Petite Life

Hey, tall dudes: take those backpacks off in the metro

Raise your hand if you enjoy starting your morning commute by getting thwacked in the face with a backpack.

Didn’t think so. Me neither.

Being petite on public transit is rarely fun. I’m shorter than most of my fellow commuters. This means that, at rush hour, I’m crammed into a crowded metro train standing roughly at armpit level with everyone else. If you skipped the deodorant this morning, I’m not thanking you right now.

Furthermore, those bars on metro cars are far above my reach, even if I stand on tiptoes. Which means that, unless I’m lucky enough to be within reaching distance of a vertical pole, I’m going to fall over every time the train lurches. Hey, don’t blame me if I bump into you; blame the idiots who put those handholds out of reach of all but the tallest humans.

And hey, it’s fun on buses, too. Especially when I get a seat in the back, on those slightly higher-up seats where my feet don’t reach the floor. Ever tried swinging your legs for an hour in rush hour traffic?

But none of that compares to the unique pleasure of getting hit in the face by your backpack.

See, I stand approximately at your shoulder height. That means that your bag, stuffed full of your laptop, books, lunch and other assorted necessities, is also right at my eye level. So when you insist on keeping it on your back the entire commute, you’re also walking around with a giant weapon that likes to hit me in the head every time you move. Thanks a lot.

Seriously, this one pisses me off so damn much. Take your damn bag off and place it by your feet, or carry it your hands like a civilized human being. It’s a safety issue for those of us who stand below your field of vision. And it’s basic good manners.

And don’t get me started on when you decide you just have to swing it around in a crowd. The only thing worse than an accidental head bump is a high-velocity direct hit in the nose. Lovely. Wait until you’re out of the crush of people before you put your bag back on, and look around you to make sure there’s nobody in eyeshot.

That is all.

(I could go on here about manspreaders, smelly food eaters, door blockers, those people who pretend to be asleep when an elderly, disabled or pregnant person needs their seat, and myriad other public transit sinners. But I’ll save those for another rant.)

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