You know that “Seinfeld” episode where Elaine has that boyfriend who stands really close to everyone while he’s talking to them and it’s really uncomfortable and everyone calls him a “close talker” behind his back?
Yeah British people wouldn’t get it. They’d be watching Seinfeld and be like, “Wait, I don’t get it, does he have toilet paper stuck to his shoe or something?” British people don’t believe in plebeian concepts like “personal space” and “not spitting on your friends and acquaintances while you speak to them.” They stand too BLOODY close to you!
Hear me out: We all have that one British friend that we keep around because of his cheeky accent and the adorable way he says “bits” and “quite” and “lovely” and “bloody cock-sucking wanker”; the one who sometimes stands a bit too close when they’re telling a riveting tale about last week’s football match. That’s not really what I’m talking about here.
I’m talking about the elderly jaunty-hatted woman, the good-looking businessman who kind of looks like Prince William if you stand far enough away (not that he’d let you), the lady who, upon entering a nearly empty Northbound Picadilly platform, elects to stand so close to you that you can feel her anticipation as the train approaches. You step back, hoping not only to avoid sudden death by tube car but also to get a little breathing room, please, but your attempts are foiled because Beatrix Potter over here follows your lead. You could probably just move down a bit, but you were here first! Stand your ground!
The train comes. The first two cars are promising: barely any people. You’ll finally get the personal space you’ve been yearning for every since you hopped on that plane to Heathrow in January! But as the train slows to a stop, the cars become more and more crowded, so much so that you don’t know if you’ll even be able to get on. You panic! You have to get on this train! You plunge into the crowded car just as the doors close and relief washes over you. The next train won’t come for another 4 minutes. I guess some things are more important than body space.