October 15, 2014

Horse 1775 - A Crime Of Wide Stance

There is a crime being perpetrated by one half of the population virtually every single day and it is horrible and heinous. It is so horribly hostile that it should be considered for inclusion in the Crimes Act 1914 or if not, ASIO or the AFP should be given powers to detain and hold people indefinitely who continue to commit it.
Before I betray the side of the gender divide which I'm a member of, I'd like to say that I admit that I am a Judas sheep; I am leading us all towards the slaughter and I'm quite unrepentant about this, if it improves society.

In Sydney where we sit two and three abreast on trains and on buses, the issue isn't quite so bad as London's tube or New York's subway but still, there really is no excuse for this crime at all.
I refer to the crime of sitting with one's legs spread wide apart.

In days of yore, when ladies wore dresses and skirts, they acquired a skill and etiquette demanded that they sit with their knees together for fear of exposing their smalls to the world.
In contrast, there are some men who appear to have an unfulfilled desire and urge to sit atop some steed or possibly a motorbike and have never picked up on this skill. I've seen some chaps on their train with their legs so wide apart, it is almost as though they think that they are like some precarious tower which might fall over at any moment. That might be acceptable if your name is Alexandre Gustave Eiffel but not if you're Barry McBarry living in Guildford.

I imagine that the reasons put up as an excuse for this is that men-folk think that they're trying to protect or ventilate some special equipment but isn't this mere vanity?
It's kind of bad having to sit next to such people and seeing as though I'm a somewhat slender chap, I find it annoying to be forced to surrender what little space I occupy. It's worse when you're between two such people or jammed up against the side of the train; possibly being stabbed by someone's keys or marinated in sweat.
Before you accuse me of suffering from haphephobia (the fear of being touched), does anyone even care about other people's personal space any more? Seats on trains and buses are helpfully delineated and so there really shouldn't be any excuse for crossing over into someone else's private country amidst the teeming masses.

Nor am I suggesting that people are as fragile as bone china or fine pottery and that if we brush against each other, we risk damaging some metaphorical glaze but likewise, the violation of other people's territory however temporary isn't good.
Even in the supermarket when our groceries have finished being placed onto the conveyor belt at the checkout, there is a great deal of satisfaction in slamming down that plastic divider between our stuff and the next person's. It is exactly the same as when Farmer Giles yells "Get off my land!".

This issue becomes even worse over the next coming months as Sydney has days on which the mercury decides to head so far north that it ends up on the wrong side of 40° and trouser hems ascend. The view of ten-thousand pasty knees and hairy legs are bad enough without men-folk also taking up unnecessary space and trying to simultaneously put one foot in Darwin and the other in Dandenong.
Knees together chaps. How hard can it be?

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