Wednesday, 12 August 2009

A (Seated) London Tube Journey

The Underground system was bursting to capacity this morning. Not that I really cared; I was one of those smug bastards with a seat.

When you've got a seat you're part of the Tube Aristocracy, you don't communicate, touch or even look at those standing around you except, perhaps, in utter disdain when one of the standing riff-raff rests their arse against your shoulder. When this happens, you merely shuffle around to make your presence known and / or emit a loud 'TUT'. That shifts 'em. You'll often find us TA's just blankly staring out of the window as the train pulls into the station. We barely register the heaving masses, five people deep on the platform, all vying for a slice of Tube Crush Pie. After a fleeting thought of 'Oh, that's unfortunate', we generally turn our attention to more pressing matters...like the Metro Horoscope.


The Kings Cross platform was packed from end to end, but there wasn't going to be any relief from my train. To be fair, the Pyrennian Mountain dog on my carriage didn't help matters. I love that massive dog, he almost makes me want to give up my seat just so I can stand next to him and watch the reactions of those getting on. Instead, I had to reach round to pat him on the head and crane my head to chuckle at the arched eyebrows, wrinkled foreheads and widening eyes of boarding passengers. I live in hope that one day the big furry white dog will stand up and roar "I'm a LUCK DRAGON!" and really give them cause for complaint. 


Then a fight broke out at Moorgate. Alright, not a fight, but something just as good. A frustrated exchange. 

"Can you move DOWN" yelled an irate voice near the doors to a bloke standing at the end of the carriage.
"I can't there's a suitcase behind me!" came the response.
"Can't you just MOVE DOWN so we can get on?", she repeated helpfully, a little louder. 
"Fa facks sake" he muttered, then, raising his arms in an exaggerated shrug, "WHERE DO YOU WANT ME TO GO?". 

You could see the Tube Aristocracy raising their eyes, rubbing their hands, mouthing 'Fight, fight, fight!' and removing an earphone to get the full story. More disgruntled noises from the doors prompted the Suitcase Man to do a comedy shuffle, two centimetres back, before yelling "IS THIS BETTER?" to the amusement of everyone around him. 


Then the doors shut on the fracas and we continued on our way; them all squished...me, arriving on time and quite content with the journey, really. 


I don't know what all the fuss is about.

15 comments:

Miss Milk said...

"Tube Aristocracy." Fantastic.

Brennig said...

Beautifully described. :)

Chapati said...

Haha, I love it! I live right on the end of a tube line, so am lucky enough to be a member of the tube aristrocacy every day :-)

On the other hand, makes my journey longer than I want it to be!

Elaine said...

God.I'd rather walk.

pinkjellybaby said...

I do miss the tube a little bit....but not enough to want to squish on it in rush hour...

Robbie said...

I don't know how do you put up with it?

Lori W. said...

"Tube Aristocracy". "Tube Crush Pie".

Yep, I'm going to keep following this blog...

The Unbearable Banishment said...

In New York we call them Time Bombs. Everyone is a potential Time Bomb. A bad day, a mad dash to the F train, someone begging for money, you get poked with an umbrella, someone else hasn't washed in a few days and *BOOM* you detonate.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Miss Milk - Why, thank you.

Brennig - Why...THANK you!

Chapati - I'm in kind of the same situation. A lengthy but easy journey.

Elaine - I'd rather have a private jet.

Robbie - Because I get a seat, so I don't have to get all squished. I quite enjoy having 40 mins to read my book undisturbed. :)

Lori - Whhyyyyy thank you...I hope you enjoy my future words of wisdom

Unbearable - I was with someone last night who currently has his jaw wired up and reconstructed following a run in with a 'time bomb' last week on the tube. There's frustration, then there's maiming someone. Not good.

Robbie said...

No, I meant I don't know how you put up with all the huffle and scuffle of the riff raff, standing up passengers. You should of asked them to keep it down.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

good point. Next time i should just tell them to hush up and quit their noise making. The beggers!

nuttycow said...

I don't *do* tubes. Or buses. Or trams.

They let just anybody on them y'know? I can't be mixing with the hoi polloi :D

cynicalscribble said...

Brilliant!

I'm so glad I have no need to get a train everyday. I think I'd be one of them time bombs and implode mid carriade.

theperpetualspiral said...

Last night I got a whiff of stinky armpit on the tube, it was not good, not good at all.

Time Traveller said...

'Tube Aristocracy' hahaha! I see others had the same idea.

I don't know how you stand it. I refuse to take any form of public transport, unless I'm going to a hot place :)

 

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