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This is a question Public Transport Trauma

Completely Underwhelmed writes, "I was on a bus the other day when a man got on wearing shorts, over what looked like greeny grey leggings. Then the stench hit me. The 'leggings' were a mass of open wounds, crusted with greenish solidified pus that flaked off in bits as he moved."

What's the worst public transport experience you've ever had?

(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:13)
Pages: Latest, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, ... 1

This question is now closed.

I am posting this for the Chav on the 163
Last year, during the Rugby world cup, I was on my local bus going to the pub to watch the England match. On the bus were about eleven South Africans who were clearly avid fans and avid players. Some of them were huge. The type of blokes you would address as Sir yes Sir.

One of the larger blokes had brought his younger brother along to watch the game. The boy was about 17 and was quite weedy. I am sure that in his family he was the academic while his elder brother was the sportsman. The majority of the group sat on the back few rows of the top deck with the younger brother sitting on his own in the row in front of them.

We pulled into the next stop and just as we did the younger brother’s phone rang. He turned away from the group and started talking to his mate on the phone.

It was at that exact time that a group of five 16-18 year old chavs got on the bus.

They had hoodies, music blaring from their mobiles and bright white trainers on. They were doing nothing for stereotypes.

They approached the younger brother and said/spat

“Let me see ya mobile innit”
“No” said the younger brother in a remarkably brave voice
“I’m taxing ya mobile, give it ere or I will blade you with me flicky innit” replied the Chav gang leader
“Your do what” said the younger brother
“Ill cut you”

Now I am sure you’re expecting me to say that the group of South African rugby types stood up and kicked several shades of shit out of the chavs, but, they done something quite unexpected

They sat there and waited until the next stop in silence. As the bus come to a stop they walked past the chavs (giving a sly wink to the younger brother) as if they were heading to the stairs. Once they were all past the chavs they had them cornered on the bus with no where to run.

The elder brother approached the chav gang leader and advised him that he, and his entourage, would be best advised to take a seat at the back of the bus. The Chavs kicked up a bit of a fuss, but, eventually decided to comply when the older brother lifted the Chav leader clean off the ground by the neck. With one arm.

Once the chavs were at the back of the bus the South Africans demanded there phones, ipods, door keys, wallets etc. When they had collected the entire contents of the Chavs pockets they opened the bus window and dropped the items out one by one.
They then spent the remainder of the two mile journey writing words like “thief”, “robber”, “Chav” and “cunt” on the thieving-chavy-cunts faces.

And to add a final insult – the elder brother gave the chav leader two options. Piss himself in the middle of the bus or have his teeth removed.

The entire top deck laughed as a dark patch quickly appeared on his Kappa jogging bottoms.

As they got off the bus the South Africans were singing

“Chavy boy has pissed his pants do dah do dah”

Perhaps that was his most traumatic journey on public transport. It was one of the funniest for me!
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 13:13, 17 replies)
This from /talk a few years ago...
A story on the Underground

This happened this morning, I hope this is the right place to share plus it seems quite slow today, hope it's not too long.

My life is just one massive joke, everything stupid happens to me. 100% True story, written by me.

I’m a nice guy usually but an arsehole in the morning on the trains.

So I got down to the Central Line station this morning for there only to be massive delays, severe to the point of instant death if I stepped onto the platform. I had to turn around and walk back a mile up to Ruislip Manor. Oh how a man in cowboy boots can stomp up the road when angry.

So I got to the station, onto the platform with many other people, trying to guess where the train doors were going to stop. I know where they stop, FEAR MY UNDERGROUND KNOWLEDGE! Muahaha…ha…hold on what’s this, so does another bloke with a dirty suit! We are both hovering, around where the best empty seats are.

The train pulls in and I notice a solemn Metro on a seat, so does Chunky McSweatsuit. The doors swing open and we are both onto the train like greyhounds from the traps, I tread like a cat and intercept his lumbering feet with my cowboy boots and sit down on the empty seat, window else, and grab the paper, 3-0 to me! VICTORY! It’s the little things…

I feel great, Chunky McSweatsuit notices how I’m smiling like a French woman with a new face transplant (ie keeping it to myself) so decides to sit next to me and try and read the paper over my shoulder, bad move buddy.

I notice that he looks like a sports fan, I hover over the front page and then straight to the cricket scores, he peers in closer trying to see, bingo. I stay on the cricket bending it towards him so he can get a good view for a good 10 seconds and then POW I flick 12 pages back and to the theatre reviews! HAHA! 4-0! You can’t beat me! I’m now gurgling with glee! :D

I start laughing at myself and how much of a tosser I am, I feel great :D leaning the paper so he can’t even get a good view out the window as I block his light and he withers like a shitty flower :)

I give it 5 minutes and my early morning power trip starts wearing off, I’m starting to feel my usual happy good self again. Then all off a sudden Chunky McSweatsuit starts sniffing and grunting lots of snot and phlegm, refusing to blow and snorting every 20 seconds for the rest of the journey. Damn you…damn you 4-1. A late effort I feel.

So yeah, I get off the Met line and have to go on the Bake a Poo line, deep into the bowels of hell I go, down the escalator of woe and along the platform of crowdedness.

The train arrives and it’s packed, really packed. I notice a man with his belly pressed up against the glass and he looks really unhappy, it was like he ate a St Bernards for dinner last night and forgot to go toilet this morning. I laugh. It’s the little things.

The doors open and I slot myself where there was enough space for me and maybe a midget by my crotch. Then, no fucking shit I kid you not just as the doors were closing a teeny Asian midget slots himself in!! WTF!!

Is god playing a trick on me? I’m not sure whether to love the situation or hate it and freak the fuck out!

So, I’ve got no where to hold onto and the midget’s head is pretty much wedged between touching the plexi glass seat divider and about 1 cm from my belly and ball bag, I’m wearing rather tight trousers too.

As many a commuter will tell you, the section of the Bakerloo line between Baker Street and Oxford Circus is being re fitted and it’s particularly juddery and jerky to the point of falling over most times. As the train pulls away my crotch starts jackhammering the midget in the head against the glass! FUCK! I’m podging a midget in the ear!

I start to panic and try and pull away but all I’m doing is pushing against a woman behind me, I try and keep still but it’s not working and I’m now just rubbing his face left and right like some dirty windscreen wipers. I can see that the midget is cursing his disability with a passion of being born at the level of cock height.

I was starting to feel really bad for this guy and was going to just sidestep him and charge the carriage to the other end to stop this debauchery but what happed next threw that plan out the window. He started holding into my trousers…MY TROUSERS!!!

I’m now doing a Shakin’ Stevens impression to get his grip free but his cabbage like vice grip was having none of it. I was now starting to feel physically sick with the thought of a midget holding onto me as we are forced to make through-clothes love due to Metronets inability to maintain train tracks.

I was now getting desperate as I could feel the morning tosser boiling out of me as this clamped on midget was putting the ‘sensual’ back into ‘nonconsensual’ closeness. I had to think fast. I had no farts in me which would have been genius as I could have just turned 180 and brapped an eggy pop pop in his face for an ‘ummm smell the fresh bread’ bonus but that would be too perfect, but alas, I’m not that lucky.

I only had about 1 minute to go so I started sniffing the door seals trying to get some dust in my nose and get a tickle going so I could let out a huge projectile sneeze on top of the midgets head with added ‘lips spray and stare’ at the end but even though I was contorting my face into various bird impressions, I wasn’t lucky. I was defeated…

The doors opened at oxford circus for me to leap off and never to return, I didn’t even look back to see if the midget had a black eye from where I was inadvertently trying shatter his skill with my private parts.

