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Dec 4, 2017

Legally Binding: people who eat hot chips on public transport must be brought to justice

Eating hot chips on the train is a serious breach of etiquette, as writer, broadcaster and legal expert Lorin Clarke explains in this amendment to the Social Contract.

Legally Binding is a public interest endeavour dedicated to the ongoing improvement of The Social Contract.

Please note the introduction of the following amendments to The Social Contract. These matters pertain specifically to Appendix C: Catching Public Transport.

Please note the following important amendments:

Note that, for the purposes of clarifying any previous confusion in relation to this matter, an important distinction has been made in “Definitions”, namely that, in any form of public transport, seats are for the carriage of “human persons”. Note also that “human persons” is now a term that explicitly excludes “bags of any kind”.

Section 1.1.1 (“Premature disembarkation”) dictates that any person or persons attempting board any form of transport without first waiting for the people onboard to get off shall be fined the maximum amount allowed by law and required to perform an interpretive dance on the theme of “how I went wrong in life and what I choose to do about it”.

Section 1.1.8 (“Spare Window Seat Creeps”) stipulates that any person who elects to sit on the aisle seat in the event that there is not someone in the window seat must, when another human is standing nearby, move over. If the second person does not take the aisle seat within two (2) minutes, the sitter may resume their original position. Please note that “pretending to be asleep” here is not a defence.

Section 4.2.2 (“Hot Chips”) prohibits the eating of hot chips on public transport under any circumstances so help me God.

Section 4.5.8 (“Pregnant people and old people”) stipulates that if you (a) have a seat and (b) are under the age of 65 and (c) there is a pregnant person or an old person standing up, what you must do is this: stand up, offer them your seat, disembark, and walk home in the rain having a good hard think about yourself.

Section 5.1.1 codifies what are called “Public Transport Performance Defences” and the law relating to them. The following are no longer considered defences to any breach of any section of the law in this area: performance of sleep, performance of being “so lost” in your phone that you are not responsible for your behaviour, performances of outrage, performances of important phone calls. Note though that, in the presence of a Dangerous Seeming Person, all bets are off and you can perform Verdi’s Requiem if you think it helps.

This Appendix is under constant review. Updates will be provided. Remember: ignorance of the law is no excuse.

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8 thoughts on “Legally Binding: people who eat hot chips on public transport must be brought to justice

  1. Raaraa

    The Hot Chips industry will vehemently oppose any move that will infringe on the consumer rights to eat hot chips and will consult the UN convention on human rights regarding this.

    1. Mike Smith

      Clearly “Political Correctness gone mad” 🙂

      Starts playing RWNJ bingo.

  2. Xoanon

    I’ll move a couple of amendments:
    1. These words be added to Section 1.1.1 (“Premature disembarkation”): “Responsibility shall also fall upon passengers to note when their stop is approaching and to make a prompt exit, rather than suddenly rocketing through embarking passengers upon looking up from one’s phone and realising where they are.”
    Also to Section 1.1.8 (“Spare Window Seat Creeps”): “a. An exemption is granted to those passengers who are disembarking in a couple of stops, though they should swivel around to let another passenger claim the window seat; b. An exemption is also granted to larger passengers for whom the aisle seat is more practical, allowing both them and their neighbouring passengers more shoulder width.”

  3. zut alors

    I wish to add a penalty for any individual who, on mounting a bus, doesn’t have the transport card ready in their hand. Deportation (or worse) could apply to those particularly stupid travellers who, on sighting the bus driver, suddenly remember that public transport requires a fare. Who knew?! This prompts fiddling with wallet/purse, diving into a handbag for elusive cash & holding up the journey for all.

    1. AR

      They are probably the people who stand numbly & nonresponsively in checkout lines until their purchases are all bagged up then are surprised that paying is part of the process.

  4. brigitte te whiti

    Another amendment needed for the sitting under the “Quiet Carriage” sign and still having a lengthy, loud conversation about your disintegrating relationship or giving advise on a disintegrating relationship.

  5. jlgintheuk

    Section 1.1.1 (“Premature disembarkation”) should perhaps be Premature embarkation? Either way, I know what you mean and am in 100% agreement!

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