That Guy, right, just doesn’t need that much space to air out his crotch. (Photo by flickr user strohchop)
Everyone can tell a story about the time that guy on the subway had his legs spread. You know that guy. He’s the one taking up space for three people because he either can’t close his legs or feels a special compulsion to share his crotch with a trainload of commuters.
No one elicits more groans than that guy. Boarding a train during rush hour in search of a seat, you run into that guy, and your commute home is ruined. You glare at him without making eye contract. You try to nudge your way into a seat with no success. It’s happened to us all.
Well, one more in Melbourne, Australia, is sick of this rude behavior and won’t stand for it anymore. Martin Merton, an American expert on subway etiquette, will soon be publishing a book in Australia called There’s No I in Carriage. The book, according to Dr. Merton’s Website, covers topics ranging from the obnoxiously loud cell phone user or iPod-headphones wearer, the rider unable to hold in a fart for the duration of the trip and of course the perennial favorite, the seat hog.
Now, I know what you must be thinking: Who in their right mind would write a book about subway etiquette? This can’t be real, right? O ye of little faith. Of course it’s real. Or at least that’s what Connex Melbourne, the company in charge of Melbourne’s subways, wants you to believe.
Connex is relying on viral videos produced with maximum kitsch featuring a fake psychology to drive home points relating to real-life subway etiquette. And they’re pretty funny. In the video relating to leg spreaders, embedded below, Dr. Murtin recommends releasing live chickens to attack the offending crotch.
I have to wonder if this could work in New York too. The subways could use a little more humility and etiquette and a little less pushiness. But considering that only 5.3 people a day see and say something, this viral campaign would probably just fall flat in New York. But the next time you see a crotch where three people should be sitting, just think chicken.
For more of Dr. Merton’s videos, check out the good doctor’s YouTube page.