So hear I am, now at work. 4-12 to the commuters… I hate mornings on the underground.
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:29, 10 replies)
Sleeping beauty?
On a Ryan Air no frills flight from Dublin back to Bristol, I found myself sitting next to some David Brent type suit who was boring the arse off the poor Irish lad in the window seat about the importance of his job and how respected by everyone he was. The obnoxious bastard wasn’t being quiet about it either, pretty much everyone on the plane was a captive audience for this wannabe Gordon Gecko and I could see heads turning and mutterings of “oh shut the fuck up” which were either ignored or didn’t make it past his internal monologue.

After about 15 minutes of this my brain said to my body “Well you can stay but I’m outta here” and I promptly fell asleep, something I rarely do on public transport. I must have slept for about 30 minutes because I woke up and we were just coming into land. The atmosphere on the plane had changed, people were giggling and I could see the stewards at the front of the plane were in fits of laughter. I was a bit groggy, I had a crick in my neck and I had to wipe the drool off my chin but the bloke next to me had shut up which was a bonus.

As soon as we landed and were able to get off, the suit next to me got up quick as a flash, shot me a dirty look and was the first off the plane accompanied by sarcastic calls of “byeee” from the other passengers. People were looking at me and nodding with approving looks on their faces, an air stewardess shot me a really saucy smile and a male steward patted me on the back as I left the plane. A bit confused, I made my way down the steps, across the tarmac and into the baggage claim area. Somebody said “there he is” and people started to come up to me, patting my back and generally wanting to speak to me. “What the fuck?” I enquired of my new admirers…

Apparently, after I had entered the land of nod, the arse next to me kept up his tirade of self-appreciation, but I had fallen asleep in a really weird position. My head was back and at an angle, my jaw hung open and my eyes appeared to have rolled back into their sockets. Word had spread around the plane and people were getting up to use the toilet just so they could get a look at the loud monotonous fucker who was making their flight a misery and the bloke next to him who had died of boredom.

Eventually, a large Irish gentleman stopped in the aisle next to me and said loudly and firmly to the suit, “Poor fellow, didn’t stand a chance sat next to you did he?” which was followed by howls of laughter from passengers and crew alike. Or so I was told.

Apologies for being a bit off topic. It’s hardly “The worst public transport experience ever”, nobody got stabbed or mugged or puked on, but it’s all I’ve got.
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 17:24, 5 replies)
Not exactly a bad experience, well for me anyway.
It’s a warm Monday rush-hour, I'm on the Bakerloo line from Paddington down to Charing X. The train was full and at Marylebone a hot, bothered and rather pregnant lady got on, I offered her my seat, no biggie, it's only 10 mins to my stop anyway.

At this point I’m nothing special I’m just a bloke in a suit who stood up for a woman, big deal.

I go back to my paper only to be barged past by a couple of twats with rucksacks who get on at baker street who whilst forcing their way onto the train annoy everyone standing in the lobby bit and one of them bangs the pregnant lady in the face with his rucksack.

They then proceeded basically tell the train that they were so excited to be getting the Eurostar from Waterloo (for this incident 'twas a while ago) and that their train is a mere 20 minutes away, they hoped they'd make it as they had restricted seats and needed to be on that train.

Alas dear reader, incensed as I was at the sight of the poor pregnant lady being spoinged in the face by the tail end of a rucksack without so much as the merest hint of an apology that I feel I somewhat over-reacted. I was no longer merely a bloke in a suit but an avenging angel, i did what any freeborn Englishman would have done in that situation.

Behind the back of twat #1 who was leaning with his rucksack against the pole, I winked broadly at the pregnant lady and proceeded to tie every available hanging strap and cord on the rucksack round the pole using as baroquely complicated knots as I could manage in the time remaining to me before I got off.

It makes my heart glad to imagine twat #1 attempting to rush for the Eurostar, it really does.
(, Sat 31 May 2008, 17:51, 9 replies)
Not exactly public transport
Couple of weeks ago I got told to remove my transformers t-shirt at Heathrow Terminal 5 to get through airport security. Told so because he was carrying a gun according to the security guy.

Anyway, after posting about it on my blog, the story broke.

I got on page 15 of "The Sun" on Monday.


BBC heard about it, and sent over a film crew. The news article:


And the interview that aired at 6:30 pm in London:


I got a pint out of it from the BBC. Which since it came from my license fees, tasted even better.

It even got as far that my Mum in Brisbane, Australia saw my picture on an early morning chat show talking about it.

So yeah, pretty crappy experience having to change my t-shirt at terminal 5, been interesting the fallout though.

Anyway, the worst experience is to come I'm sure, as I expect I've been put on a "black list" for extra special treatment next time I go through an airport, for showing what fools BAA are.

EDIT: BTW, the most amusing thing about the whole thing is reading comments on blogs/news sites around the world. They range from those giving grief to a 30 year old wearing a transformers t-shirt, to those arguing that it isn't Megatron, it's Optimus Prime.

My favourite comment so far "That's not a Brad, it's a Robert in disguise"
(, Wed 4 Jun 2008, 20:14, 15 replies)
Chavs. Buses. Phones. R n'B.
I think you can see where this is going.

However, I have been in a position to exact revenge on these scumbags on two occasions.

1 - Bus 65, Kingston-Ealing. Two teenage girls start their ridiculous tinny warbling from their stupid walkie talkies.

"Please turn that off" say I.
"Fuck off" say they.
"I don't want to listen to that" say I.
"It's a free country, innit? You can't stop us" say they.

In my bag, I have the following:

*An MP3 player full of the latest rockin thrash metal sounds.
*A pair of battery powered speakers.
*Balls of steel.

Cue, as a starter, "Army of Me" by Chimaria, a fine, rousing tune if ever there was one. Especially when turned up to 11.

"Turn that shit off" say they.
"Free country, innit?" say I.

After about 5 minutes (during which the deafening musical selection had changed to the soothing tones of "I will be heard" by Hatebreed) they turned off their phones. So did I.

2 - Bus 418, Kingston-Epsom

Similar scenario, this time 4 girls about 13 years of age.

This time, however, my armament was different, comprising:

*An acoustic guitar.
*Two mates.
*Three skinfuls of beer, shared out between us.

It's amazing how long three pissed blokes can keep up a rousing chorus of "I've got a song that'll get on your nerves." And as we were all musicians, we did the harmonies, and the secret second verse, which goes "We've got a song that'll piss off some chavs."

So if you're on a bus in South-West London, some chav is playing shitty music from their phone, and no-one else can help, maybe you can hire:

Axeman Jim and his weapons of sonic doom.
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 17:07, 11 replies)
Didn't happen to me personally, but I can feel the pain.
When my dad was a student he had a summer job checking tickets at Newcastle Central Station. Now, there was in those days a train service that ran direct between Edinburgh and Newcastle, and another train that ran the same route but stopped at Berwick upon Tweed and various other local stations. You can judge the age of this story by the fact that they actually ran more than one train a day.

Anyway, one morning a chap arrived on the Edinburgh train absolutely enraged because he had actually wanted to go to Berwick, and had been assured that the train he'd got on would stop there. And he'd stood at the door of the carriage with a dismayed expression as the train cruised happily (this was the 1950s, trains were happy in those days) straight through Berwick, with only time for a quick wave to his wife waiting on the platform. And he wanted to know What Would Be Done About It.

