[Images: Nathan James Page]
1. The door-barger
Londoners pride themselves on queuing. It’s something we’re rather good at. We may not enjoy queuing per se, but we understand it keeps us from the total collapse of civilisation. So why is it so common for people to flout this ancient rule on the tube? The number of people who think it’s acceptable to slink in front of you as the doors open or even (gasp!) hop on before letting people off the train…you’d think we were living in prehistoric times. Are there no standards any more? No morals? This wasn’t how we won the war.
2. The complainer
The carriage is packed, and it smells like someone’s stuffed camembert in their armpits. Only one thing can make it worse: the passive-aggressive whiner, who feels the need to tut audibly because he works in the meedja, has the job title of ‘digital content architect’ and resents having to share confined spaces with gormless serfs like us. Especially YOU – since you’re obviously pressed up against his Fjällräven backpack and deliberately squishing his vegan tortilla, right? The nerve!
3. The spreader
On public transport we avoid eye contact with fellow passengers at all costs. Nonphysical contact is bad enough, so the physical kind is unpardonable. Nothing ruins a good, stonily silent London commute like some bloke spreading himself so far into your personal space that you might as well be in a relationship with him. No man has nuts so big that he needs to do the splits to give them a proper airing. If he does, we hope he’s taking the tube to see his GP – because that shit ain’t normal.
4. The day-tripper
Commuting isn’t a choice. Do we get on the tube at 8am with the gazillion other miserable suits for fun? No, it’s a painful necessity, a hard slog. It’s the price we pay for living in Zone 3 and also working in Zone 3, just on the other side of town. And nothing makes that slog as sloggy as a bunch of daytrippers, in town from Fartfordshire to take selfies at rush hour on the Central line. Can’t they tell that 8am is the wrong time for their boundless excitement about the prospect of their visit to M&M’s World? Save it for 11am. And leave the rest of us to our quiet, dignified despair.
5. The heavy petters
We get it. You’re in love, and you don’t care who knows it. You’re wafting along in a world of sunshine and rainbows. But, canoodling commuters, let’s be clear: this isn’t ‘Last Tango in Paris’, it’s the last tube to Walthamstow. And this little enclave of British reserve can’t handle displays of other people’s happiness. Save that for your next trip to America, you savages.
By Justin McDonnell, who is a spreader.
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