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How an innocent bagel started a bizarre brawl on a London train
No one’s even eating them.
Society isn’t a physical, tangible thing, so much as a concept that exists in our heads. A list of rules, written and unwritten, that we agree upon so we could do things like go to work, and not be attacked by roving bands of marauders. Sometimes the smallest thing can undermine that concept, and that’s when we’re reminded that we are all just one bagel away from anarchy.
Okay to be fair in this case it was a bag of (seeming endless) bagels, but still, the chaos that ensues from their unleashing is enough to provide a thesis for an anthropology student looking to get their PhD.
Don’t worry that the video you’re about to watch makes no sense. It makes no sense to anyone, probably, maybe even especially, to those involved.
It starts with a woman placing a bagel on her head, which is exactly the kind of thing you find hilarious when you’re drunk on a train at 3am. Now this woman may or may not be drunk, and we can’t say for sure exactly what time it was, but doesn’t that feel right?
Then a man, maybe the one shooting the video, helpfully shouts, “She’s got a bagel on her head!” in case anyone was unable to piece that together from her head having a bagel on it. There’s already a lot of shouting at this point, so some shit has clearly already gone down, but what that was we’ll never know.
The next thing we see is a shoving match between a group of women, one of whom at least seems fairly amused… at first.
Then there’s a whole group of people trying to pull these women apart. Please keep in mind this is because of bagels. Maybe.
Next we see this guy, who earlier was trying to break up a fight, throwing bagels out the window. At this point littering probably seemed like less of a crime. See how slippery the slope to anarchy is?
It seems as if the man was trying to get the situation under control by removing what he felt was the source of the problem, but when a woman places what must have felt like the millionth bagel on his head, and the crowd starts singing “He’s got a bagel on his head!” to the tune of “He’s got the whole world in his hands”, his composure evaporates.
Which was a good enough reason for these women to start fighting again.
At some point, there’s a close up of this guy’s face, but it’s probably safe to just ignore that.
In our penultimate scene, we see that the train has stopped and the fight has spilled outside.
Finally, inevitably, the police arrive and, well, remember that scene at the end of Lord of the Flies when an actual adult shows up and ask “What are you guys doing?”
and kids are all like:
“Dougie Stew,” the man who shot the video, talked to Metro and tried to make some sense of the incident, but there still seems to be more questions than answers.
“The only word that does it justice is surreal.” He said. “It was completely and utterly surreal.”
David Britton is a writer and comedian based in Rhinebeck, New York who focuses on internet culture, memes, and viral news stories. He also writes for the Hard Times and is the creator of StoriesAboutWizards.com.