I’ve actually pondered carrying paper towels for times like this. People won’t sit on a seat if there’s pretty much anything on it, but especially liquids. Either because you’re unsure what kind of liquids they are or because most people don’t carry napkins or something to clean up small puddles of liquid with. It’d basically be a free pass to a seat if I were to do this and run into a situation where I could actually use them. But this situation doesn’t arise often enough to justify it.

The worst feeling is to sit down and then realize you smell something, like maybe you sat in a small puddle of juice. I don’t sit down without looking at the seat first, but some part of your brain can still convince yourself that you didn’t take a very good look and there could very well be a big seat of sticky stuff which was the reason no one took it.