Well, these days the railway staff would just laugh at you and tell you to be more careful next time, but this was age of the New Elizabethan, so they apologised nicely and put him onto the correct train back towards Edinburgh. The one that would stop at Berwick Upon Tweed.

Towards the end of the shift, the very same bloke appears. He's now beyond rage and well on the way to having a heart attack, by the look of things.

Yes, my dad and his mate had put him back on the direct Newcastle to Edinburgh train by mistake. Once more he had stood at the door as the train trundled past his sadly waving wife at the station, this time in the other direction.

He'd arrived at Edinburgh fit to kill someone.

The Edinburgh station staff had apologised nicely and calmed him down a bit.

And then put him straight back onto the direct Edinburgh to Newcastle train again.
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 17:57, 4 replies)
Not traumatic for me as such but I nearly gave myself a hernia laughing.
Sheffield gets a lot of bad press regarding its public transport system. To be fair as if you don't live on the tramline you're stuck with First (the worst) Buses.

Being fortunate enough to live slap bang in the middle of the City Centre I am able to catch trams to just about anywhere that I may need to be.

Right so having begun the trip out towards the cinema just outside the City Centre I am happily sat upon the tram as we pass through the outskirts of Sheffield. As the Tram arrives at the Attercliffe stop for whatever reason the driver has pushed the wrong button in the cab and both sets of doors have opened. Nothing overly fascinating in that. My attention is drawn away from the extra set of open doors to an elderly lady in her mobility scooter. The tram platform and the entrance to the tram are about level, occasionally there is a lip of a couple of inches.

As the lady is trying to get the scooter on to the tram she is hitting the lip. The conductor makes his way down and utters the immortal line.

"Jus' rev it me duck, you'll be reet"

She follows these instructions with aplomb. Backing the scooter up about ten feet. She hits the accelerate and becomes a blur. She hits the little lip buggy bounces up into the tram. Sadly she didn't apply the brakes as quickly and promptly shot out the (mistakenly) open doors opposite landing on the opposite side of the track and crashing into the platform.

To this day it is probably one of the funniest things I have ever seen.

The conductors reaction was just as funny. After looking through the doors to make she was ok, which she was, he simply called after nher

"Look here Penelope Pitstop, this is a tram stop not the start line in Wacky Races"

I have never had the misfortune to simultaneously wet myself and soil myself but i was pretty fucking close that day.

Length she went a good six feet past the tram before she landed.
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 20:42, 5 replies)
Many years ago I used to do an utterly horrendous commute into London by Coach. This journey could take anything from one to three hours depending on how much the whole world was against me...

Anyways, one day after work I somehow ended up drinking Super-Tennants with a dirty tramp in a gutter somewhere, I have no idea how or why, suffice to say that he was my best friend at that particular time despite the fact he had wooden teeth. After many drinks and Pogues renditions I eventually had to bid my farewell and sauntered off to get the coach home.

Once seated, the coach rumbled away and immediately I needed a piss. Knowing full well that I was at the mere beginning of a roughly two hour hell ride before I could release the torrent of urine I could vividly picture swishing round my bloated bladder, the desire to urinate grew more powerful and desperate by the minute.
After what must have only been fifteen minutes or so, I was practically in tears, contemplating getting off the coach on the motorway and furiously crossing my legs. When I could take it no longer I had to take evasive action.

Glugging back the remainder of the Super-Tennants clutched in my sweaty palm, I carefully removed my thankfully tiny todger and placed the tip of the bobbys helmet on the can opening. Instantly a hot yellow stream jetted inside with a ferocious sound, awaking a few of my fellow passangers from their slumber. Relief was sweet but short lived as the can began to fill and I wasn't nearly finished - I felt like I hadn't pissed for years and could have quite easily filled a keg at this point.

By now my brain must have not been functioning properly as I desperately sought another solution.
And then it struck me. Even to this day I can barely believe it, but dear readers I must confess - I calmly undid my shirt and removed it, unbuckled my belt a notch, and then simply stuffed it down my trousers LIKE A MASSIVE FUCKING NAPPY!

I unleashed hell for what seems like hours, practically cumming with the sheer pleasure of it all until finally I was done and nothing more than a trickle warmly emenated from my limp and wrinkled babycock.
By now even through my drunken haze, I could smell piss. This hot coach began to heave with the unmistakable whiff of adult nappy juice and I HAD to hide my shame.

As I bent down to try and remove the makeshift Huggies from my tousers into my bag I accidently knocked over the can of Super Tennants urine which went happily spiralling down the coach glugging my pungent slash all the way down the aisle til it plopped down into the drivers cabin spewing liquid tramp odour much to his suprise.

I said nothing, but waddling off that stinking bus with a giant piss filled nappy down my strides avoiding the glares and mutterings from everyone on board is an image that will stay with me forever.

I get the train now.
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 17:30, 8 replies)
Mass Transit
Like many other ordinary London wage slaves, I baulk at the prospect of £0.76 out of every £1.19 litre of petrol I put in my car going to Gordon Brown so that he can joyfully spunk it all away on banks, hospital managers and PR gurus with all the restraint of Posh Spice at a Harvey Nicks closing down sale. Indeed, it's fair to say that it makes me seethe like Mount Etna after imbibing an city sized prawn vindaloo.

Then there's the inescapable fact that it's nose to tail traffic all the way in to the office. My stress levels are raised by rounds cut and thrust driving and sparring with between psychotic cockney cab drivers ("Faahk orf aaht 'uv it, ya faahkin' khant!"), rabidly deranged MILFs in Mercedes SUVs smug in the knowledge that their pampered offspring are safe from the paedophiles lurking behind every lamppost along the school run, the sleepy truck drivers who insist on taking fucking ages to do anything and worst of all, those wretched souls who persist on washing your windscreen at traffic lights and feign ignorance of the universally recognised meaning of "Fuck off!".

Yep, driving one's own car is bad for the soul these days, so I elected to do as Norman Tebbitt once helpfully suggested and get on my bike.

My ride to work is roughly ten miles and to be honest I'm quite happy with the journey as most of it carries me along a canal towpath and through a nature reserve. It's a heck of a lot better for the soul than a miserable journey by road staring at the arse end of a TX1 cab, chauffeured by a lobotomized OrangUtan.

Quite frankly, it's a revelation. Each morning I get to appreciate the tranquil beauty of nature as it goes about its wholesome business while I pedal past. Winter mornings I watch the sun lazily rise and the crisp, dark rides home leave me feeling refreshed and smiling. On warm summer mornings, I'm waved at by friendly folk on their canalboats and I've slowly been accepted as part of the scenery by the numerous fauna I pass en route.

"Good morning Mr black and white water bird, with big blue feet" I cheerily announce as if I'm greeting a neighbour.

"Hello Deer!" I smoothly chime to a timid creature staring at me through the hedgerows.

It's wonderful, there's no-one to criticise the badness of my puns. I swear that on some mornings, the animals smile back.

However, I'm not the only one who's made a move toward more eco-friendly transport. And frankly, the six foot wide towpath has suddenly become somewhat claustrophobic as half of London seems to have cottoned on.

Kamikaze Jews

There is a small, demented group of Red Sea Pedestrians who have embraced off road cycling. The fact that these guys eschew the normal garb of baggy man made fibre for traditional snow white shirts, black waistcoats and skullcaps means I have some long range warning as they approach. Dear God I need it.

