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In Which I Join the Transit Police

I was heading to the gym this afternoon (two days in a row, must be the end of days), minding my own business, reading the interminably rambling Kalooki Nights (new term, new reading list).

A pair of young Primark shoppers got on at Marble Arch. One plopped down next to me and the other sat across from her. The girl next to me emptied her small brown Primark bag and placed the contents into her rucksack. She folded up the bag and offered it to her spot-chinned companion, who had a large shopping bag on the floor between her feet. Girl-in-need-of-Stridex shook her head, not wanting to carry the extra paper. So my seat mate reached over her head and placed the folded bag on the back of the seat, shrugging her shoulders.

I turned my head towards her and said very loudly, "No."


"Because this is a train, not your personal rubbish can. Either put the bag in your backpack or carry it out of the station with you and toss it in a bin." She placed it on her lap.

I went back to my book and got off a couple stops later, resisting the impulse to stare down the shopper (Primark? What does one expect?) and wag my finger at her.

And so begins 2009, the year of the grumpy old man.