Oh yeah, this is a personal hell. Girls sitting on their boyfriends laps on public transport.
You’ve just arrived at work after a long journey which included the consumption of a large coffeee, a bran muffin and a gallon of mineral water. You’re in dire need of toilet relief, so you head to the Gents to do your business in double quick time.
This is awkard. You leave your desk, you walk to the lift, you push the button and then some time later the lift arrives. You get in and just as the doors begin to shut, that wanker from the desk opposite joins you in this tiny, confined space.
I have my friends quota. I don’t need any more friends. I don’t have time to see the friends I have as much as I would like so I am certainly not in the business of talking to strangers on a fucking train.
I was recently on a train platform. I was waiting for a train. I consulted the train timetable, which informed me the next train would arrive in two minutes. I consulted my watch. It was 2:58pm. The train arrived at 3:04pm. DEAR LONDON UNDERGROUND – THAT IS NOT TWO FUCKING MINUTES. WE KNOW HOW MANY SECONDS THERE ARE IN A MINUTE, YOU CAN’T FOOL US, SO STOP LYING AND TELL US THE TRUTH ABOUT HOW LONG WE’LL BE STOOD UNDERGROUND ON A PLATFORM SURROUNDED IN FILTH, MICE AND WEIRD INDIAN MEN SINGING WONDERWALL LOUDLY TO HIMSELF.
I think that last bit only happened to me. But the rest is a regular occurence.
It is too bright for you down there? The lighting on the train straining your pupils? Worried that when we exit a tunnel you’re going to be hit by a sun so bright it could be the nuclear apocalypse?
I have lost count of the number of times I have been on public transport and sat next to someone whose breathing is so heavy it actually disturbs my reading. Sometimes it even manages to drown out my iPod, which is quite an accomplishment.
I think I’m a hypochondriac. Most of the time I think I am dying. If I lose weight, I think I’m dying. If I put on weight I’m going to have a heart attack. If I get a spot, it’s a tumour. I’m not far away from being one of those people who wear the equivalent of a gas mask on their daily commute for fear of catching some killer bug. And the thing that could finally push me into this course of action is those people on public transport who cough WITHOUT USING THEIR HANDS.
I have already discussed people who panic slap Oyster Card readers, but people who stop once they have got through said barrier are equally as irritating. So flaky and unaware of the people around them, they think nothing of coming to a standstill on the other side of a train barrier to put their ticket away into their wallet. They often cannot locate their wallet either, which delays things further as they pat each pocket rhythmically for their missing money holder. Can they not see the queue of people behind them? Are they not conscious of the fact that they are in a public place, where other people are trying to get from A to B?!?
And why do the vast majority of people who do this also have suitcases with them? Massive suitcases too. The sort that, if they hit you accidentally, give you a bruise so big it looks like you’ve been abused by Mike Tyson (not that he abuses people of course…). And the ultimate insult is when these suitcases don’t even make it through the barrier before it closes on them, adding to the frustration of the other passengers, who must now lift the suitcase over the barricade for the inept passenger in an effort to speed up their own exit from the tube. And then, just when you think you’ve finally cleared your route of any idiotic obstacles, suitcase man stops again, reunited with his luggage, in the worst possible place. And all to put his ticket away. And the whole system breaks down.