Wednesday 10 October 2012

The London Underground is No Joke

A trip on the London Underground, particularly in rush hour, is an underrated occasion. It offers a plethora of experiences, including the warm, up-beat banter with those behind you as your ticket or Oyster card fails to open the barrier at the fifth time of asking; the relaxing ride on the escalator when you forget to squeeze over to the right as much as your body will physically permit in order to allow red faced, suit wearing, laptop wielding, office hours enthusiasts to barge past you so that they can narrowly miss the southbound Jubilee line train that was so packed with commuters that you’d have to fold a postage stamp in half to add it to the load; the hilarious confusion as you suddenly find yourself in the wrong wave of marching humans and begin spiralling out of control, buffeted this way and that, back toward the escalators from which you had just alighted, like a preoccupied salmon. And that’s before you’ve even reached the platform. 

Jump in, London, the water’s warm

All good clean fun, and it simply serves to perpetuate the widely held belief that Londoners are among the most friendly and gracious people in the world. But not everyone is satisfied with their Tube experience, with the underground system regularly accused of being expensive, archaic and unreliable. Ingrates often look to the subway systems of Paris or Munich, which are cheap to access, modern and dependable, and then demand something similar in London. But what they forget is that while the aforementioned systems appear to be better in every way, they are in fact full of foreigners, unlike the London Underground system which is peopled predominantly by English gents in bowler hats.

It stands to reason that the minority of travellers that are not English gents in bowler hats often need to be instructed on how to behave during their journey, which is why London Underground helpfully adorn their trains with didactic messages, such as “Do Not Obstruct the Doors” for people who in general like to obstruct doors, “No Entry Unless Authorised” for people who frequently like to enter private areas without authorisation, as well a signs indicating that priority seats should be given to those less able to stand, directed primarily at people who have somehow grown up with no sense of decency.           

It appears, however, that not everyone sees the benefit of being told how to behave by those that know better, and are hitting back with a childish campaign of subversive vandalism. A growing number of anarchistic idiots are placing spoof signs on tube trains which give misleading and often dangerous instructions, such as this:

This was recently placed on a tube train giving the impression that travellers using these seats would have to move at 8.30pm to make way for a dinner party. The party did not turn up, and all that was achieved was that a friend of mine had to stand for the remainder of my his journey. Bastards.

Another sign my friend fell foul of was one which read "Peak hours may necessitate you let other people sit on your lap." I will refrain from going into details regarding the events following this so-called prank, but suffice to say that I am no longer welcome on the eastern branch of the central line.

I mean my friend is. Isn’t. Fuck!

And don’t get me started on this one:

In my opinion shooting’s too good for them.

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