What's your problem?



I feel I should give a personal opinion to your answers to the lady complaining about male thigh room in trains a few weeks ago. Most males find it uncomfortable to sit with their legs together, as the lady requested, and underground train-seats give the absolute minimum of space. She obviously hasn't thought about male physiology: we are not male rats or women with our reproductive organs within our abdomens. We males, like females, are not uniformly endowed, but whereas females have their bra sizes, which require no seatroom, the designers of male underwear have obviously found no answer to deal adequately with male physiology: waist sizes don't take account of the configurations of the area of the Second Chakra. Some men simply need a little more leg-room. It must be emphasised, of course, that a 90-degree span isn't really necessary.

Michael, Switzerland

He says:

Is that really true about male rats? That's the most fascinating fact I've heard all week.

She says:

Oh, come on. I can't believe that so many men are so well-endowed that they need to take up a double seat-quota. And if that were really the reason, we would all be applauding and giving up our seats voluntarily. If sitting down is so uncomfortable for all you poor souls, why don't you make a habit of standing and leaving the seats to the more neatly- designed female of the species? Also, persuasive and attractive as your theory is, it doesn't explain men's other spready propensities: grabbing both arm rests and unfurling their newspapers for yards around.


I was interested to read Keith from Dover's problem last week, about not appearing too enthusiastic about fatherhood in front of his colleagues, and found your replies rather useful from a work-related point of view. I am in a similar position to Keith and I wonder if you have any further insights to add that are more related to one's social life? I have always enjoyed going to the pub after work with my friends, but lately I have found it a very empty experience. Sitting there in a companionable fug of fag smoke (of course I've given up myself) with a brimming pint in front of me, all I can think about is how much I want to be at home with my wife and baby. But I don't want to look like a wimp who can't hack it with the lads any more.

Theo, Lancaster

He says:

You must not allow the fact that you have become a father to completely obliterate your masculine personality. It is very unlikely that this desire not to go to the pub will last the 18 years until your baby can go with you, so do not risk alienating your drinking companions. By all means cut back on the number of your visits, but when you do go, force yourself to sit it out and have a good time - you'll soon get back into the swing of it!

She says:

I'm afraid that your whingeing about whether or not you actually enjoy the pub cuts absolutely no ice with me. Where is your wife while you are sitting there agonising about wanting to be at home? Presumably stuck at home and quite possibly wishing she was in the pub. Worrying about being in the pub but not having a good time is something that many mothers would see as an unimaginable luxury.


I work in an office where there is a core of permanent staff and a number of freelance and casual people who come in at various times. These non- permanent bods have to use the desks of the permanent staff when they are available, and recently I have been getting increasingly annoyed with their behaviour. It started with small things: all my Biros would disappear. Then I would notice that someone had eaten all my Polo mints and devoured an entire pound of grapes that I had left out over the weekend. The final straw was when a book that I needed to refer to simply disappeared, and someone reconfigured my computer screen and dumped all my icons. Could you suggest some rules of etiquette for "hot-desking" that I could photocopy very large and pin up prominently in the office?

Vaughan, London SW1

He says:

I'm afraid that this boils down to more than you losing the odd packet of Polos. It is all about territory. Human beings are very territorial animals in their way, and desks are very personal places. This is a very fundamental conflict of interests: you see your desk as your own personal space and wish to keep it that way, while their natural instinct is to customise it to their own standards and obliterate your traces, in much the same way as some animals scent-mark their territories to warn others off. It is a contest that neither of you can realistically win, given your company's policy of desk-sharing.

She says:

With a bit of give and take, you can sort this out. Hot-deskers have the right to expect a reasonable amount of working space to be left for them, even if it's not possible to have entirely clear desk, so do start off on the right footing by leaving your desk tidy. Now, down to the nitty gritty. It's fine to change your computer settings as long as they change them back afterwards. It's fine to read your book as long as it is left in situ. It's fine to eat your Polos and grapes if you leave them out in full view, as long as they replace like with like, and it's certainly fine to use the company ballpoints if they are working for the company (it is not, however, fine to ferret through your desk drawers in search of edibles or equipment). Their basic tenet should be to leave everything exactly as they find it.

Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsSchool leaver's YouTube video features staging of a playground gun massacre
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
Morrissey pictured in 2013
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Robyn Lawley
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

    £35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

    Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

    Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

    £40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

    Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

    £50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

    Day In a Page

    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
    Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

    Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

    Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
    Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

    Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

    Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
    Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

    Spanx launches range of jeans

    The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
    10 best over-ear headphones

    Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

    Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
    Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

    Commonwealth Games

    David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

    Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain