Having lived and worked in London for many years I have grown up hearing people moan about public transport almost on a daily basis. Whether that be that the trains are always delayed, the cost is too high or that someone was sick on their shoes on the way home late on a Friday night, people are obsessed with moaning about the service.
Even the train companies themselves do little to dampen this argument as they seem to constantly boast about the tube being the 'oldest underground train network in the world', which although great if you are looking to enter the Guinness book of records, when it comes to providing a good service, being 100 plus years old doesn't exactly make you think 'ooh well getting on the underground is going to be awesome'.
I mean take my Nan for example, she was the oldest person in her council block, which again was great, but due to her age she also had a bladder that leaked like a colander and a set of teeth that she had to keep in a glass jar by her bed, so I don't really see how being the oldest is a particular benefit, it just means everything starts going tits up! Or maybe it should be tits down I guess in old peoples cases?
Anyway, personally I don't have many issues with the actual service itself, it gets me from A to B and the line I am on is very rarely delayed or cancelled. I mean yes they need to put in more carriages and invest more on the service considering the price of a ticket, but what does make using public transport frustrating, irritating and quite often soul destroying is not purely the transport itself but some of the damn public getting on it, some of whom seem to go out of their way to make other people's journeys hell!! So here it is, my top 10 commuting pet peeves:
1. The pushers. You jump on a busy train relieved that you have claimed what you think is the last spot on the carriage and shuffle yourself into a position that hopefully won't leave you crippled when you try to get off it 20 minutes later. You then wait for the doors to close behind you so you can lean back on them and give yourself at least an inch of room so you don't end up using another passengers hair as dental floss every time you breath in and out. That's when it happens, some irritating bastard decides that even though there's probably more room in a midgets coffin he's going to try and jump on the carriage anyway, shoving you in the back with a bag he's using to make the touching of a stranger in public seem less perverted and sending you straight into the arms of the stranger in front of you like the commuting version of a scared Scooby Doo.
Seriously what the hell is that about? I can just about understand it on an overground train, as these can run every 20 or 30 minutes so if you miss one then there is a bit of a wait for the next, but on the underground the trains are more regular than my dear old nan, so at worst you are going to have to wait 2 or 3 minutes? So if you are one of those people, then FUCK THE HELL OFF ALREADY, IT'S 2 GOD DAMN MINUTES!!!!
2. The shufflers. These are the people that turn up to the platform just before the train arrives and then proceed to shuffle along it in a blatant attempt to sneak in line of where the doors of the train will open so they can jump on first and leave you wrestling with some other poor sod to get on before there's no more room. They will even barge you out the way just to get to that first spot and once on will then pretend that they have no idea what just happened or why you are now tutting very loudly at them in disgust (obviously as English people we can't shout when someone's wronged us, just a strong tut will suffice).
I actually remember once when I was waiting on a platform as my train was the 2nd one due in and there was a blind man with a white stick standing next to me who was waiting for the train that was about to arrive. As the train pulled in, the doors ended up right by the blind fella so he was in the prime spot to get on first, just as his disability naturally warranted. However at this point a whole host of people started shuffling along the platform in unisson like they were doing a synchronised Cha Cha Slide and barged him out the way so they could get on first!
Now obviously for something like this I couldn't just do the usual tut and turn a blind eye (boom boom) so I started shouting at the people who had now got on about how fucking pathetic they all were, before grabbing the blind guys arm and squeezing him on to his train before it pulled off. Well I say 'his train', but come to think of it he did look a little confused as he went off into the distance? Ooops, ok so I may have manhandled a blind man onto a train he didn't want but those shuffling bastards still shouldn't have pushed in!
3. The gropers and the huggers. Now I don't have too much of an issue with the gropers, not because I'm a pervert and want to be groped (well maybe a little bit), but because as a man who is about as attractive to the general public as a hygiene inspector is to the owner of a Kebab shop, it is very rare that anyone decides to put their hands anywhere near my twig and giggleberries on purpose. However, due to some peoples apparent lack of spatial awareness a day doesn't go by where some part of my body isn't being dry humped by someone who seems to think a train carriage is a perfectly good place to apparently attempt a Heimlich manoeuvre on me just because they haven't got all the room they wanted. Jesus, at least with genuine groping you might get a cheap thrill out of it, but when a stranger is riding you like Sea Biscuit just because they've spotted you have a few millimetres of space to yourself that they want to claim as their own, my God its annoying.
4. The 'Move downers'. You know the ones, you're on a train that's so packed you feel like part of you may have actually inadvertently entered another unsuspecting passenger and some dude is banging on the window and gesticulating at you to "Move down". You look around and throw your hands up as if to say "where to" but they carry on shouting and get increasingly aggressive about your apparent lack of interest in climbing up into a luggage compartment so they can get on. "move down, Move Down, MOVE DOWN" they'll yell as if the sound of their voice will instantly make another carriage appear or scare you enough that you will pull out of the person you're currently spooning, get off the train and give them your spot just because they're behaving like a dick. Now I don't mind the ones who ask you to move down when there's clearly room, but when the carriage is so packed you're nose is currently nestled into the top of some old dears bouffant, being asked to move down is enough to send you over the edge.
5. The 'Is she pregnant or is she just a bit chubby' moment. So a few weeks back I was sitting comfortably on the tube, looked up and spotted out of the corner of my eye what I thought was a young pregnant lady holding tightly onto one of the rails in the carriage. So as I am a gentlemen and because no one else had apparently spotted the poor girl hanging on for dear life I decided to offer her my seat so she could ride the rest of the journey in relative comfort. WHAT A FUCKING MISTAKE. Upon me giving my kind offer she retorted by giving me the kind of dirty look I feel should only really be reserved for the likes of mass murders or paedophiles, which I guess is ironic considering what I thought was her current state. She then turned her back on me and faced the other way whilst it quickly dawned on me what I had just done. I'd offered my seat to a fat person. Yikes!!
So because of this and other similar issues I've had when offering my seat on the train I feel there should be a law that forces anyone who is pregnant to wear a badge saying 'baby on board' or alike so gentlemen like myself don't offend anyone who may have gained a few extra pounds. Or alternatively fat people wear one saying "I'm not pregnant I just look like I should be". Either way works for me.
To be continued.........