Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pregnant or plump; the eternal moral dilemma.

The other day, I was rattling into work on the train from the People’s Republic when I noticed a vacant seat.

“By Crikey,” I thought “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all and that’s a seat and I’m going to snaffle that.”

Which I did.

Seat snaffled I was reading my book* when I glanced up and noticed a slightly plump woman looking at me in what I thought was a reproachful manner**. I resumed reading, glanced up and again with the possibly reproachful manner. This continued for the rest of the trip; read, glance, reproach, read, glance, reproach.

This presented me with the old, old dilemma; was she pregnant or plump?

Should I have offered her my seat, risking a spray along the lines of “I’m retaining water, you cunt, I’m not pregnant,”? Should I have tried to make eye contact to see if in fact she wanted the seat?

Or should I have done what in fact I did; do nothing and feel slightly guilty for the rest of the journey.

What to do?

* A history of German resistance to Hitler, thank you very much for asking.

** Or maybe she was thinking “that bloke is sooooooo hawt! I feel like jumping his bones”.

36 comments:

Bruce said...

Just say not to passive-aggressive bullshit. If they don't ask, they don't get the seat.

Even the signs reserving the seat for elderly or infirm say "on request".

Mad Cat Lady said...

Perhaps has been hoping you were the old fashioned gentlemenly sort who would offer your seat to a lady - rather than the whole pregnancy issue?

Cath said...

Of course Ramon, you are nothing but the most chivalrous of gentlemen and I do feel for you in this matter.

But, my advice to you, unless a woman is near 9 months and OBVIOUSLY pregnant, NEVER EVER assume she is pregnant. Too many times have I known of women to be asked "How are along are you?", for them to respond "Along what fuck face?", as they are apparently NOT with child and resent being asked.

So, the rule again, HUGELY GINORMOUSLY pregnant = offer seat. If a woman is standing there complaining "Oi Vey, my aching back, this child I have in utero is really kicking hard on my bladder today" = offer seat.

ANYONE ELSE = enjoy your seat glory guilt-free.

This has been a public service announcement.

Perseus said...

In my experience, pregnant women are likely to tell you they are pregnant and ask for assistance... I'm guessing she just wanted a seat 'cos she couldn't be bothered exercising / standing.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

In fairness to the Plump Chick Bruce, this may be entirely due to my vague, misplaced sense of guilt - common to many, many ex-Catholics.

Cath - sound advice.

Have you got to the "seat offering" stage?

Cath said...

No seat offering for me yet. I tried to use the "I am pregnant and therefore have a pea sized bladder" to queue jump at the theatre the other night. No luck. Women are vicious and spiteful creatures. Serve them right that I didn't just wee all over the floor right there in front of them. Although, that might not have been so nice for me, or my companion. Sigh.

Lewd Bob said...

I offer seats to old ladies, really old men, women with prams and obviously pregnant chicks.

But I'm usually the only one.

School boys never offer their seats cos they'd be ridiculed by their mates for being a 'poof' or something. School girls never offer seats cos they're bitches. Junkies never offer seats cos they're cunts. And my tram line is pretty much exclusively junkies.

homesick said...

Poor Ramon, tough call. I have been in the position of pregnant woman taking public transport except it was December in London and I was 8 months preggers at the time. The heavy coat disguised the bump all too well. Unfortunately the time when you really need a seat on 'comrade transport' (spouse's term not mine) is when you're only about 3 months gone.. that nausea & "oh shit I'm gonna pass out on the 8.10 to Waterloo" feeling makes you want to dry heave on the pin striped-suited git reading the Telegraph.

Its a good chance she was just fat and old fashioned... all good INH.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Route 86, Bob?

WitchOne said...

Meh, I would ask when I was pregnant, or I would suffer in silence and not look at anyone. If I was offered a seat, pregnant or not, I'd look grateful and sit down.

No poiint in getting all excited about it. It's a freakin' SEAT! I would get a little antsy about people falling onto my stomach though, there was a line and I don't care if they didn't know about it, hit my stomach and I'd make a fuss (people on public transport are horrible, sometimes, not to make a sweeping generalisation or anything).

Melba said...

I'm with Cath, you have to be really careful about assuming someone is pregnant. But you don't need to say "Oh are you preggers, would you like my seat?"

I'd say you were just being paranoid Ramon, unless she were quite a bit older she might have expected the seat-offer, but that's another dangerous area with women. If you offer a seat based on age and they consider themselves incredibly spry, they can get offended as well. But most people would just politely decline.

And Bob. Route 3 and/or 16?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I have noted that none of you have opted for the "that bloke is sooooooo hawt! I feel like jumping his bones” option.

Cath said...

I thought that the bone jumping was implicit. Apologies Ramon, consider yourself jumped.

homesick said...

If I were preggers and saw you in MY seat I'd "jump yer bones". Whether I was horny from hormones or just that "I hate penis" feeling you get in the third trimester, I'd mount you Ramon.

patchouligirl said...

I think that men should offer their seat to any women, any elderly or physically disabled person without being asked. I realise this is old fashioned and doesn't really happen anymore, but in my ideal world it would. Women may not be pregnant but could have a menstrual cramp, hot flushes or just be in uncomfortable shoes. Why not be chivalrous?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Patchie, I think that's a good way of a bloke getting a swift smack in the chops.

