A photo of a middle-aged commuter pointing a toothpick in the direction of a young child seated beside her is circulating online.
According to the eyewitness who took the picture, Reddit user u/maxdilbe, the woman pointed the toothpick at the child because he kept leaning towards her arm as he fell asleep on the train.
The netizen added that the child was with a domestic helper who moved the boy to another seat as soon as she saw the commuter holding the toothpick in his direction.
Netizens responding to the picture have asserted that the woman’s behaviour is unkind. One netizen, Reddit user u/omnirai, said that he was surprised that some people said that as the lady was simply protecting her personal space since he thought the lady’s behaviour was totally uncalled for.
He wrote: “When this happens to me I just shove the person back (with increasing force) and they always get the hint after awhile lol. Like I get the personal space thing but come on you are threatening to poke a kid with a toothpick really.”
Another netizen, Reddit user u/CantHelpButSmile, wrote that the woman’s actions were overly petty even though he understands the woman’s desire to protect her personal space: “I feel like the lady is over exaggerating a bit, but i do know where she’s coming from. I believe that are other option that one can do instead of resorting to setting up a trap, like perhaps communicate with the other party.
“Also, honestly personally i believe this type of pettiness is just gonna be harmful towards yourself in the long run, she’s just gonna pissed herself and everyone off. Sometime you just need to be the mature one and loosen up. If you thing the other party is in the wrong, than you should retort him,educate him. Sometime people do shitty stuff is because they didn’t know any better and its up to us to teach them, especially when his just a kid.”
This is not the first incident involving sharp objects on public transport. In 2017, an elderly man admits to planting toothpicks in public bus seats due to boredom and because he wanted to play a prank on others.
In another incident, a bus commuter was left bleeding after pricking her hand on sharp metal objects inserted into a bus seat: