Rush hour is a pretty unpleasant time to be on the train in Japan under any circumstances, but this was a whole new set of problems.

Reading some of our recent articles, you might think that the life of our Japanese-language reporter Seiji is nothing but sunshine and rainbows, or at least home-made chocolate cakes and new anime series from his favorite directors. However, sometimes Seiji finds himself in unpleasant situations too, like the other day when he was on the train headed home from work.

At first, Seiji thought his string of good luck was continuing, as he managed to snag a seat on a rush-hour Tokyo train, which is practically a commuting miracle. He was sitting in the second seat on the bench, with another man sitting to his right and several to his left, but while his legs were happy, his nose was not. After being on the train for a few minutes, Seiji noticed the unmistakable smell of poop, far more pungent, powerful, and long-lasting than a fart would be.

Seiji felt the odor originating from his right, and since there was only one other person seated to that side of him on the bench, deduced that the guy to his right must have pooped himself. Though our reporters sometimes work with poop as part of their professional duties, they tend to stay away from outside-sourced excrement in their personal lives, and Seiji’s first instinct was to get up and move to another part of the train.

But then Seiji thought about what the person to his right must be going through emotionally at that moment. No doubt he was dying of embarrassment, and so Seiji decided to do the kind thing and not draw attention to the man’s predicament by suddenly standing up and moving away. Plus, if he did vacate his seat, someone else would probably notice the empty spot and come over to sit down, adding to the man’s embarrassment.

So Seiji remained stoic and in his seat, making sure to not even glance at the guy’s face to read his expression for some sort of visual confirmation of his intestinal mishap. However, while kindness can change the world, it can’t change the smell of poop, and the aroma grew as time went on. As new passengers entered the train at each stop, Seiji started hearing more and more of them loudly remarking “This train reeks!” and scurrying away from the bench where Seiji and the man were sitting.

It was then that Seiji became conscious of another problem. As mentioned above, he was sitting on the second-to-last right-end seat on the bench, and since the smell was coming from his right, he knew it must be the guy to his right who pooped himself. But the rest of the people on the train weren’t able to pinpoint the location as Seiji had. A man sitting two seats to his left leaned forward, looked straight at Seiji, and gave him a hard stare, saying “I know it was you who pooped yourself” with the cold anger of his gaze. Passengers started looking at Seiji and whispering in muffled, disgusted tones.

The pressure got so intense that Seiji began to worry that maybe he’d made a mistake, and somehow he’d actually been the one who pooped himself, without noticing. After all, if the man to his right was the source of the smell, by this point he’d have to be feeling a little agitated too, but he hadn’t moved a muscle as far as Seiji could tell.

No longer sure of the cleanliness of his backside, Seiji, for the first time, decided to glance at the man to his right. Trying to be s nonchalant as possible, he first kept his eyes low, and noticed that the man’s legs were comfortably stretched out. As he moved his eyes higher, he saw that the man’s shoulders were back and relaxed. And then, when Seiji looked at the man’s face for the first time, he saw…

…that he was completely asleep.

As a matter of fact, the man was slumbering so soundly that it was clear he must have been asleep for some time, meaning Seiji could have gotten up and moved to a different part of the train a long time ago without making the guy feel even a hint of self-consciousness. It also explained why the man had stayed on the train even after it stopped at multiple stations on the line instead of getting off ASAP to tend to his leakage.

Now freed from having to spare the man’s feelings, Seiji quickly got up and moved to a different part of the train. As soon as he got home, he pulled down his pants just to be sure, and breathed a sigh of relief when he noticed no staining, skid marks, or any other signs that he’d contributed to the smell on the train, though the odor remained in his nostrils for the rest of the night.

In closing, we’d like to salute Seiji, and everyone else who’s as kind and thoughtful as he is. That said, it’s always a good idea to make sure that the intended recipient of your noble consideration is actually in a condition to receive it.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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