I was on the Amtrak (again), this time on the West Coast, with all the races mixed up (thankfully).
The train got so crowded that it was standing room only.
Across from me, there was a girl of about age 10 or 11 who seemed oblivious to the conductor's repeated requests to remove personal items from the seat next to you so that everyone could sit down.
She had a purple backpack piled on the seat with a pillow, and both tray tables down filled with stuff, including a route map with a big hunk of yellow gum stuck to it.
The train loaded up and people were wandering back and forth, seeking a seat, any seat. Yet she still did not move her stuff. She fiddled with her MP3 player and tossed her hair around.
Finally a guy, exasperated, asked her "Is this seat taken?"
She answered in what seemed to me a super entitled and bratty tone.
"Oh, I'm not allowed to sit next to anyone," she said.
Me and the lady from Philly next to me looked at each other with bugged-out eyes.
"Oh, now I've heard everything," said Mrs. Philly.
I was wondering if someone should tell the conductor about the nerve of this brat. Just then, he came along.
"You just leave your stuff right there, honey," he said.
Then I started thinking that I might be the lunatic here. I realized that the girl's parents had probably made her swear that she would not sit next to anyone, fearing that the Dreaded Train Molester would harm their young'un.
So what say you, parents? Should the kid have stuck to her guns as she did, or should have she shown some flexibility and let someone sit next to her?