Cold War rages on SkyTrain between passengers fighting for space

Photo illustration by Mike LeMieux
Photo illustration by Mike LeMieux

No end in sight for the deadlocked combatants

By Rebecca Peterson, Humour Editor

On Monday, a war of wills started up between two SkyTrain passengers vying for legroom on a crowded Millennium Line train.

The incident began as well-dressed businessman Joe Schmoe took a seat next to college student Angie Brown and, according to Brown, “started spreading his legs into my personal space.” Brown, who was already quite compressed into her seat by her overlarge backpack, then proceeded to lean her weight into Schmoe, trying to move him back into his seat space.

“They’ve been like this for hours,” said one witness in a statement to the Other Press. “Like, I think they’ve actually done a few loops on the SkyTrain by now. Neither of them have moved.”

According to Schmoe, “This girl was taking up way more room than she should have been, with her backpack and everything. And I have this big suitcase, anyway. I wasn’t trying to edge into her personal space, I was just trying to establish boundaries.”

“Yeah, I missed my stop, but it’s a matter of principal at this point,” said Brown, who had perspired a little in her effort to keep the ground she’d gained against Schmoe. “I can’t let him win.”

This battle is far from unprecedented. Last month saw the brutal Scott Road Scrimmage, wherein passengers getting off the SkyTrain and passengers getting on remained gridlocked at the doors of the train for hours. It ended only once TransLink security got involved, carefully removing the passengers one at a time like a complex game of human Jenga.

“We try to establish some general rules of SkyTrain courtesy,” said one official, who observed the conflict between Brown and Schmoe with a look of exhausted exasperation. “You know, let people off before others get on, give people their personal space, that kind of stuff. But sometimes the system breaks down, and there’s no telling who’s in the right and who’s in the wrong. All that’s left is this kind of… stalemate anarchy. Huh, that’s actually kind of poetic. Maybe I should become a writer. Do you think I should become a writer?”

As of yet, there has been no change in the situation between Schmoe and Brown, who are still jammed up together. Supporters on either side have brought them food and blankets, and have even switched out with them so they can take bathroom breaks.

“We kind of fall asleep on each other’s shoulders at night,” said Brown in a tweet. “I’m starting to learn a lot about him. He’s got a goldfish named Gary. It helps humanize him a little. I’m still not giving up any legroom, though.”