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The 120-pound linebacker

A crowd of people swarm onto the Red Line south at Bryn Mawr, each one jockeying for one of he scarce few remaining empty seats.

In particular, I witness a 120-pound, 50-ish Asian woman, push and shove and elbow out of the way a 140-pound woman in her late 20s.

The woman has an incredulous look on her face, just shaking her head as she finds a spot to stand in the aisle.



While that is rude, some mornings you feel you have to run people over just to get on the train. Sometimes your fellow riders leave you with no choice.

How many times have you stood in the door of a train because the riders who are already on board refuse to move into the center of a train car?!? Or in the door of the bus because the riders on board won't move to the rear?

I'm a large man. I could just plow my way through the crowd, but I prefer to give my fellow riders the the same treatment I would like. A simple "excuse me or pardon me" goes along way.

" How many times have you stood in the door of a train because the riders who are already on board refuse to move into the center of a train car?"

Never. I try the 'excuse me' first, but if it doesn't work, I push through the crowd. They're being rude, I'm being rude. But I'm not standing there in the doorway when there's room in the middle of the car.

True, but there's a difference between trying to get _on_ the train, and basically elbowing people in the ribs to get to a _seat._ I'm more than happy to step aside and stand up if someone wants to sit down. Too often I've been almost run over by people who don't even have the common courtesy to say "excuse me." I just hope they never run across one of the many crazy people who get posted about here.

This used to happen to me every once in a while when I caught the blue line home after work at Monroe. Train pulls up, I happen to be lucky enough to have the door in front of or right near me, then some tiny woman runs over and pulls a basketball "box out" move on me.

I was always eyeing the hobo corner, so I never really cared, but the blatant selfishness was always annoying/amusing.

Two things have changed now that I'm a red liner: 1) fewer "box outs", and 2) sometimes the hobo corner makes my eyes water.

What's with the morning crowds at Bryn Mawr lately? I'd figure that once or twice a week, I've been getting to the platform about 8AM, seeing the southbound side packed and no train coming, and hopping on a northbound train to go a stop or two north to improve my chances of getting on and maybe scoring a seat. It wasn't like that until a few weeks ago.

I always say "oh, excuse you" or "oh, by all means, please go ahead," or sometimes I just step into the back of their feet as if they weren't there and hadn't just blatantly cut into me. People who scramble onto the trains Seinfeld-style to get a seat crack me up, especially young people. I had people do this to me this past summer when I was wearing a noticeable post-surgery walking cast. There's a guy in the eve sometimes at Calrk/Lake who acts as if his life depends on (a) being first on the train and (b) getting a seat. It's funny but I always give him room because he is obviously not all there. When an empty train pulls in he acts like it's the last plane out of Saigon.

The one who gets on the first car of the brown line every evening just after 4:30?

He's one of my favourite people ever - he'll reposition himself several times as the train approaches to try to make sure that he's next to the door. As the train slows down he'll reach his hand out and touch the crack between the doors and sidestep down the platform, knocking anyone who tries to get in his way.

The second the door opens, his head goes down and he darts for whatever open seat or decent standing space he can find - again, often knocking people out of the way as they try to get off the train.

Normally I'd find it totally obnoxious, but his whole system is just so finely tuned that it's fascinating.

That is indeed the guy! I forgot about how he repositions himself. I never stand close to the platform edge when I see him.

One time, a man tried to do this to me at the Chicago Red Line stop. Having had a bad day, I was not in the mood, so I turned my body strategically so that he couldn't push his way by me when the doors finally cleared.

As I got on with him behind me, he yelled, "Jesus Christ!" I replied, as I sat in a seat, "Well, you were being rude." His response: "Well, you were just being FAT!"

Sure, it hurt my feelings at the time, but now I think it's hysterical.

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