They're crazed I'm telling you... For they never, ever let me pass. Instead, they opt to aim their bicycles straight at me as if to challenge me to a game of towpath chicken. They don't hang about either, any collision with these old testament folk is going to hurt some.

I'm forced into the shrubbery to let the Orthodox folk past, but never once do I get a nod or smile of recognition.

The Slavering Hounds

Dog walkers. They're a selfish bunch aren't they?

Without fail, at least once a day a middle aged person with a brace of semi feral canines will pretend not to notice my approach until the very last minute, until they suddenly stop, panic and attempt to usher the hounds to one side of the path.

"Come here!" they'll brainlessly twitter as their dog promptly ignores them and stands sideways right in my way.

Slow. Brake. Stop.

"Oh he's usually much better behaved!" is generally the response I get as their ridiculous excuse for a dog is shooed along.

Then there's the dog owners who aren't as bright as their pets. Last year, I'm minding my own business when a large spaniel chasing a stick leaps out in front of me, making me slam on the anchors and nearly fall off my bike.

"You should keep control of your animal!" I yelled at the slightly overweight middle aged woman owner.

"You should watch where you're goin' innit!" she yelled back before compounding her stupidity with the sentence "This ain't a cycle path!", oblivious to the fact that a large, blue sign not six feet away stated otherwise.

The man I presumed to be her husband appeared by her side. Fuming, I pulled my headphones from my ears and looked them both in the eye.

"It can't be easy being married to someone so stupid" I sympathetically offered the more masculine of the two.

With that, I swung a leg over my bike and pedalled off, leaving a stunned silence in my wake. Never has a point been so well made.

Hissing Hitler Geese

Geese are rubbish. The avian answer to the Pit Bull, these birds have an evil temper and think nothing of squaring up to you hissing like Mary Whitehouse at a Chubby Brown gig. Never mind that I'm ten times the size of them, they'll eyeball me and have a go

The very towpath that was created and maintained by homo sapiens is ruthlessly annexed by a bunch of territory obsessed thugs. Honestly, they even goose step too.

Once they've finished conquering by intimidation, they decide to leave the place liberally spattered with greasy, goose shit just waiting to cause chaos.

"Oooh fuck!" I'll whimper and my front wheel suddenly slips sideways as I feel an unwelcome twitch in the saddle area as I momentarily contemplate an unplanned dunking in the canal.


Having to scrape slimy green kaka off my expensive Specialized frame every day is not quite the ultimate indignity.

Even worse is trying to lever out the stinking remnants of some incontinent canine's last meal from my tyre treads before I wheel my bike through the office.

No, my most recent scatological trauma is far worse...

One morning I'm happily pelting along the towpath as the sky is blue and the bright sunlight is warming even the darkest recesses of my soul. The day is perfect, however as I round the next corner I'm greeted by a sight that even now I'm unable to fully accept as reality.

My gaze falls upon a man in his twenties, squatting by the side of the path in broad daylight, pants round his ankles joyfully indulging in an al fresco number two, looking like he didn't have a care in the world... Not fifty yards from a set of well maintained public toilets.

"Mornin' mate" he greets as I cycle past.

For the love of God and all things holy, what kind of utter bastard unleashes their stinking arse cigar by the side of a path so that everyone can cycle through it? Short of seeing the disgusting individual hung, drawn and quartered, I cannot think of any penalty which befits that particularly unpleasant crime.

It's only going to get worse when nobody can afford their own cars anymore.
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 16:52, 7 replies)
Hmmm, I may have to change my username........
I rarely travel on public transport in this country because it's shite outside the capital and frequented by London types in the capital.
I have, however, inflicted trauma on public transport.
I was on the platform in Manchester's Picadilly station watching two DNA wastes trolling through the crowd. Whenever they saw someone of a victimlike nature they'd bum a fag (ooer mrs etc.), ask for a light and keep the lighter etc. I was sitting on a bench with my laptop bag between my feet whan the taller of the two subhumans caught my eye and wandered over, his simian mate wandering behind me. Obviously they thought they would try it on.
Wrong guy.
As oxygen thief one drew closer, I took my umbrella in my right hand (as an aside, it's one I bought in a "special", invitations only, security show in London. Carbon fibre and batteries go into it's construction, get the idea?).

He/it asked "What's in the bag"?

I replied "Nothing you'd want to die for sonny".

He took umbrage at this and moved toward me.

It's surprising how well nose hair burns when 65,000 volts are applied via the tip of said umbrella inserted into the nostril of the aforementioned miscreant. He/it fell in a twitching incontinent heap while I turned to deal with neanderthal two. Unfortunately for him, he'd decided to back away looking at me the whole time. Which was probably the reason he fell off the platform, onto the rails, breaking both ankles.

Which was nice.
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 16:28, 7 replies)
Found a seat!
I'd just finished a days work and was on a busy commute back home on a train that is regularly packed. I'm lucky if I even get space on the floor and it takes a good hour usually, but is always fully seated by the time it gets to my stop.

Ambling down the aisles after it arrives, I was in shock to notice that there was a free seat at one of the table boothes and quickly made haste towards it, not questioning why it should be empty.

As I sat down quite relieved, I realised why it had been vacant. Sat opposite me was a 16/17 year old lad with down syndrome. Not about to get up and lose my seat, and not thinking much of it anyway, I stay put and mess about on my phone a bit, trying to give an air of someone not wishing to be bothered. It didn't work.

"You alright" he said, looking over at me. As he said it I saw the various other passengers around the table look away or out of the window. Anywhere else really.
"Yeah I'm pretty good, you?" I offer back.
"Good too...Do you like sausages?"

I talked with him for about 5 or 10 minutes about how I preferred bacon really and was never a big sausage lover, which he couldn't understand because he loved them. I ravelled off the various merits of bacon against the sausage and so forth, but didn't win him over. It was clearly obvious throughout this that many people around us were eaves-dropping and it was beginning to get slightly awkward.

The conversation dies down and I pretend to go to sleep, like you do, so as not to be bothered anymore really. I probably sound quite horrible but it was a hard day and I'd rather not be bothered. I thought it was genius.

It seemed to do the trick, me closing my eyes, because he didn't bother me after that.

Anyway, about 10 minutes in to my 'snooze' my phone starts ringing. Can I ignore it? Could I just pretend I'm in such a deep sleep that I can't hear my ring tone or feel the vibration? Of course I fucking can't. So I answer it.

It's my fucking brother. I forget what he wanted, but it couldn't have been important, otherwise I'd know now what it was. I hang up and look across the table. He's looking right at me and now knows I am awake. He springs back into action:

"You're muscly." He says, completely out of the blue. I'm not really that muscly at all, but he appears to think so.
"I like to keep in shape" I say in cliché.
"Do you want an arm-wrestle?"

It takes some moments for the words to be fully comprehended in my head. A fucking arm-wrestle?! I stare blankly at him for a moment before politely declining but he persists further. I protest, trying to convince him I'm not muscly and it wouldn't be worth it.

I can't believe I'm about to tell you this, but I did actually arm-wrestle the lad. He was very insistent and I thought it'd be over quickly and then I could get on with the rest of the journey. That and it was fast becoming a scene.

So we get down to the arm-wrestle and it soon becomes apparent that I'm not going to win. I'm going to be beaten at an arm-wrestle by a 17 year old lad with down-syndrome on a packed commuter train in front of everyone.

I start feeling a bead of sweat run from my hairline and look up at my opponent. He's hardly exerting himself AT ALL. On top of this, he then starts laughing, quite manically and my hand begins to get ever closer to the table, trembling as it does so due to my obvious exertion.

Just as he's about to hit it down on the table and win, he lets go and laughs again to himself. I look round the train and notice a fair few people turn their heads as our eyes meet. They'd seen it all...

Anyway, it all went alright after that and was generally one of the more interesting commutes I've had. And I got to do it sitting on a nice chair...and technically, I didn't lose the arm-wrestle.
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 23:33, 5 replies)
Ear phones
The batteries ran out of my portable CD player. Ah, no. No. It's not the music that I'll miss, it's the sanity of complete isolation. With those huge headphones strapped on my head, no one talks to me. And now the batteries are dead. And I'm on the bus. With nothing to read. Oh, no. No.

Solution: I'm the only one that knows the batteries are dead. So I'll sit for a while, bobbing my head, pretending that everything is fine. Yeah.

I must have done too good of a job and now some teenage boy is tapping me on the shoulder. I turn around, remove one earphone from my head and resume the most annoyed expression I can.

The boy says, "Oh, can you turn that music down? It's really loud!"
"Okay..." I reply, amused. I fumble with the dial on my dead CD player. "Better?"
"Ah, yes," he says, a look of blissful contentment creeping across his face. "Thank you."

True story.
(, Sat 31 May 2008, 5:08, 2 replies)
Cocaine is one hell of a drug II
After leaving London for the sunnier climate of Milton Keynes, I nipped back down the smoke to see my mate Emma one Saturday afternoon. Took massive amounts of coke, stole a bottle of champagne from a pub and exposed myself to a bunch of theatre goers (which must have been well impressive after the substances I'd taken).

The next morning, I fell out of the hostel first thing in the morning, to avoid the warden blokey, who would chanrge me for staying there. I dragged my sorry arse to Euston and staggered up to the ticket counter. "single to Milton Keynes please, sweetheart" I said to the bloke behind the counter. "Certainly sir" he replies "what kind of ticket do you want?". "The one that gets me home earliest, chief" says I. A ticket is produced and suspiciously powdery, rolled up motes are handed over. I say to the fella "when's the next train?". "8:15, platform 9" he says. And off I trot.

After working out where platform 9 would be (in between 8 and 10, it would seem) I showed my ticket to the dude on the gate who pointed me at a big, red, train-like creature, which I duely got on and plonked myself opposite a nice, middle aged couple.

Not long after we left Euston, a ticket inspector wandered along the carriage, doing the ticket inspector thing and inspecting tickets. He took one look at mine and then the converstaion went like this:
Ticket Bloke: "You've got the wrong ticket"
Me: "Eh? Does this train not go to Milton keynes?"
TB: "Yeah, but you've got the wrong ticket"
Me: "Eh? But I got a ticket to Milton Keyens"
TB: "Yeah, but your ticket says Silverlink only"
Me: "Eh?"
TB: "your ticket says Silverlink only"
Me: "Yeah"
TB: "And this is a Virgin train"
Me: "Right"
TB: "So you've got the wrong ticket"
Me: "Run that one by me again, slowly"
TB: "You've bought a ticket that ony allows you to get Silverlink trains, this is a Virgin one"
Me: "What's Silverlink?"
TB: "A different train company"
Me: "Oh right"
TB: "so you need to buy a ticket for this train"
Me: "No I don't"
TB: *looks confused* "Yes, you do"
Me: "Why?"
TB: "because you don't have a ticket to be on this train"
Me: "Yeah, but when I bought that ticket, this is the train they told me to get onto and, since this train goes to Milton Keynes, I assumed it was the right one"
TB: "Well it's not, if you were going to Ney York and had a ticket to go by BA, you wouldn't get on a Virgin plane, would you?"
Me: "I would if I had been told it was going from platform 9 of Euston at 8:15 on a Sunday morning"
TB: "Well, you're still going to have to buy a ticket"
Me: "Not a chance, it's not my fault" (it was, really)
TB: "Are you refusing to buy a ticket?"
Me: "I guess I am"
TB: "in that case, sir, I am going to have to ask you to exit this service at the next stop"
Me: "Fine, where's that?"
TB:Milton Keynes"
Me: "you're a fuckwit"

He actually sat with me to make sure I got off at MK. I gave him a cheery waves as the train pulled away.
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 15:12, 3 replies)
Back in 2003 - 2005, I found myself in a long-distance relationship. This meant a lot of commuting, and I don't drive. Don't see the point in paying thousands of pounds, just to spend thousands more pounds to go places; etc, etc, etc, I'm sure someone else has mentioned by now the financial benefits of public transport.

Anyway, I was commuting a lot, from my home town of Liverpool, to my place of residence, here in North Derbyshire. Travelling on Sundays meant I needed to change at Manchester, then change again at Sheffield. This meant a lot of time was spent sat around at Manchester Piccadilly, on Platforms 13 & 14. Does anyone know why these Northbound platforms are so far out of the way, outside and exposed to the elements?

It was here, sat on a bench outside, on a warm, sunny late Winter/early Spring day in 2004, that my bizzare encounter began. I was approached by a group of 5 youths, aged around 18-22, and all looked to be of Middle-Eastern ethnicity. They sat next to me, and began speaking in a hybrid of English and their shared native tongue. Being on my own, I was obviously a little worried by this. My fear was not allayed when the youngest of the group suddenly turned to me and said "Good Afternoon", while the rest of the group sniggered.

I replied, and conversation started up between us. It was amicable; they asked where I was going, where I'd been, why I'd been there, then they told me where they were heading up to Leeds, and they'd just been to Manchester for the day because they'd been shopping. After a while bitching about train delays, the train arrived, and I decided that it'd be rude to not sit with this group and continue our conversation.

Old Father Time has cast his veil of uncertainty over much of the conversation, but I remember small parts.

- We talked about how my long-distance relationship was going. There was general agreement among my fellow travellers that they couldn't do long-distance relationships.
- This led into a joking reference to the fact that I must masturbate a lot. Unable to argue against this, I said nothing. The eldest of the group pointed to my right arm and told me it was clearly "just a wank muscle", while laughing.
- I asked if there was anything wrong with it, and they told me that they were Muslim, and that my wanking, in their eyes, was a sin, and I was going to hell for it.

Conversation then carried on with these Muslim chaps taking the piss out of one another, each claiming the other was clearly a hell-bound wanker.

I asked if it was difficult being Muslim, and their main complaint was about the white people that won't share a train carriage with them. I admit, I looked around, and the carriage was empty except us. The next carriage was full of people, but ours was empty. Of course, this made me somewhat angry, but more disappointed. These people were alright people, a bit crude, but certainly no more so than any white kids. This was just in the wake of the Madrid train bombings, but surely these would need to be the crappest suicide bombers in the world if they all sat in the same carriage, and had seemed to target just one infidel.

Anyway, I got to Sheffield, got off the train, and headed to my next train. I didn't get a phone number or e-mail address for any of my fellow commuters, but I did get some names. The one that seemed most interested in my relationship was called Shehzad Tanweer. Hasib Hussain was the one that was angriest about the treatment of Muslims on trains.

