#Bagelgate: Where Does Banter Stop And Bullying Begin?

WTF is #bagelgate?

#Bagelgate: Where Does Banter Stop And Bullying Begin?

by Vicky Spratt |
Published on

A little over 24 hours ago chaos ensued on the 00.54 train which left London’s King’s Cross station for Huntingdon. Why? The answer appears to be because of some bagels. The ‘news’ was filed under ‘LOL’ as commentators revelled in the opportunity to create some #roflcopter content.

A video of the incident on Twitter has now been liked nearly 20,000 times. If you’re unfamiliar with #bagelgate, here’s a brief summary. We apologise if it doesn’t really make sense, The Debrief has tried to understand the complexities of the incident and, we’ll level with you, we don’t really get it.

So what went down? It involved bagels (the question of why people had so many bagels on train remains unanswered), an unassuming male passenger whose patience was severely tried, several rowdy passengers, a fight, chanting, jeering and, eventually, the police.

From watching the video, it seems that it all started when a woman put a bagel on her head. There was then some sort of scuffle which involved several other women. The first woman then put a bagel on the head of the man in front of her. He did not react but simply got up to throw it out of the window. People started chanting ‘he’s got a bagel on his head’, before it all got very very aggy. Cries of ‘be the bigger person’ can be heard. Eventually the train stopped at Potters Bar in Hertfordshire. The police turned up and told everyone to be quiet, like naughty schoolchildren they were silenced. ‘Has anyone seen anything? Anyone know who’s involved?’ the police officer says, ‘the train will not move until I find out.’

Yes, we’re aware that this breakdown still doesn’t explain exactly what’s going on in this video. But, that’s the point. It’s inexplicable, it’s euphoric groupthink, a pack mentality and communal lolz which, as they always do, go too far and end up with multiple people starting on each other.

This, guys, is your train home from secondary school. It’s a chip fight, with the chips substituted for bagels, going from zero to a hundred real quick. You are the man trying to be chill about the fact that the cool kids keep putting bagels on your head and hoping nobody punches you. Of course, you do inevitably lose it eventually and then everyone jeers that you ‘have no sense of humour’.

Today even British Transport Police are joining in with the #bants

However, there’s something distinctly unfunny about the whole affair. The line between banter and bullying is a thin one, as anyone who has ever been on the receiving end knows all too well. When you’re on the receiving end of intimidating behaviour it’s anything but funny. There’s nothing more frustrating and it can be really daunting.

There are two types of people in the world: those who find #bagelgate hilarious, and those who don’t, because they identify with bagel-on-head-man.

Bagel-on-head-man, our hearts go out to you. We would have lost it too.

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Follow Vicky on Twitter @Victoria_Spratt

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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