Wednesday, January 09, 2008

My book is your book

BART was unbelievably smooth this morning...on time and I got a seat after just one stop! I popped open my reading material, the February Consumer Reports issue, and started digging into the reviews for exercise machines. The issue extensively covered all sorts of machines from treadmills, ab toners, body toners, ellipticals..etc.

As I was reading, I noticed a head creeping behind me...I guess I felt the breathing. I slightly looked at the window to check out the reflection....and not surprisingly, I see a man stretching out his neck to position himself to read my magazine with me! His head was about 3 inches from mine, in fact, he ended up leaning on my back cushion. He was certainly not shy about making my making reading material his!!

Since I didn't smell any bad breath from the proximity of his face, I decided to not turn around and make a stink about it (actually, if I had turned around, I might accidently give him a peck on the lips...that's how close he was)...but that doesn't mean I can't play a mean little game. I started flipping around pages, from front to back, I looked at the cover, turned it around, then pretended to read the index pages (very tiny text which he could not read). Finally, I saw in the reflection that he gave up and leaned back on his seat.

I guess I was being mean but I personally wouldn't do that and invade someone's space. I didn't care that he was reading my material but he was way too close....if he was standing and reading down, FINE! Resting his head on my seat cushion was too much.

7 comments:

Rafael said...

ha ha I love the flipping the magazine game you played on him

Anonymous said...

classy

IAlwaysGetASeatOnBart said...

Seriously?! This seems to happen to you a lot. It's never happened to me, but usually I'm reading New Yorker magazines or books - harder for someone to glom onto. Lately though, I've been playing Sudokus. I tend to angle those away from my seatmate as I'm afraid they'll either try to help or laugh at how slow I am.

bartmusings said...

you know what? you're right, it does happen to me a lot! i think it's because i read junk on BART with crazy headlines. since work is so intense, i subscribe to junky gossip magazines like US Weekly to read on BART. I'd say 60% of the time, I'm reading junk magazines, 25% of the time I have a good controversial non-fiction or a thought-provoking novel, and 10% of the time, I can't put down my Blackberry because things have already blown up at work.

ConcordCommuter said...

That must be why I never have this problem, since I am usually reading the Economist. Doesn't get much more dry and boring than "Indonesia's Gambit" or "The End of Cheap Food" when you are amongst the average wandering-eye plebe on the train.

Anonymous said...

I either read computer tutorials or memorize musical scores. I get some funny looks for mouthing the lyrics (no, I don't sing out loud), but, unsurprisingly, nobody is terribly interested in my printed matter.

I don't think casually reading over somebody's shoulder is a big deal (provided it isn't confidential material, but you probably shouldn't have that out on a train anyway), as long as it is done inconspicuously, and done completely at the convenience of the owner of the paper. I shouldn't have to worry about whether the guy reading over my shoulder is finished with the page before turning it. It's my page, but it's not like I'm being deprived of anything by letting it be shared a little bit.

Mostly it's just idle curiosity -- it's print, so there's a natural tendency to see what it says, especially in the middle of an otherwise utterly boring interval -- and there are already so many places you aren't supposed to look. Don't meet anybody's eyes. Don't read their comics. Don't look -- oops, definitely don't look there.... Pretty soon we'll be handing out blindfolds.

Anonymous said...

I would've turned around and maced him.