And Cath and Homesick are my new BFF.

homesick said...

Oh adn completely off topic, Ramon we have just returned from a family trip from Washington DC and thought of you as we weaved our way through the "International Spy Museum". After they'd slagged off all the communist sympathisers and traitors that sided with the KGB, they,ISM,had the audacity to display a case of red/communist merchandise in their gift shop. A loudly executed "Viva Fidel" got a few laughs and even more discerning looks from porty men wearing baseball caps. Fun & games in the capitol.

Fad MD said...

Off-topic as well, but maybe she'd just had a whole bunch of these.

I'm looking after the kids for the holidays while Mrs Fad is off studying and just whipped up a batch. Will let you know how they turn out.

Alex said...

There's also the problem that some women are so touchy that they will get agitated just from being addressed incorrectly, in which case you're rooted either way. At least with blokes, you're pretty safe with "Hey, mate".

When I first started using public transport, I had a first come, first served attitude and would just bury my nose in something and completely ignore what was going on around me. One day a blind man poked me in the eye as he was groping around for a place to sit. I decided to take that as a sign that I should be more observant and courteous. These days, I give my seat up to just about anyone that I think needs it more than I do.

Oh, and thanks for the public transport post, Ramon.

Melba said...

A swift smack in teh chops?

I dunno about that. I think that's a furphy, a mischevious myth put about by men so that they don't need to offer seats to women/hold doors open for women/pay for the meal/walk on the road-side of the footpath/pick up dropped lace hankies, muffs and gloves.

I love it when men help me with my muff. (I wanted to get in first.)

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Oldies but goodies, eh Melba?

Pepsi said...

I dont give my seat up to a pregnant woman unless their baby belly is in my face - mostly you cant tell, and if they ask then I'm ok to oblige, but most tend not to.

I'd be lucky to even notice to tell you the truth.

Your guilt Ramon is interesting though. Do you have a pregnancy story thats been haunting you?

Muffs - I wouldnt mind a muff, but dont think its cold enough to wear one here.

Boogeyman said...

Some possible options:

Ramon: "Excuse me, would you like this seat? I'se warmed it 'specially for you."
Woman: (smacks him in the chops)

or...

Ramon: "Excuse me, are you expecting..."
Woman: (smacks him in the chops)
Ramon: "... this train to arrive on time, because honestly it never does."

Ramon: "You may be pregnant but I'm disabled. Scissors beats Paper, I'm afraid!"
Woman: (smacks him in the chops)

Dr. Golf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr. Golf said...

Ramon: Not long to go now...
Woman: (smacks him in the chops)
Ramon: before the new arrival...
Woman: (smacks him in the chops)
Ramon: the little bundle of joy...
Woman: (smacks him in the chops)
Ramon: the Apple ipad.
Woman: ..ooh
Ramon: I only mention it because its perfect for baby photos.
Woman: (smacks him in the chops)

Mr E Discharge said...

Oh, and thanks for the public transport post, Ramon.


Grrrrr....

Mr E Discharge said...

Many years ago, I caught a train into the city. The carriage was was reasonably full but I managed to find a seat next to the aisle near the door. A couple of stops later, a little old lady got on. By this time there were no seats available. Without a word,or even making eye contact,the little old lady walked over and sat down on my lap. My "excuse me"s were ignored as she took a book from her bag and began reading. She made no comment or even acknowledged my presence as I riggled sideways and evenually got out from under her. As I stood there, we made eye contact and a brief conversation ensued.

Me: "This isn't the first time you've done this, is it?"
OL: "No"
Me: "Would I be right in assuming it works every time?"
OL: "Yes"
Me: "Well played"
OL: "Thank you."

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Mr E, that is the rockin-ist Old Lady EVAH!

Lewd Bob said...

Route 78.

Leilani said...

I've been out of the loop - is Perseus back from his cousin-fight-inducing week away?

Mr E's Old Lady on Tram rocks. I want to be her when I grow up.

Boogeyman said...

There's an easy way to deal with uppity little old ladies who don't know their place - just whisper in her ear that you're from the nursing home, and you have a big tranquilizer needle in your pocket with her name on it.

Alex said...

Cue the low-brow "big tranquilliser needle in you pocket" retorts.

Mr E Discharge said...

Route 78.

Thanks for the advice Bob,
But at the moment I'm having enough problems routing one.

Mr E Discharge said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cath said...

Perseus is back, and making vague promises about a blog post update.... Although I feel he is ignoring us!

eat my shorts said...

I read this post, laughed out loud (the actual laugh out loud kind, not the tween LOL kind - there is a difference), and now my flatmate wants to know what I'm reading (nosey bugger). I tell him, "Well, you know that blog I say I'm reading & that is so engrossing that I can't get ready to go out to the pub yet, because it's awesome? Well, have a butchers at this..." (I've been practicing my "geezer", still needs work, but I'm getting there.)

So, now he gets it.

Thank christ for this post, Ramon, it means I can finally read TSFKA in peace, he leaves me alone to read, we catch up later on at our local, he's happy, I'm happy.

If he starts commenting here though, I'm leaving.

Just so you know.