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Friday, April 29, 2016


 A cranky opinion for


The following is the opinion of a cranky old man who is an expert on this topic.  Opposing opinions are welcome, but they are wrong! As always, please no name calling, and that means you, you big stupid head.

I just learned a new term…Manspreading.  Manspreading is intentionally taking up space on a train or bus depriving others of a seat and forcing them to ask you to make room, something many people are loath to do. 

I learned this term when I read that San Francisco was contemplating a law to make Manspreading illegal and a fine-able offence.  Ordinarily this is the kind of government interference that I find silly.  Not this time.  I commuted by train for forty years, and though we didn’t have a name for it, Manspreading used to piss me off.

There are several Manspreading techniques.  Some just spread their legs wide or cross them so that they invade the space next to them.  When a passenger approaches looking for a seat, the Man spreader will dig his nose in the paper or concentrate on the Penske file he brought home from the office.  He will not make room unless asked, and when asked will act as if the requestor was the one being rude.

Elbows out is another space taking method.  Extra annoying is when the Manspreader plops his briefcase or other object on the seat.

The end-seat sitter used to really shrink my shorts.  This asshole would sit on the end leaving the window seat blocked.  The Manspreader relies on making others uncomfortable with asking them to not behave like an animal.  I was not one of those “others.”  I wanted to make the Manspreader as uncomfortable as possible.

“Excuse me, did you pay for a ticket for your briefcase, cause I’ve been on my feet all day and I did pay for a seat.”

“Oh…ah sure” as the asshole tried to make it seem like making room was an imposition.

If it was just legs and or elbows taking up space, I would just take the seat and let elbows or legs be damned.  I refused to politely ask for him to make room.  Rudeness does not deserve manners…fuck him!

I asked the end sitter, “Excuse me, is someone sitting in that empty seat.”

Sometimes the asshole would not say anything and just move over.  REALLY?  Could you be more obvious that the only reason you sat in the aisle seat was to block the window seat?  Asshole!

The Manspreading technique I could not defeat was the coughing, sneezing asshole.  I know sometimes the cough was just a fake, but I also know some assholes will go to work half dead, I’ll be damned if I’m going take a chance and suck in their germy exhales for forty minutes.

So yes, I hated Manspreaders.  I am in favor of giving drivers and conductors the authority to fine Manspread violators.  Maybe it is time to start cracking down on all bad manners.  Feet on a seat…that’s a fine.  You smell because of poor hygiene…that’s a fine.  Cough or sneeze without covering up…FINE!  Talk to a stranger who is reading or otherwise occupied…FINE!  Talking loud on a cell phone…FINE! Cursing out loud just to make others uncomfortable…FINE!

There are so many examples of poor manners that perhaps should be fine-able, but we have to start somewhere.

I say we start with Manspreading.  GO San Francisco GO!

The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky. 


  1. Agreed! I'm on your side on this one, Joe.

  2. Ugh! I'm with ya'! ESPECIALLY on the not covering when you cough or sneeze! Omgosh that drives me absolutely insane and I always say something because who knows what they've got spewing from the lungs, nose and mouth?? So gross. And so inconsiderate! - I've never thought about the whole manspreading thing. I had no idea they were doing it on purpose. Still, I always said, excuse me and then sat. You know woman may not manspread but we do purse/briefcase/file spread. Lol.. :)

  3. I'd love to be able to fine those who cough and sneeze without covering their mouth and nose and maybe those who don't wash either themselves or their clothes. And the women who drown themselves in heady perfumes causing problems for all of us with hayfever/sinus/asthma problems.

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  5. Manspreaders must think they look good... I have news for them! Sad to say, the days of courtesy seem to be over!

  6. I have never heard of that term. I'm glad I've only had to use public transportation on rare occasions, such as vacations.

  7. Wow, frankly, I think you are being a bit harsh here. Look at the picture you chose to illustrate this post, for instance. Clearly, in these hectic times, the poor man has to get in his yoga practice. He should be applauded for not wasting idle time on the train. I recognize the butterfly pose (badhakonasana). On second thought, the leathers don't really shout yogi.
    Perhaps he is doing plie practice on his way to ballet class. Oh, wait, I see the expression on his face. More than a fine, he deserves some one to say, "Move over, asshole. Put your knees together and keep your tiny, little hands to yourself."
    (Absolutely political intent here at all.)

  8. Interesting. I've only ridden a DART light rail train a few times and found my fellow riders to be pretty civil creatures, so this is all news to me. I can see how it woudl piss off a tired commuter just wanting to sit down and relax after a hard day at work.

  9. I've never heard this expression, but I'm aware of the practice. One advantage of being "husky" is that when I choose an empty seat and move to sit down people scoot out of the way. I've actually threatened to seat on people if they didn't move.

  10. If you want bad behavior then California should be your first stop. There are more assholes here per capita than anywhere else. There are also more laws that everyone ignores, because there are too few to enforce said laws.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  11. You should have been a writer for Seinfeld. If they could have a show about a "close talker" they could have had a show about "manspreading."

    The Penske file made me think of this! :-)

  12. And here I was feeling badly for not having public transportation in tiny town Arkansas. Guess I am not missing a thing except frustration.

  13. Never heard the term though i've seen the behavior, and it is wrong!

  14. Wait! THAT'S what they're doing? I though they were just showing off their goods. Not seat-saving for themselves.

  15. Agree generally, Joe, but before any laws are passed I think there needs to be a definite amount of spread defined as too much - say, legs spread beyond shoulder width. Otherwise, we'll all end up with our legs slammed together like vise grips just to be sure we don't get a ticket.

  16. so glad not to be making that kind of commute.

  17. I can see why they would do it though. We each have our own personal space limits that we don't want violated. I do feel uncomfortable if someone is in what I think should be my space. I might have been accused of woman spreading at times myself.


  18. Don't get me started on this topic. I'm right there with you Joe.

  19. Here abouts this ain't no big deal as this just isn't prevalent. Then again, no subways and the metro is never full so maybe it does happen but no one cares?

    Either way, I witnessed some awesomeness probably 25 years or so ago in New York City when a yutz plopped his briefcase and then spread just a stop before the car got rushed. As people found space to stand in the car an older woman walked right over and sat on the scumfellers knee. He was up and out of the car in a flash .......


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