I firmly believe that some people have no idea quite how much space they're taking up. This has nothing to do with weight, and everything to do with thoughtlessness. These people blunder through life oblivious to everyone but themselves, getting in everybody else's way, never once aware that they might be inconveniencing those around them. We've all met them, we've all been annoyed by them... but are you one yourself? Probably without noticing? Test yourself against this handy checklist. Score 5 points for each that applies to you.
Do you ever... • Walk around in a busy public place completely engrossed in a book or newspaper?
• Walk three-abreast down a two-abreast pavement, forcing oncoming pedestrians into the road?
• Tip your plane seat back as far as it will go, from the moment your flight is airborne until just before it lands?
• Insist on using a pushchair the size of a wheelbarrow in the middle of a crowded department store?
• Stand on the left on an escalator or, even worse, stand in the middle carrying a lot of shopping?
• Pull your wheelie suitcase along behind you at an angle greater than 20 degrees to the vertical?
• Speed down the empty outside lane before some roadworks, then try to nudge your way back into the front of the queue?
• Allow your elbows to take up more than half of an armrest, digging into the ribs of the person beside you?
• Park your car in a space so small that nobody around you will ever get into their car afterwards?
• Use the middle urinal when there are three to choose from?
• Hold hands with your partner in public? (sweet, but you're completely blocking the pavement for us single people)
• Jump every red light because you refuse to believe that the Highway Code applies to cyclists?
• Fail to hold open a door because you didn't look behind you to see if anyone else was following?
• Take up more than two-thirds of a double bed, squeezing your partner into a small strip down the edge?
• Drive 20mph below the speed limit down a long winding single carriageway road, with or without a caravan?
• Leave your supermarket trolley blocking a whole aisle while you're busy hunting for something else?
• Insist on walking up an escalator but really slowly, gathering a seething queue behind you?
• Stop suddenly in the middle of a narrow passageway to take a call on your mobile?
• Barge into a train carriage to grab a seat before the rest of us have even started getting off?
• Wear particularly strong aftershave or perfume which lingers for minutes after you've passed by?
How did you score? 0: You must be insufferable to live with.
5-15: You are spatially aware, and the world is a happier place as a result.
20-35: Look around you a bit more, and see if you can't think of others a bit more often.
40-55: I meet people like you every day. You meet people like me every day. The difference is, I notice.
56-59: It's impossible to score 56-59. You might want to learn to add up first.
60-95: You are one of the great un-overtakeable, and the rest of us hate you.
100: You are ideally suited to a career in politics, and the world is in big trouble.
I couldn't be bothered to do the test because I knew it wouldn't apply to me: I think you've just proved my point.