The conversation stuck with me for a long time, and probably changed my view on Muslims, and I became more aware of their plight in life and on public transport.

Then, of course, Shehzad and Hasib went and blew themselves up on the Tube in London, worsening the nation's view of Muslims further. Were they doing it for heaven? Perhaps they thought it would cancel out their wanking sins. Whatever, they were fucking idiots for doing it, and I found myself feeling very angry at them for it. I'm still angry now. I want to shout at them. The reason the carriage was empty, the reason Hasib was so pissed off, was because of people just like the person he went on to become.

Apologies for length, etc. Writing this out has depressed me a bit, actually.
(, Sat 31 May 2008, 11:23, Reply)
dirty bum
I was on the train to Sydney one day and saw the grossest thing I've ever had the displeasure of seeing (and I've seen fat, hairy 55 year old men in rubber g strings being spanked).

It was an early morning commuter train, so a fair number of the passengers were sleeping. Most of them did it every day and were well prepared with blankets and blow up pillows, especially as this was winter.

The passenger sitting on the other side of the aisle from me she must have had a cold as she kept sniffing, but was sleeping comfortably so didn't stop the filthy (and I mean covered in dirt and stinking) homeless man from sitting in the vacant seat next to her.

Now, being winter and this man having nowhere to live, he'd picked up a cold himself and was wheezing away for a good five minutes before it occured.

He hacked and coughed for about 10 seconds and then the greenest, thickest, rankest peice of lung cheese came flying out of his mouth and landed on her hand. He must have been embarresed by the occurance as he promptly got up and shuffled off.

The wetness on her hand must have awoken the lady as she slowly opened her eyes and looked at it.
Seeing no one (she thought) looking at her and with no evidence that anyone else could have done it, she leant down and quickly sucked it into her mouth, hoping no one had noticed.

I nearly threw up and then nearly choked laughing, but the lady, none the wiser, calmly went back to sleep.

I shudder to think what she caught by ingesting that, but I think it does show that what you don't know CAN hurt you.
(, Sat 31 May 2008, 2:48, 8 replies)
There's a lot of posting re: London Underground...
So let’s get things straight, once and for all. I present to you, the Devil In Tights Guide to London Underground Etiquette (if anyone from TFL is reading, the consultation fee is £300,000, non sequential £10 notes. Leave it in locker 4B at St. Pancras. Come alone.)

1) Have your ticket ready before you get to the barriers. Watching you fumble around trying to find it isn’t fun. Be prepared!
2) Move right along the platform, find a less busy bit. You don’t get cool points for being in the front carriage.
3) When a train pulls in to the station, stand to one side of the doors so people on the train can get off it, thus making space for you. Standing in a giant, impenetrable throng isn’t helping anyone, you know.
4) Let other people get off the train first. This is not a nightclub. It’s not ‘one out, one in’.
5) If you can’t get a seat, try to use the space in the aisles. That way, you can still read your Metro without using my head as some kind of rudimentary lectern.
6) While we’re about it, if we’re packed in like Sardines, don’t try and read the FT. It doesn’t make you look important; it makes you look like a tosser.
7) There will be a train in the next 5 minutes. Leaping on board between the closing doors does not the new Indiana Jones make, so don’t do it. If you’re late for work, start leaving earlier.
8) The playing of shitty music through tinny mobile ‘phone speakers is to be banned forthwith. It’s no-one else’s fault you have deplorable taste in music, and there is no reason for forced sharing.
9) Wheelie bags now require a driving licence. If it is light enough to be carried, then it shall be carried. No wonder we’re all getting fat.
10) Transport Police officers are now allowed, without prejudice, to shoot on sight people who stand still on the left when on an escalator. Alright, they can’t – but don’t make us resort to it, OK?
11) The rubbing (sexual or otherwise) of other passengers is expressly prohibited, unless a service is being paid for.
12) Smile. If we all smiled a bit more perhaps we’d all enjoy the experience a little more.

Further suggestions:

1) Three classes of carriage: a) Crackheads and strange people, b) Smelly people, perverts and Ken Livingstone, c) Normals. A test/urine sample will be required.
2) People aged 65 and over to be banned from the tube between 0700-0900 and 1600-1900.
3) For the Love of Mike – Air conditioning!
4) No mobile ‘phone conversations. Ever.
5) Free Cake for all passengers.

Now then. Can we all just get along?
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 16:33, 8 replies)
For all that can be said about Liverpool
(and will be, I expect), the public transport here is pretty good.

I could tell you a few "nightmare" journey stories involving random acts of violence, wee-smells, tramp fights (less fun than it sounds) and the persistent fog of weed on the top deck, instead I shall share some of the fun ones.

A couple of weeks ago, a chappie got on and started singing "Build Me Up Buttercup." By the time I got to my stop, the entire bus was singing and dancing along, including students, a postman, the driver, a couple of old biddies, some chav school children and a goth......oh yeah....and me.

On a different occassion
I got on a train to visit my parents for Christmas when my mum's present "split" open (a bottle of bacardi). I bought a couple of cans of coke and offered the slightly scruffy looking guy opposite me a drink.
We ended up chatting all the way to Nottingham, he had previously had mental health/drug problems and been homeless. He'd managed to get his life back on track and re-established contact with his family. He was on his way home to see his mum for the first time in 12 years. He was great, a true bringer of Christmas joy, it made my Christmas with my parents all the more special.

Public transport is not perfect by any means, but every day I get to play on DS, get free newspapers, chat with strangers, read books and generally get myself in a good frame of mind for work on the way there, and de-stress on the way back.

Public transport - YEY!
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 16:17, 4 replies)
This summarises my public transport experience.
To the tune of 'The Chattanooga choo-choo'.

Pardon me, boy
Is that the Chavanooga choo-choo?
It's a second rate line
The trains are never on time
I can afford
To board the Chavanooga choo-choo
On platform fourteen
Next to the ticket machine

You leave the Liverpool Street Station at a funeral crawl,
Sometimes it appears that you're not moving at all,
Skipping lunch was folly,
But what could be more jolly
Than a ninty pence Twix from the on-board trolley?

When you notice Romford showing on the display
Then you know that Shenfield's only one stop away.
Wait outside the station
With no explanation
Woo - woo Chelmsford, sometime today.

There's gonna be
A load of townies at the station
Drinking Special Brew
They'll start threatening you

You'll see a drunken loafer with some scars on his neck
You'll see his little brother dressed in Burberry check
Then there's the ladies
With their tattoos and their babies
One of each colour - they're collecting the set.

So Chavanooga choo choo
Won't you choo-choo me home?
Chavanooga choo choo
Won't you choo-choo me home?

I firmly expect to see this appear on sickipedia under someone elses name within the month, like what happens to all my best jokes.
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 16:15, Reply)
My mate Dave
was on a bus with a mate of his. Sitting in front of a couple of 'attractive' chavettes, they were party to their every word (every other word of which was 'fuck', or a variation of). Dave and his mate were trying to chat, but were repeatedly distracted by the stream of badly constructed obscenities, interspersed with the odd proper word, like chips, or kebabs.

They were hooked. It was like their very own mini Big-Brother, with 'ordinary' people laying their souls bare for the whole bus to be party to.

Then chavette #1 piped up, "Ah wuz wiv wor lad last neet, it were lush. W' had a proppa sesh, like, an' ah lerrim howk aal owa me chebs".*

Dave an his mate were both pissing themselves by this point, whereupon his mate turned around and said, "You let him howk all over your chebs? That's really classy".

Chavette just glared at him, probably not fully understanding that the phrase 'classy' was meant in a derogatory way.

Gotta love public transport sometimes.

*Translation: I was with my fella last night. We had a lovely time and as a token of my love for him, I let him spill his seed upon my breasts.
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 14:06, 9 replies)
The thrill of the daily commute (or how my mind works)
Check I've packed my sandwich and fruit in my bag, my wallet in my left pocket and mobile in the right. Ready to go. Walk down the stairs, get angry that the maintenance company still haven't sorted their shit out and gotten this stairwell clean. It's less than two years old and looks an absolute tip. What a pile of bollocks. Turn any lights off that have been left on. Why couldn't the guy who built the place just get timed light switches that you press once and turn off automatically. I wonder who's even paying the bill for the electricity in the hallway anyway. Another bulb gone, the electric's probably a bit dodgy in this building, not that I'd ever know. It'd be handy to have knowledge about stuff like that but I just really, really don't care. It's like wanting to learn another langu- Open the front door.

Fucking bin men have left the bins straddled across the path like an obstacle course again, bastards. Is this like some petty rebellion because I make their job more difficult. Why are those wooden chairs still there!? Can't someone phone the council to get them taken away? I'll have to get Bryony to do it or something.

I'll just pop the newspaper in the recycle bin. We've really got to get a separate bin, this hand-carrying of recyclable goods everyday is bloody annoying, especially as I'm the only one who does it. Saying that though there's so much that needs to be done to the flat... Best not to think about it.

No two steps can be on the same surface. Keeps me occupied till I get to the tube at least.

There's that old tramp again. He's one of the reasons I fear the summer. The idea of seeing him with his top off again and his matted silver jacket of hair is one I wouldn't miss too much. On the one hand I hate him for being there, everyday, with his trolley suitcase, on the other hand I wonder what the fuck his story is. He looks shabby, but not completely destitute. Anyway, probably best not to think about it too much.

Oh here we fucking go. 50 odd people at the pedestrian crossing and not one fucker has had the initiative to press the wait button. Since they've tilted the time balance in favour of traffic at these traffic lights, all we need is for them to only start ticking now. I'd fucking hate pedestrians here if I were a driver. I consider myself a pretty confident crosser when there's a gap, but these people are just taking the piss. Also, what's with people standing on the road!? Do they think that if they edge closer and closer that all cars will give up and just go "You win! On you go. I'll just abandon my car and we can all walk together hand in fucking hand"? Look at that bus about to pull off, he physically can't fit past. He's just gonna twat that guy in the face. Ooooh! That was close. The guy looks pissed now, haha. Well, if you will stand on the road, Sir Shitobot.

Finally I can cross. Why the fuck is everyone walking so slow. So many fucking people, and those bastards coming the other way can fuck right off. Not going towards the tube? Unemployed shitbrick, get out of my way. No I do not want a Metro thanks, although I'll actually verbalise my "no thank you" with a smile. That guy's just trying to make a living, no need to get arsey like some of these cunts just because he's trying to give something away for free, even if it is propaganda. I applied the same logic to those Scientologists the other day. Does that make me a better person? Does it fuck but at least I'm reducing the spread of negativity emanating from me.

Why is it that some people walk so slowly down stairs? I'm not talking about the elderly or someone who is physically disabled in any way, I'm talking about the woman who was walking at a reasonable pace back at the pelican crossing making a nice slipstream for me to capitalise on, but now she's strolling like she's at Kew fucking Gardens taking in the full splendour of nature. If that guy to my right picks up the pace, I can jump in the gap and get down these stairs 0.1 seconds quicker. It's not much but I'll feel better knowing I took the best path.

The ticket hall's rammed on the right with people stocking up their Oyster cards. Shit design that is. That lot could be siphoned off elsewhere, there's enough space. Instead they're just sprawling into the walkway like well-dressed extras from a George Romero film. Anyway, I'm past them now, time to make the most of the empty space behind them before deciding on the most efficient gate. Bollocks, I had to choose the girl with the dodgy Oyster card. Gonna have to be a cunt and cut through to the line for the gate next to me. Sorry! I learned a good lesson from my old boss that when acting like a cunt that way, just put a big grin on and below an apology in a loud voice and they'll end up either thinking you're simple or English isn't your first language and this is just some cultural difference. Either way, they'll be too confused to get too annoyed by it and by the time they work it out, you're gone.

The left escalator is always the best. I have no idea why. The right one is more in line with the less busy gates, so the gates where surely people who know where the fuck they want to go come from, yet it seems pretty consistent that the left escalator is the speedy one. A good display of unity here as everyone's walking down, not one bastard standing still, even on the right. I think the signs that say "stand on the right" are wrong. People shouldn't be encouraged to be lazy. The rules of the road should apply here. Right is the slow lane, left is the overtaking lane. That way, when some bastard starts strolling as though it were a hot summer’s Sunday on the left, I wouldn't have to bite my lip and try to channel my pure hatred into the back of his head.

Take a look to my left, no train, a look to my right, train. I never trust the "Next train" signs, they're always pessimistic. I don't care if the train's about to leave, I'm not here to travel first class, I'm here to get from a to b. I don't mind running whilst the doors are beeping.

No train on the other platform means I've got time to walk down the platform to get into the best position for the interchange at Stockwell. The double doors opposite the last opening to the other platform. You've gotta have a system. Most people can't be bothered to walk this far, so there are plenty of seats available, but I'll stand. If I do choose to sit, I'll never sit in the furthest seats, those are the "please give these seats up to someone more needy" chairs. If I get a seat, I want to be able to just sit, and pretend the world doesn't exist around me. It's either that or I'll stand, no in-between.

Take my surfing stance as I hear a train pull into the other platform and the beeping as the doors close on my own. No space issues here and I'll be getting off at Stockwell so once the doors are closed I brace in the centre of the doors on the correct side of the train ready to run if I can see a train on the opposite platform when we get to the next station.

A couple of minutes later and the train pulls into Stockwell. There's a fucking army of people all just standing there staring into the window as we glide past them, decelerating. This scene always makes me think of Zombie films. The desperation on their face. The single goal they all have. The uniform way they line up to the doors. BRAINS!

The train has stopped and the doors have yet to open. I can't see anyone making any space for me outside the train so I can get off and I can see a Northern Line train on the opposing platform with swarms of the cunts towards this one. In this second I give fair warning with a look of determined malice on my face targetted at the inconsiderate bastards in front of me. I'm letting them know that I will shortly be leaving this train and if they aren't polite enough to make a space for me to get through then I shall make it myself. The doors open and a little token half-arsed shuffling from one or two does fuck all. My path is still blocked. I drop my shoulders and walk as though I'm walking through an overgrown garden with thin vines hanging down in my path. Sure a few people get knocked, almost losing their balance, but it's their own fucking fault.

The flow of traffic in the walkway is still vastly imbalanced as I trail blaze the way to the northern line as the scout of the Victoria Line. Some have gotten complacent and haven't thought to look where they're going, maybe subconsciously thinking this is a one way tunnel. Wrong fucking move, amigo. A few shoulder on shoulder collisions always see the other person worse off as I'm actually paying attention to my stance and whereabouts. I'm being considerate, I'm about as far left as you can get skirting against the wall of the tunnel with it's helpful "keep to the left" signs, but any sign of weakness against these bastards will mean I'll never get through.

