2006_8_health_babybadge.jpgEver met a woman at a party who has a little junk in the front and then spend the rest of the night trying to figure out if she’s pregnant without asking? Because God knows you can’t just ask her. So you start laying traps, asking leading questions. You talk about other pregnant people that you know. You wish friends were there to play prego-or-chubbo. And then it comes – a stroke of genius: You offer her a drink thinking that mommy-to-be wouldn’t dare. But she accepts and chugs it down. Problem solved (or affirmed). But there must be an easier way - when you're not Kramer. And now, thanks to the Japanese health ministry, there is.

Since August 1st, Japanese rail companies have been handing out special badges to pregnant women on the Tokyo subway in an effort to encourage courtesy, hoping that the good people of the city will give up their seats for their fellow, expecting commuters. The badges are damn cute and say, “There is a baby in my stomach.” No misinterpreting that. Japan’s been facing a population decline as of late and wants to make the country friendlier towards pregnant women.

One of our commenters mentioned this week that they were shocked by the number of subway riders who never offered them a seat when they tried to get around after an injury. It seems to us that a cast is a pretty obvious sign that someone might appreciate sitting down but Gothamist has certainly seen its share of pregnant women as well as elderly citizens who aren’t offered a seat on a bus or train. Do readers think that the politest city in the world could really be helped by badges? Would you be more inclined to give up your seat if you saw one?

And since the MTA’s coming up with crazy fines as it is for such major offenses as taking up two subway seats or putting one's feet up, we hope they don't start handing out tickets for being less than chivalrous.

This whole thing makes Metrodad mad.