Dear Urban Diplomat: Should I have told off a streetcar FaceTimer?
I was taking the King streetcar home during rush hour the other day, and it was a cramped, sweaty nightmare. About 10 minutes into the ride, a young woman pulled out her phone and accepted a FaceTime call. She proceeded to have a 20-minute conversation, narrating, in R-rated detail, a recent one-night stand. Without headphones. And there were kids on board! A couple of people gave her the angry side eye, but I couldn’t bring myself to speak up. Should I have said something?
—Hot and Bothered, Mimico
Anyone with an ounce of self-awareness knows that talking on the phone is a cardinal sin of commuting, up there with leaving your bag on a seat or clipping your fingernails. FaceTiming, in which not one but both sides of the conversation are audible, tops my list of transit misdemeanours. There’s nothing prudish about asking a stranger two inches away from you to refrain from giving a sexual play-by-play. You’d be justified in hushing them whatever the subject matter. But I’d be surprised if your shaming swayed someone so brazen. Clippers gonna clip, and gabbers gonna gab.
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