MONTREAL — A Via Rail trip traveling from Toronto to Montreal ended in bloodshed following a violent battle for the middle armrest in seats 21 A, B and C.
At 9:00am Greg Bilson, Amelia Chang, and Hilda Milford, settled into their seats in aisle 21, with Bilson assigned to the middle seat, Chang in the aisle, and Milford at the window. The counter-flanking maneuvers soon began, as Bilson attempted to defend his armrests at all costs.
Civilian bystander report hearing a brief “Pardon me,” from Bilson, before he pulled out his 2012 HP laptop and used it to bludgeoned Chang. 92-year-old Milford then attempted to defend her claim to the middle armrest to her left with a series of blows with a rolled up enRoute magazine.
As the train passed Ajax, open warfare was declared.
“It was chaos, pure chaos,” stated survivor Ashifa Hassan. “People started taking sides until eventually the entire train was embroiled in battle.”
Seating etiquette expert, Michael Scobie, weighed in on the tragedy noting that, “in most cases the middle seat gets the middle armrest. On both sides, however, the waters can get muddied depending on age, ability, and other variables like health or size. Then there are some with an awareness, or complete lack thereof, of middle armrest culture.”
Because of Milford’s advanced age, many passengers sided with her claim to the right armrest. Meanwhile, Chang’s army believed chivalry should grant her the left armrest. Thus resulted a swift battle, as most passengers rose to defend middle seater Bilson’s claim to both.
The loss of life was immense, claiming 15 combatants, 10 civilians, and one inflatable neck pillow.
“In all my years on the train I’ve seen tension over armrests, but I’ve never seen it escalate past a passive aggressive elbow nudge,” stated locomotive engineer, Susan Bastos, who was forced to disconnect the train car and escape, before alerting the military. “History will point to this tragedy when future disputes arise.”
The surviving combatants are expected to be tried at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, particularly those who looted the drinks cart during the conflict.
At press time a bloodied but living Greg Bilson stated, “I’m just hoping I don’t get the middle seat on the way to the penitentiary.”