Jean-Paul Satre was wrong…
Satre was wrong when he said, “Hell is other people” because I know now being a resident of London, that hell is actually commuting. Commuting in London just absolutely fascinates me, mainly because people forget who they really are, all manners and etiquette are HURLED out of the steamy, overheated windows and London turns FERAL. Here’s some of the most common pitfalls and bugbears myself and other London folk experience on a daily basis.
- Once you’re crammed into a space the size of a post-it note with 300 other disgruntled people, if like me, you are on the short side with tall, pinstripes towering down either side of you, there’s nothing to hold on to. Stretching out for a handle isn’t an option, because you might do an accidental boob grab on someone (have done it, have had it happen to me. Most action I’ve had in a while actually I shouldn’t knock it). So, I have invented a game out of neccessity, that I like to call TUBE SURFING. Just gently bend your knees and as the train moves off, start surfing and just hope for the best. You may go headfirst into the chest of one of the aforementioned pinstripes but that’s just a risk we knarly tube surfers have to take my friends.
- With the whole space thing- it’s just awkward isn’t it? I get the giggles so often when I’m sat down and a gentleman stands in front of me lost in his Metro, and all I can hysterically think is ‘I’M AT COCK LEVEL!!! MATE I’M AT THE LEVEL OF YOUR COCK!’ Or when you realise you’ve been rubbing bums with a total stranger for the whole length between Archway-Waterloo. Lack of space tests people’s patience. Once, a baby kicked me in the tit and I nearly kicked him back. I call this particular strain of anger TFL Rage-Haze and it is not dissimilar to the Red Mist.
- Choosing the right seat is key. The best seats to get are the ones at the end of a row, because then you only have to sit next to one other person if it gets busy. ONLY MENTAL PEOPLE choose to sit next to other people if there is a choice of empty seats available. If this happens to you, panic and get off the tube at the next stop, you’re probably sat next to a serial killer/rapist/someone who licks hamsters.
- Right, don’t eat on the tube, it’s wellllllllll anti-social. I was on a tube one morning recently and a woman was just cramming in the sushi. At 8.10am. I mean, who wants raw fish before 9am anyway, let alone when you’re wolfing down your salmon skin roll with someone else that close. Generally, the only way I want to be that close to someone else’s mouth that early in the morning is if they’re about to have sex with me. Which hasn’t happened on the tube. Yet.
- Drinking- we’ve all been on the tube with those guys that have had too much, and if you haven’t it’s because it’s always you (in my case it very often IS me but annnyyywayyy). I used to live towards the end of the Piccadilly Line and the amount of times I would get to my stop, see some poor soul that had succumbed to the lullaby of TFL out for the count and think, “Well, I hope you wanted to go to Cockfosters mate as that’s where you’re headed.” (p.s I still laugh at Cockfosters.)
- THE ESCALATORS ARE NO PLACE TO DO SNOGGING. A couple were indulging in a particularly wet kiss the other day, and taking up BOTH the right and left hand tube lanes. I thought London was gonna combust- Public Displays of Affection AND standing on the left?!? Unacceptable to Londoners in every way.
- There’s a guy who gets on my tube in the morning, and everytime I see him, I start glowering and doing dagger eyes and I think to myself, “There’s that PRICK.” I think this purely because one time he got on the tube before me and instead of moving into empty space, stood directly by the door, as if he was saying, “I have chosen where I am standing. Everyone else will have to just deal with it.” He’s probably really nice, but for this reason alone, I loathe him.
- Acceptable ways to kill time on the tube: reading, watching something on ipad, silently playing ‘Who Would I Shag In This Carriage?’ (the other day I racked up a solid 4! FOUR! Well DONE Victoria line.) Unacceptable ways to kill time on tube: rapping into a stranger’s ear, tap dancing, getting changed.
Of course, this is just a few pointers on a subject that I could literally write a book about. (Maybe I will…). But you know, this spreadsheet ain’t gonna format itself now is it. (N.B- have taken to listening to the ‘Lord Of The Rings’ soundtrack when I’m doing spreadsheet work, it makes me feel like Excel is an epic quest I’m on. YOU SHALL NOT PASS PIE CHART). So take note London! Let’s keep our heads down, breath fresh and try and make this grimy part of our day slightly nicer for all involved. Also I might start giving out badges for people who win in ‘Who Would I Shag On This Tube’. That will definitely set people up for a terrific day.
Happy travelling pals xxxxx