Sweaty bellies, Ninja Turtles and Scampi Fries (A further guide to Metro etiquette)

We’ve tackled how to queue for a Metro and hopefully you have found a seat but you are still a long way from being an accomplished Metro traveller. Even if you aren’t seated, there’s a lot more to learn.


Due to the basics of supply and demand, not everybody can sit on the Metro. If you are unlucky, accept your standing with good grace and learn these few important rules.

The art to standing on the Metro is to not impede on anybody else wherever possible; the location of your stance is therefore crucial. The optimum spot is in the middle of the carriage on that weird twisty turny floor plate. Not only does this keep you out of everybody’s way but it also allows you to rest your back on the wall and stand handsfree allowing you to read your book, phone, paper etc. There is the added bonus of being in prime position if one of the favoured sideways facing seats becomes available.

Nobody likes to be in the way of the doors but option number two is always to rest against the glass panels just inside the doors. Again it allows you to work handsfree and you are largely out of the way. It is important to note that it should be your back resting against the glass. I once witnessed a man facing the glass with the sweat from his partially exposed beer belly steaming up the panel. I rang the emergency helpline and he was dealt with swiftly and efficiently.

If you miss out on the few available backrests then you are going to have to hold onto something whether it is a pole, the back of a seat or one of those grips hanging from the ceiling. Unless you are a tightrope walker, please do not assume that you have the requisite balancing skills to read your paper two handed. You will inevitably stumble into someone or stand on their toe. If you do this I will accidentally stumble and knee you in the plums.

With the aim of standing being to avoid impeding others, how do you think you are going to achieve that by wearing a backpack like some Teenage Stupid Ninja Turtle? Take it off and put it on the floor.

Similarly, if you have to stand next to seated people, try and keep your arse and groin out of their face. Nobody wants to be wearing your arse crack as a nose clip.


Of all of the standing crimes, the absolute worst culprit is the person who stands over an empty seat, blocking everybody’s access to it but making no attempt to sit down. What sort of twisted world do you live in where you think this is acceptable? Sit your arse down or get off the train, your type aren’t welcome here.

Eating and drinking

Whilst I have a grudging admiration for the man I saw eating a Full English on an early morning Metro, eating and drinking should generally be discouraged.


As with all Metro rules, there are different severities of crime. Fairly low down is the man who brings the mug/flask that his wife brought him for Christmas. If you really need a coffee that much, try getting up five minutes earlier or wait until you get to work. If you end up standing you are left with only one hand to play with. Do you use your dominant hand to hold your coffee or to keep you upright? Nobody needs to be dealing with such dilemmas first thing in the morning.

It is inevitable that sooner or later, you will end up on the Metro with a hangover. We’ve all been there and you have my sympathy but we don’t need to know about it. A bottle of water to rehydrate or maybe a can of fizzy pop is acceptable. A can of Red Bull or similar energy drink stinks the carriage out and smacks of an attention seeker saying “Look at me, I got pissed on a school night.”

Whilst we’re on about smells, McDonalds have the ability to waft their odour right through the train, please don’t subject us to this. Similarly, Pickled Onion Monster Munch, any hot chicken product or chip shop goods and bags of tripe with salt and vinegar (yes I have witnessed this!) are banned.

If you are eating a bag of Scampi Fries I will assume that you are covering up for some sexual indiscretion.

Finally, we all like a drink but don’t bring it on the Metro, it just reminds us of what we’d rather be doing. Having said that, I’d love to know the story of the man I saw asleep on the Metro at seven in the morning whilst still holding a pint upright.


I hope today’s blog has been of use. Stay tuned for more Metro blogs on which form of entertainment is acceptable and the perils of soiling yourself on public transport.

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