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The Grand Seat Inquisition

“I’m going to catch hell for sitting here,” Barry explains.

He sits in a four-seater next to the aisle; his backpack occupies the seat across from him. Normally, Barry and Constance board the train together, and Barry sits next to the window. But Constance is nowehere to be found, and Barry has the four-seater all to himself.

That is, until we pull into the next station. Constance boards the train and stands over Barry, while her twin sister Leala peers around her.

“Just what the hell do you think you’re doing?” Constance begins her inquisition.

“What? You said you weren’t taking the train today!”

“No, I said I was getting on the train at Hannover instead of Bartlett.”

“No,” Barry contradicts her. “You said yesterday that you would see me next week, thus imlying you would not be on the train today.” Barry is either very brave or very foolish.

“Well, it doesn’t matter,” counters Constance, “I am here now, so move!”

Barry slides towards the window, grabs his bag, and places it on his lap. Constance and Leala sit down in their rightful places.

Regular commuters all have assigned seats. Indeed, knowing and respecting these unwritten seat assignments distinguishes regular commuters from the interloper who occassionally takes a rush-hour train.

Some of the most entertaining stories center around the conflict between a regular commuter and an interloper who usurped the commuters “assigned” seat. Some stories have end peacefully; others result in grand inquisitions.

Have you ever lost your seat to an interloper, or have you ever suffered an inquisitor’s wrath? Click on the Comment button and share your tale!


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