Thursday, July 17, 2008


I understand that things are difficult when you are standing on a crowded bus. Everyone is a little closer than they would like to be, physically speaking. However, most of us understand the concept of personal space and therefore manage to stand on the bus without actually touching each other.


This 50 something man stood SO close to me that his fat gut was touching my back. At one point I shuffled forward to get a little space, and he sidled right up behind me again. I think his entire body was touching me. I wanted to scream. And throw up a little. It was horrifying.

I stood there feeling a little violated, and wondered what (if anything) I could get away with saying to this man. Things that came to mind were:

"Seriously. BACK THE EFF OFF."
"See all those people at the back of the bus? See how they aren't touching each other. PLEASE OBSERVE."
"STOP TOUCHING ME YOU GROSS, GROSS MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Also worth mentioning is how I nearly full on elbowed him in the stomach. On purpose. Like one would do if they were being attacked from behind. I actually started to raise my arm up... and stopped just short of making contact. I very nearly intently injured this man.

I'm sure he just has no concept of personal space... and it probably wasn't a creepy thing... but it certainly felt that way. But in the event that this should happen again (to me or someone else) what is the appropriate course of action? How do you tell someone to back off in a polite manner without totally embarrassing them?

I could seriously go for another shower right about now. Yuck.


brie said...

I think it's totally fine in a situation like this to turn around and politely say something like:

"I realise that the bus is full, but you're standing really close to me and it's making me a bit uncomfortable. Would you please move back a bit? Thanks."

Or...In a creepy situation just say loudly "Get your cock away from me!" so that everyone around you can hear.

Embot said...

I always just maneuver my giant bag so that it jams into the person uncomfortably. Preferably with the side that contains all the pens.

Anonymous said...

If this ever happens again just be rude, you probably won't have to see him again and if you do then he will probably always leave you alone from that point on. Just tell him to get his fat cheeseburger gut the eff away from you before he gets onion ring fragments on you.

Anonymous said...

I always just tell people to "back off", but then I have a big mouth. It always works though. People aren't expecting direct confrontation so use that to your advantage.