Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Witz DOESN'T Pick: Stretching In Public

I didn't expect to be stretch-molested on the train this morning, but then again, I rarely do. Today, I was riding into work on the train, minding my own business as the only person in a block of four seats, listening to music, and reading a book. All of a sudden, a tall, manic looking hipster slides into the seat next to me. Keep in mind that I'm sitting in the inside window seat of a four seat block. Unspoken train etiquette clearly (but silently) states that you don't sit DIRECTLY next to a person on the train if a diagonal seat is available. If you do, you shouldn't be surprised if you are pick-pocketed, knifed, or tickled (a fun creepy prank you should try is tickling someone while glaring at them with a look of complete hatred on your face). It's odd to sit next to someone and take their arm space and it's odd to sit directly across from them and take their leg space. This is a universal truth, like don't drink water in Mexico and if you call yourself Grizzly Man, you're going to die by Grizzlies.*

So I was more than a little surprised when this guy plunked down in the seat next to me. I was then MORE surprised when he started stretching-- for an extended period of time. Stretching is like peeing-- it's acceptable for a short period of time, but after a minute or two it becomes awkward and uncomfortable. Only two types of people have the social leeway to stretch in public-- white women clearly dressed for yoga, and elderly asian people dressed primarily in sweat-gear. White, shaggy hipsters are not on the list. The guy proceeded to stretch his legs, his sides, and his arms, which was a lot like he was playing a game called, "How close can my arm inadvertently come to your face without my noticing or you saying anything?" He then flipped himself forward and grabbed his knees, which was exactly as awkward as it sounds. Fortunately, his next move was to shake. Just like, in general. Just shake. Naturally, this drew some attention, and naturally I was partially subject to this attention, which meant I had to first ignore the looks, then give the "Fuckin' nuts, right?" look back, and then go back to ignoring them when I realized that THEY were giving looks of concern, not judgement. Go figure.

This is not the first time stretching has been out of context in my life. I'm cool talking with you in the gym, but not if your groin is, in any way, being manipulated. In fact, let's just assume I'm generally willing to talk to people as long as they aren't mid-stretch. Because when we're talking AND stretching, we're not having a conversation, we're playing a game called, "Continue Making Eye Contact At All Costs So It's Not Weird." When someone's legs are above their head, it's an elephant in the room-- and it's damn near impossible not to eventually look at that elephant's crotch. Fact of life.

DiscoSoup.Com -- Happy Birthday to The ATX! Even if you don't live in Austin, you should checkout his new website/company because it'll be coming to a city near you soon (well, hopefully the ACTUAL city you are in). Get live wait times for restaurants so you don't waste your lunch hour, get all psyched up for nothing, or not have any time to get your hot date drinking before your table is ready.

This Post Was A Stretch,

*Crocodile Hunter being an obvious exception to this rule. Who saw sting-ray comin?? NOBODY! (too soon?)

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