The most common space-making tactic on the tube is very simple: hold the newspaper up, open it wide and extend the arms to form a half-cell which lulls the commuter into believing he's not actually stuck in an overheated carriage with 458 other pissed-off, sleepy people. To carry it off properly the commuter has to look superior - as if he is above all this. As if he is only on the tube because the Rolls broke down. Yeah right.
This winds me up. It's denial of the worst kind. It is rush hour - now deal with it! I want to karate chop the newspaper - down the fold line. Not in a cool, Chow Yun-Phat, Kung-Fu kind of way. Oh no, more in a loud, camp, Miss Piggy kind of way - complete with 'ha-aaai-ya!' sound effect. Just to see the shock and fear on said commuters face. Lovely. [smile]
But some people - usually men [cos you boys like your ceremonies & rituals don't you?] will develop more complex, combative patterns. The lean fully forward in your seat, legs stretched-out, newspaper folded and held flat in front of you, is a favourite, I notice. I watched two young fellas duelling the other day: one would shake out his newspaper in a manly fashion - in doing so he would touch the newspaper opposite. So then the other guy had to shake his newspaper out and manoeuvre it so it ended-up resting lightly on his opponents. Cue a vigorous shake-out from the red corner and so on... yawn.
The single out-stretched leg is very popular with young blokes: throwing just one leg out to the side - not only claims half of the seat next to you, but it also demonstrates just how much of a man you really are. Yeah, course it does sweetie.
Women have a different way of dealing with it - look around you next time your tubing it - most of the women have their eyes closed. It works too - eyes closed and some loud music and you can almost kid yourself that you're still in the bathroom...