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(woman to man taking up three transit seats with all of his gadgets) Dude, you're totally techspreading.

I need my space

I need my space published on 2 Comments on I need my space

You’ve probably come across complaints about manspreading: guys taking up more than their allotted space on crowded buses and trains by sitting with their knees apart. Not just apart, but way apart.

Some men have tried to justify this by explaining that our external plumbing needs a generous allotment of space. Bring our knees too close together, and things get squeezed. Hell, if we tried to take up only one of those little seats, something would probably burst.

This is, of course, nonsense. (Men have concealed this for centuries, but our secret is that we can actually retract the whole kit and kaboodle away into our abdominal cavities when we need to. At will! Really! It’s like watching a hermit crab retreat into its shell. If you’ve never seen it, ask a man you’re intimate with to show you — it’s quite something! Oh, he’ll look at you like you’re insane and tell you it’s impossible, while making a big show of backing away slowly and looking for the exits, but don’t take no for an answer.)

We do this not out of anatomical necessity but from natural temperament. We’re territorial, and we take up as much space as we can. Hell, it takes extraordinary self-control just to keep ourselves from peeing in the corner of every transit vehicle we enter. (And excuse me if that self-control isn’t always forthcoming… officer.)

Thing is, we’re also pretty competitive. If one guy takes up two seats, I have to take up three. And the guy across from me noticing this has to somehow take up four. And so on.

Physiology being what it is, there’s a hard limit to the number of seats one guy can take up… or so you’d think. But we’re nothing if not resourceful, and if you know the right surgeon, you’re just four severed tendons away from separating your femurs from their hip sockets the same way a boa constrictor unhinges its jaw to eat a wild boar.

And at the point, you’re ready for the big leagues. Manspreading’s slated to be a demonstration sport at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, and Russia’s rumoured to have a guy who can manspread two entire subway cars. But don’t count Canada out: our team works out at Bombardier’s rail vehicle manufacturing facility in La Pocatière, Québec, on specially-designed cars 40 per cent larger than Olympic standards.

When you meet one of these guys, you stand in awe of them.

You have to. There’s nowhere to sit.

Nice to get so much feedback on this cartoon! Techspreading, people: it’s going to be a thing. Start talking it up. Spread the word, not your tech!


Thanks for the heads-up, Yaakov. To be clear, people, do not have your ligaments and/or tendons severed. And your guy is probably telling the truth when he says he can’t retract. Getting to that point takes years of men kegels. YEARS.

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