Mind the gap

Ahh, the tube.  That miracle of engineering.  That transporter of industrious souls off to bring home the proverbial bacon.  That inspiration for poetry, art and music.  Sound familiar?  Thought not.

It is a fact of life that if you live and/or work in London, you will have to take the tube at some point.  If you visit London as a tourist, you will feel that you have to take the tube at some point.  And even if you claim to hate the tube and try to avoid it at all costs (cycling, bus, taxi, walking), you will still have to use it at some point.  The tube is omnipresent (except when you want to buy an affordable house with good transport links which is when there suddenly seems to be an unhealthy lack of tube stations in desirable parts of south London), and you only need to look at the state of near-panic we’re all experiencing ahead of the strikes this week to realise how much we’ve come to depend on that noisy, smelly, overcrowded network of underground passages that are essentially glorified cattle carts.

So without further ado, here are My Top Ten Most Hated Things About The London Underground:

1: PDA Couples

We’ve all encountered them, generally when you’ve just been through a break-up.  WHY do they need to kiss so noisily at 7:30am on a Wednesday??

tubepda

2: The Antisocial Backpack

Generally takes up at least one person’s standing room, and pokes you uncomfortably hard in the boobs with weird buckles and attachments.

backpack

3: The Lone Salmon

That guy who wants to get on the platform when everyone else wants to get off, or hasn’t sorted out his tube strategy and finds himself at the opposite end of the platform from where he needs to be

crowd

4: The Northern Line

Overcrowded, hot, smelly, never works properly, high chance of bumping into someone you don’t want to, confusing for first-timers with that whole ‘Bank Branch’ thing, and a veritable death trap if you want to get on at Clapham Common or Clapham North – why more people haven’t fallen onto the tracks at rush hour defeats me.

clapham

5:The Pole Hogger

That’s where my hand is meant to go!  Shame on you, Patrick Stewart…

pole

6: Over-efficient Heating

Clearly the bods at TFL who control the temperature of the tube have never had to travel on the tube at rush hour.  Mmmm hello someone else’s sweaty armpit…

hot

7: The Mystery Farter

Seriously people, do some squats before you leave the house or something, just get rid of it before you subject a packed carriage to the results of your inner gaseous movements.

smell

8: The Guy Who Stares

He flouts the no-eye-contact rule, he’s looking at you every time you glance in his direction, and OH MY GOD what is he doing with his hands?!

stare

9: Shit Earphones

Because of course everyone in the carriage wants to listen to angry metal music as well…

earphones2

10: Lad Soc

Drinking cans of Fosters, doing pull-ups on the bars, trying to engage strangers in conversation, tend to be Australian…

lads