So, Randy sent me an article that likens “Manspreading” to “Mask Slipping”.
It reminded me about an article I wrote years ago about “manspreading”, so I thought I would share it again.
I would guess manspreaders are often the maskholes that wear their masks under their noses or use to just cover their chins, but not their nose and mouth.
If your mask isn’t covering your nose and your mouth, it’s not doing anyone any good.
Don’t be a maskhole. Or a manspreader.
Anyway, here is the old article:
Randy told me about an article he just read about two men who were arrested in New York for ‘manspreading’. I hadn’t heard the term ‘manspreading’ before. When Randy starting talking about manspread, my head went to a completely different place than some douche twizzle taking up two public transportation seats. The story context cleared my misunderstanding of the word up quickly, which is good, because I was going to disturbing places.
I’m not saying that it isn’t rude to take up more than one subway seat just so you can sprawl out, but arrested? Isn’t that taking it a bit far?
I searched out the articles and found one titled ‘The war on men: manspreading’.
I admit that I struggled a bit when I read the ‘war on men’ part. I didn’t know if I wanted to rant or snork at that. (I don’t care what spell check says, ‘snork’ is a word).
In the end, I just clicked off the article. I’m up way too early on a weekend morning and I don’t think I could get enough coffee fueled energy to make it worth my while to work up a rant.
All that being what it is, I have a good manspread story.
Nearly 33 years ago, when pregnant with my first son, I parked my car in Covington, KY and rode the bus across the river to my job in Cincinnati.
I picked the bus up right at the base of the Roebling Suspension bridge. The Suspension bridge is the one in Rain Man where Dustin Hoffman hums to the bridge sound as you drive across it.
I was 8 months pregnant and it was late June.
I even remember that I wore a pink maternity dress with a white Peter Pan collar. The dress had white squiggly designs that looked like chalk outlines at a murder scene.
I pulled my big bad self up the steps and, as expected, all the seats were taken. My stop was the last stop before Dixie terminal (where the bank scene in Rain Man was filmed).
Except all the seats weren’t really taken. The front of the bus, where there are 3 seat benches that face each other, one man took up all the seats on one side.
He had his big stupid legs spread apart, which took up two seats, and had his briefcase opened on the third seat.
I asked him if I could sit down. He looked me up and down and kind of sneered and just shook his head. I was not even worthy of his words.
Another passenger offered their seat, but I had already grabbed a bar. I thanked them and said I was fine.
It could have ended there, but no, the douchebag taking up three seats started muttering under his breath. But not really under his breath, because I heard every word. I don’t remember exactly what he said, but this is pretty fucking close:
I have important work to do. It’s a two minute ride, I’m sure you’ll be fine. Just because you got knocked up doesn’t mean we all have to bow to you.
I was 24 years old at the time and painfully introverted. I was afraid to say anything in my defense, so I just held on and pretended to not hear him.
Then the most beautiful thing happened.
I think Karma is bullshit, but for a shining moment, Karma was alive and well and firing on all cylinders.
The bus stopped in Dixie terminal and Mr. Manspread closed his briefcase. Only the briefcase didn’t latch all the way.
When he stood up, his briefcase fell open. When he tried to stop the inevitable avalanche of papers, he dropped his briefcase on the bus floor.
The little old lady who offered me her seat took the first good shot. She stood up and kicked the briefcase all the way up to the bus fare doohinkey. She didn’t even pretend like it was an accident.
I stepped on as many papers as I could as I exited. The people behind me were kicking as many papers as they could. The man was yelling and laying across the bench, trying to pick up his papers. A few people yelled “OH, EXCUSE ME” as they tore his shit up, but mostly, they were just laughing. Even the driver was laughing a little.
I don’t think that man deserved to go to jail. I don’t think he deserved to be fined. If we start getting arrested because we’re being a dick, then we’re all doing time.
I think my Mr. Manspread got an appropriate punishment.
I can still see the beads of sweat on his forehead and the panicked look on his face.
It’s one of my favorite pregnancy memories.