Mercury Isn’t The Only Thing In Retrograde

, , , , | Friendly | September 19, 2017

(I get on a train to travel to meet a friend. A girl who looks like she’s about 17 or 18 gets onto the train at the same time as I do, and stays on her phone for the duration of the 45-minute ride, practically shouting into her hands-free microphone. I can hear her from the other side of the carriage, despite having earbuds in. Eventually, I can’t help but listen in, because she’s so absolutely over-the-top and enthusiastic about everything. Between the sentences are pauses where the other person on the call is speaking.)

Girl: “I was thinking of applying for a job at [Cosmetics Store], because everybody there is so nice.”

Girl: “Well, no. I don’t think it’s even possible to be mean if you’re a vegan. It’s like, against their religion, or something.”

Girl: “Yeah, no. I was thinking that maybe I should convert. My family isn’t very religious, other than Christmas. I reckon their customers are all really nice, too.”

Girl: “My dad said he’s cutting off my allowance, since he had to pay for my new phone.”

Girl: “I know, right? It’s not my fault it got ruined at the pool. Mercury is in retrograde.”

Girl: “No. Mercury.”

Girl: “Mer-cur-y. The planet, you know? Not that Mercury. Anyway, no. I’m not sure what retrograde means, but Sarah says that, because of Mercury, it’s not my fault, so I’m going to ask Mum for my allowance tomorrow if Dad still says no.”

Girl: “Oh. My. God. That would be my dream job, unless I could work at [Clothing Store], because that’s the Holy Grail.”

Girl: “I guess. I’m on my way to work now, but my boss is such an a***hole. He said if I was late again, he’d fire me.”

Girl: “No, I was supposed to be there twenty minutes ago or something, so I was thinking I’d walk in and quit instead.”
Girl: “We’re coming up to my stop, so I should hang up.” *pause* “No, my stop. I’m not at work yet.” *pause* “I can’t be on the phone if I want coffee, and if I’m going to quit today, I want to at least have a mocha.”

That Transitioned Quickly

| UK | Friendly | May 17, 2017

(I am on the train home after shopping. There is a woman sat opposite me. She’s looking extremely nervous and embarrassed. We lock eyes. I am male.)

Woman: “Sorry, stomach ache.”

Me: “Time of the month?”

(She looks embarrassed but she nods. I open my shopping bag and take a tampon out of a box.)

Me: “Here.”

(She takes it but immediately hands it back.)

Woman: “No, thank you. I don’t like you transsexuals.”

(We both get up as we near our station.)

Me: “Actually, I’m not trans. My wife is on her period and she’s run out.”

Woman: “Oh, well in that case…”

(She extends her arm, expecting me to offer the tampon again.)

Me: “No, I think I’ll hold on to this. You might not like trans people, but I do.”

That Kid Needs Potty Train-ing

| UK | Friendly | May 11, 2017

(I am on the toilet while riding the train. The door is automated and broken. I didn’t know this at the time until young boy decided to play with the button on the outside. This ended up in me being shown, sitting on the toilet, while the door to half the carriage opened and closed. No one seems to notice at first until he does it a couple of times. An elderly woman looks amused but also embarrassed. She tries to get the mother’s attention, but she is on her phone. After the fourth or fifth time, I decide to just ask myself.)

Me: “Excuse me, but could you not do that? I’d like some privacy, thank you.”

(The boy gives me an evil grin and continues doing it. I want to get up, but that would risk exposing myself.)

Me: “Excuse me, miss. Could you please tell your son to stop?”

Mother: *huffs and staring at her phone* “Just leave him. He isn’t bothering anyone!”

Me: “He’s bothering me. I’m trying to use the toilet.”

(She finally looks and I see horror spread across her face as the door closes again. I think that might be the end of it, but door opens again. This time, though, I see the mother has opened it instead. She leans on the button while glaring at me, furious.)

Mother: “You pervert! You paedo! You sick f****r!”


Mother: “I’m having you arrested. You CHILD MOLESTER!”

(She continued to scream at me about another minute before storming off, without her son. The door finally closed for long enough for me to risk pulling my trousers up. I left and headed back to my seat. Most of the passengers seemed sympathetic, while others looked humoured (to say the least). When we got to the next station about an hour later, I saw several police officers who boarded the train. I started to panic and tried to think of a way to explain the whole situation, but I then saw the mother being escorted, kicking and screaming, across the platform. To this day I don’t know what happened, but I have made sure to never use train toilets since.)

Eyeing Up Some Karma

| Scotland, UK | Friendly | April 26, 2017

(I have just sat down on a train. There is a woman opposite me who glares at me before speaking.)

Woman: “What is that thing on your face?”

Me: “A birthmark.”

Woman: “Well it’s disgusting.”

Me: “Thank you…”

Woman: “No, seriously. You should get it removed. It’s f****** disgusting. I think I’m going to vomit.”

Me: “I’ll take that under advisement… By the way, did you know your lazy eye makes you look like that hyena from The Lion King?”

Woman: *turns red and starts to cry*

(I move to another seat at the other end of the carriage. Half an hour later, an elderly woman sits in my previous seat. She is just within ear shot.)

Elderly Woman: *after a couple of minutes* “Your glass eye is askew.”

(Cue screams and more crying.)

A Different Kind Of Stockholm Syndrome

| Stockholm, Sweden | Right | April 18, 2017

(I am taking a train from Stockholm to Malmö, a five-hour ride. About an hour after departure, a very upset middle-aged woman storms up to a conductor.)

Woman: “This is outrageous; you need to help us right now! I spoke to your colleague but he was completely useless and didn’t help us at all!”

Conductor #1: “How may I help you?”

Woman: “Well, you need to fix us somewhere to sit. Apparently our seats were double-booked and your colleague got us other seats but not together. I refuse to sit there. I want to sit with my family in the seats we booked.”

(The woman goes on complaining for about ten minutes, while the conductor tries to find her family other seats, only to be yelled at when those aren’t acceptable. The woman does not want to sit near other children, she does not want to sit too far from the bistro, and she does not want to ride backwards, etc. After a while, another conductor comes up to them and tries to solve the situation.)

Conductor #2: “Sorry. I will try to fix this for you, but there are no more available seats than the ones you have already been offered.”

Woman: “Well, this is just unacceptable; I can’t believe you let the other people have our seats just because they got here first, when CLEARLY they cheated somehow to manage to book the seats I had already booked!”

Conductor #1: “But you did say they offered to move?”

Woman: “Well, yes, they… two of them did offer to move but then the seats they moved to also turned out to be booked, and the people who had booked them got on at the last stop, so now it is still a problem. I AM going to complain to your company and I WILL get compensation for this, and I WILL get you fired too for being this unhelpful!”

Conductor #2: “May I see your ticket, so that I can see which seats you had originally booked?”

(The woman hands her a sheet of paper.)

Conductor #2: “No, not your return ticket to Stockholm, I need to see the ticket for this journey.”

Woman: “What do you mean? This is the ticket for this journey, to Stockholm.”

Conductor #2: “This is the train from Stockholm. We are southbound. If you are going to Stockholm, you are on the wrong train.”

Woman: “…oh. Well, this train showed up first. How was I supposed to know?”

(She was very quiet for the rest of her journey, and she and her family left the train at the next stop to find a train heading for Stockholm.)

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