of us are totally incapable of doing both at the same time. I am one of those people who can manage to maintain a consistent reasonable walking speed whilst operating my device, thus reducing any disruption for my fellow commuters. Why some people feel the need to come to a complete stop is beyond me. After all, it is supposed to be a mobile phone, mobile being the key word.

I think it is time we introduced a mobile lane to the streets of London so all of the zombies can be late together. It is clear from their lack of pace that punctuality is not something they care for. I don’t see why the rest of us need to be punished. Anyone caught in a non-mobile lane using their phone should have to take a forfeit chosen by  the angry commuters that are being held up behind them. This would not only serve as a reasonable punishment but it would be hugely entertaining and a satisfying addition to my day.

So the next time you are out and about and you find yourself replying to a text in a busy public space. Take a moment to look up from your shiny precious phone to ensure you are not the one that is causing the traffic and being a complete douchebag. You could be doing it right now!

Sebastian Bowen. 

The Fishtank Podcast.

This rant is long overdue.

Every morning I am forced to endure the constant torment that is London public transport. If that wasn’t bad enough, most days I find myself sitting or more than likely standing next to some guy picking his nose.

Firstly let me start by saying that this problem is not restricted to men, I have seen women doing it too. I thought that this was a dirty habit that people grew out of by the age of three, in fear of being teased by fellow pre-school classmates. Well that’s how it was in my day. If you got caught picking your nose nobody would associate with you. My social circles were filtered even back then.

People have come up with so many different elaborate ways of extracting their slimy emerald nasties. Some are blatant with it, some try to be sneaky with it assuming you don’t know what they are up to.

Recently I was unfortunate enough to sit opposite a guy who was so brazen with it. He was knuckle deep into his nostril before I had to say something to him. It was making me feel sick, I needed him to stop so I opened my bag and offered him a spoon. He looked at me as if he wanted to shoot me. He was clearly embarrassed and stopped what he was doing immediately. Result! Feel free to use that one, it works every time.

Then you have the eaters, the ultimate level of gross. This is not uncommon either I can honestly say I witness this on a daily basis. Again some of them are covert about it but others don’t give a damn. They will chew on that mucus like its a fresh stick of gum. In some ways though eating it is better, because it means they are not flicking it or wiping it on the seat.

The scientific term for picking your nose is rhinotillexis and the term used for eating it is mucophagy. Scientist argue that there are some benefits to eating nasal mucus, but I am not entertaining that theory, the very thought of doing it makes me want to heave.

If you are one of those people that enjoys picking their nose, please do it in the comfort of your own home. Nobody needs to see that.

Sebastian Bowen.

The Fishtank Podcast.