Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Stand Up for your Elders

London Mayor Boris Johnson is planning to make youngsters sign a "courtesy pledge" to behave in a respectful manner when riding the bus, train or Tube. (BTDubs - Good luck with that one Boris.)

Let me tell you how Boris' new rule could backfire and cause trouble, or at least hurt feelings, across the land. Or rather, let me give you an example from my own domestic haven.

Text from the Ball & Chain (age 52) who has recently taken to getting the bus into work.

B&C - Not in good humor now.
Me - (eventually). What now? (Oozing in wifely sympathy I am.)
B&C - Someone offered me a seat on the bus.
Me - Oh no. A 20-something?
B&C - Yup.
Me - Not a babe? (Good job you can't hear stifled giggles via texts.)
B&C - Yup.


So, by all means you young whipper-snappers, offer your seats up to folk who look like they're hundred and twenty to you. Be warned however, if you're on your way downtown for, say, a job interview, the old codger you offered it to could well turn out to be the person you find across that desk at 9am!

Just sayin'.


  1. That happened to a friend of ours on the subway here in Seoul - he was plunged into despair for days...

  2. I hate it when young people offer me a seat; I'm not that old!! Conversely, it's also a bit embarrassing when I offer my seat to a lady (it was how I was brought up) and she refuses; I guess they look at that sort of old fashioned courtesy as male chauvinism.

  3. Oh I don't know...after a weary day pounding the streets of London on a marathon shopathon, I'd be begging them with my brain to give me a seat...

  4. The thing to remember when offering your seat is that a) she might not be pregnant! (gulp) and b) people have been sitting down all day and might really want/need to stand up.

  5. I'd play it safe and only offer a seat to someone who looks a)safely the wrong side of 70, b) obviously heavily pregnant, or is c) accompanied by small children or heavy bags. Or d) is disabled.

    I'd feel a bit odd if someone offered me a seat, as I'm perfectly capable of standing.

    Some things are good - opening doors etc, but sometimes there's a fine line between manners and chauvinism, and men need to be psychic to be able to correctly work out which is which!


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