I wrote this disaster as a guest post for Daily Urbanista.
If you’re English you’ll know it as the Tube. If you’re American, it’s the subwaaay. Elsewhere it’s the Metro.
Just wanted an excuse to put this little guy in to be honest
Whatever name you give your underground trains, they are universally sweaty, cramped and pumped full of VERY ANGRY SHOVING. They also have that super-bright, super-unflattering strip lighting that – when you catch a glimpse of your pallid reflection – horrifies you so much you swear you’ll never leave the house again. LIKE, EVER.
The Underground in London – as around the world – is a CORNUCOPIA of fun and games.
Fun like ending up with your face in someone’s armpit.
Games like ‘will I actually get to work before 11am?!’.
Now doesn’t that look cosy, my loves?
My friend once actually managed to conduct a whole relationship between Oxford Circus and Brixton, despite the strip lighting, so you have to applaud her. The vixen met him, pulled him and broke it off, all within 6 stops. A modern day Romeo & Juliet, those two.
Another friend of mine – let’s name and shame you Emma – once fell over on the train (not unusual) but the speed the train was going sent her rolling down the carriage like a sausage (slightly unusual). A beautiful, streamline sausage I hasten to add. But off she rolled. Right down the carriage.
My own Ultimate Worst Tube Tale is from a few years ago. I was travelling alone and, with every seat taken, was forced to stand between seated commuters in the gangway, trying to stay upright. I don’t tend to hold on to any rails or overhead straps to keep my balance for three main reasons:
- Setting myself the challenge of not falling over
- Working on my CORE
All three very important, I’m sure you’ll agree.
This journey though was the bumpiest ride I’ve ever experienced on the Tube. And, given that I was trying to surf the bumps hands-free, one violent jolt sent me flopping RIGHT into the lap of the middle-aged man behind me.
AWFULLY EMBARRASSING, NO?
It gets worse.
The train was SO incredibly bumpy that I physically could not get up OUT of this gentleman’s lap. Each time I TRIED to stand back up the locomotive’s locomotion sent me bouncing back down onto him.
I act out this anecdote with great gusto at parties and get my main man Tony Baggins to play the innocent lap dance victim. But – if you can imagine without a reconstruction – it was basically just me riding up and down in this man’s lap while nobody did anything to help. Even the man himself did nothing and seemed to be paralysed in fear. I bloody hope it was fear anyway.
I would guess that his free lap dance lasted about 20 or 30 seconds. Count to 30 now and please appreciate how long that actually is.