Monday, 23 August 2010

Getting to work #2 - going Underground

Sometimes us cyclists have to get off our high horse and ride the Tube into work. whether this is because of weakness, laziness, tiredness, drunkeness or too far-edness it doesn't matter.

I said that I didn't want this feature to descend into 'aren't people rubbish' etc. So fear not, I will merely attempt to amuse with a few London Underground characters:

Daydreamers - Usually still half baked from the previous night, these dilly-dallyers can only be brought out of their trance (often at the wrong stop) by a barrage of pushing elbows and knees. Observing them often throws up funny moments, like when they push the open doors buttons and the tube (they don't work dumbass). Or when they rest their hand on their leg only to find it is someone else's leg, and that someone else isn't happy.

Runners - love the thrill of running on the platform and jumping on with the doors beeping. Sometimes they will run when they don't even have to, and continue to jog on the spot for the whole journey.

Sad Old Businessmen - wizened 50+ balding middle management types complete with mac and briefcase. They look broken through 30 years work in the city, but they have to pay for the kids to go to college. They should have moved out of London years ago, but could give up the generous salary.. It break this executive's heart. At least they have the cricket pages of the Telegraph to console them for the journey.

Pro commuter - Has all the gadgets, experience and patience to endure a 24 hour non-stop tube journey. Often reading a book (a light novel and pop culture opinion book, has an iPod, iPad, Nintendo DS, Travel bag with make up / wash kit, pro audio headphones and technical travel clothes. An elephant who is giving away millions of pounds whilst singing 'Loco in Acopulco' could get onto the train at Lambeth North and the pro-commuter wouldn't raise an eyebrow or make a sound. Nothing can surprise, excite or annoy these beings.

Snide Sneerers - The kind of commuters who look like they're chewing a wasp. Constant furrowed brows at all the 'disgusting' hordes. All of the filthy nasty public that dares to get onto 'my train'. They think they are so much better than everyone and are unwilling to accept that they are one of the 8a.m. gang. They are likely to sneer patronisingly at you if they can hear your music, if you are under 21, if you are not in a suit, if you talk, if you touch them even through over-crowdedness, or if they don't like the look of you . . . which is often.

Side Sneakers - usually under 5'2", these small amoral beasts wait at the side of the doors and instead of allowing the hundreds of commuters who have queued for 20 minutes to get on, they sneak up the side of the train and disappear into the train.
Free press junkies - Thinking about what might be on page 3 of the Metro gets these people out of bed. Wide awake they jog to the station in time to pick up there daily hit. They gladly accept any handout from people around the station including - Shortlist, stylist, Sport, Job papers, Election material, signing petitions and paying buskers however woeful. These people are the only ones to bemoan the loss of London Lite and thelondonpaper, and to think that Metro writers are funny, witty, hard hitting, informative and have full command of the English language.

Talking Weirdos - TFL employ method actors to scare their customers on their daily commute. This distracts attention away from other poor areas of service such as suspended lines and broken escalators. The Characters are sometime religious, sometimes violent and often drunk.

Rollerbaggers - If you are going on holiday, don't go at 8-9 a.m. If your not going on holiday, but your bag is on wheels you don't need it to be. If you do need it to be on wheels you have too much stuff and should not take it all. Carrying a bag is good exercise and ensures you don't take unnecessary items. Rollerbaggers run over your foot, take up the room for 3 people on the train, are the width of four pregnant teenagers who's hang out is a local chip-shop. They look peeved when anyone leans on there precious bag (which is most likely bough from sports direct for £7.99). This diagram explains why all St Peter doesn't allow rollerbaggers to pass through the pearly gates, however good they have been in life.
The blue dots are people, the white route is a sensible walking route so as not to cut people off, the red route is that of a rollerbagger. It is punctuated by a stop to retrieve a pointless item from said bag.

Next time your on the tube, keep one eye open and see how many of these wackos are in your carriage. Just don't speak to anyone!