As I finally get through the doors close on the train opposite. It wasn't even that full! Shitty tube driver getting kicks out of abusing what should be a natural synchronicity between the two lines. Look up to the next train board. Oh bollocks. The next one's a Charring Cross one. There are hardly ever Charring Cross branch Northern line trains that go beyond Kennington, but here we are, patiently waiting for one. Great.

Ideally, I want to be at the far end of the platform but (a) so does every other fucker going to Bank and (b) that's the end where the entrance of the station is, so anyone without tactics will gather at this end. I cannot tolerate those without a game plan. I don't mind losing to better players, but every second counts here. I don't want to be on this network one second longer than I need to be. Best to find a spot mid platform where it's quieter so I can get a better strategic position on the train itself after boarding.

Dealing with a Charring Cross train is tricky. You want to find the position on the platform adjacent to where the doors open, secure your spot but not obstruct anyone who actually wants to catch that train. Media types no doubt. Charring Cross branch commuters generally tend to be more attractive than Bank branch equivalent. I guess the city takes a certain type of cunt. I find the best method is to stand your ground, then when the train arrives, move yourself right up against the train, standing at the edge of the doorway, not obstructing it at all. You allow the transition flow of people, but retain your front-of-platform position. Don't get too eager though. Watch this inconsiderate berk who thinks he's being clever by standing in front of the still open door as the waiting passengers who wanted to board have done so. Watch as that big burly running guy literally knocks him out of the way as he dives on board the waiting train just as the doors close. I nonchalantly take the opportunity to step in his now vacated place as he stands aside dazed. Now I've got the prime spot. Yes.

At this point I can even risk taking my book out of my bag to read. No more distraction from tube advertising which I pay far more attention to than I'd like. Those bastards better be paying good money. No advertising sinks into my subconscious as much as tube advertising. Look how cocky they are with their essays on the wall. There isn't an audience much more captive than that. We're close to autopilot time now, I can almost taste the victory. I ensure I'm behind the yellow line and I'm going no fucking closer no matter how hard someone's poking me in the back. It's not like it's going to make any difference. Here comes the train. Watch the minions around me envy my prime position. Look at the pathetic scheming in their eyes. Like a dog salivating over its dinner, have you no shame? It slows down, coming gently to a stop... Wait, the bastard's stopped a metre different from the last one! What a cunt!

It's usually a satisfying feeling watching the hoards pile out of the train, but there's a real problem here. I'm in a position that can not be described as prime by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, my closeness to the edge gives me absolutely no control over my path. It's sidestep all the way. There's real potential that I may not be able to board the train. All I can do is watch the people getting off. Shit, is that it? That wasn't a good turnaround for Victoria Line changers, this is going to be a challenge. There's not much in way of tactics at this point (or have I just yet to work out what is best) other than to shuffle and hope for the best. Some have given up, the train is almost rammed, but further down the carriage I can see there's more space. Inconsiderate motherfuckers. Riled on by this injustice I'm left with no choice but to make space where there is none and sort the filtration after the doors are closed. Sorry! Apply the loud beaming face method again, push into people uncomfortably to make sure the door can close around me and... Ouch! The bastard door opened again and smacked my head. That'll teach me to relax. Take two and we're away! Hooray!

I have no strategic handle to hold, but at this point I'm wedged enough that it doesn't matter. Got to keep my eye open for an opening to a handle though. No chance to read the book at this point but that may improve later. Got to stay optimistic, hey? My face is awkwardly close to another woman’s and I can tell she's pretty uncomfortable about it. What can I do though? She has the option of looking away, but my head is like a murderers on a pike in medieval London, doing nothing but staring vacantly in one direction.

It's funny watching the people at Oval. They're the ones I pity most. I used to have to get on here. No-one gets off at Oval and the train's as full as it's going to get. Breathe in- door opens. I look around sympathetically to the man standing there on the platform and also thank god for some relatively fresh air. It might not be country fresh, but it's better than that guy's suit jacket that could really do with a dry clean. My head's back and I'm taking big lungfuls of the stuff. BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP. Breathe in- we're off again.

Hooray for Kennington Bank Branch. I'm not fucking about as the door opens, I'll step off the train, onto the platform into a position that ensures I'm the first back on, but the Charring Tossers can get off more easily. Always good to shoot looks of distain at others who should really have done the same but instead are now bouncing about like human pinballs. Last one gone, now I'm straight back on. Don't toy with me German dude. I was on the train before and I'll be the first back one. Quick decision needed... Seating aisle or opposite door? Seating aisle or opposite door? Seating aisle or opposite door? Opposite door. The seating aisle will have high turnover and since this journey only involves the door opening on the same side at each stop, my opposite door position will give me minimum fuss like my own cave to hide in. There's good access to a handle, a good space to hold my book and now I can pretend to be somewhere else.

London Bridge. Used to get off here when working at my old job, amongst the swarms of people waiting to cram on but alas now I too have to deal with this, the biggest changeover stop of the journey. If it weren't for my prime location, I'd be battered alongside everyone else, but I can stand my ground and stay focused on the book, ensure that I'm using as little space as possible and tune out again.

Time to start the I'm-getting-off-at-the-next-stop-don't-you-know shuffle to inform those around me that they will shortly have to get to fuck. Eye up my opponents also performing the same game to work. Know your enemy. This is a game often with more losers than winners. Be forceful when dealing with people who'll be remaining on the train, but always back down in one-to-one battles with people also trying to get off. They'll be using the same force and it's just not worth it.

The platform's fucking rammed. Everyone's trundling at a ridiculously slow pace towards the Bank Of England exit end of the platform. Time to play the ace up my sleeve. Shuffling, 5 metres. Shuffling, 4 metres. Shuffling, 3 metres. Shuffling, 2 metres. Shuffling, 1 metre, and ninety degrees! Across to the opposite platform! Hahaha, look at my acres of space! A rare opportunity to walk full speed on the underground at rush hour should not be taken for granted. I'm like an Olympic fast walker, throwing in a cheeky waddle as they do too. Look right and catch someone's eye amongst the masses each time I walk adjacent to a walkway to mock them from afar. Look at me with my space, look at you with your zombie paced walking. I am better than you. I am the best.

Keep to the left up the stairs, sure it's slower than running up the right, but if anyone on the right wants to push an ascender back down, then I for one will clap. Them’s the rules.

Cut through the phenomenal people traffic to the lifts. The day I discovered the where the lift entrance was a good one. Goodbye elaborate twists and turns through the warren hole, this baby takes me right to where I need to go. Lift number 2 is still there, quick jog round the corner to have a look. Shit, no chance. Number 5 behind me is next. Bastards! Where did they all come from! I'd better get in that one when it arrives, you parasites. Surely I have rights, I was here before you! Aaah, the lift's huge, what am I worrying about. Got to stay as close to the entrance as possible as it's also the exit. Find the first available spot adjacent to a wall and make it your own.

It's plain sailing now. The slow ascent of the lift. The casual stroll out the doors with the other. Out the much less busy gates, keep to the left through the tunnel and then first exit on the left. No need to bother with overtaking games here, they're just plain dangerous in this tunnel. I've seen some pretty nasty collisions in my time. Unnecessary games of chicken. Nobody wins. This is the final furlong, almost back to the surface. Just the stairs remain. Almost ready to start fucking work.
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 11:06, 7 replies)
The Tube
I was stood on the platform at Waterloo waiting to get onto the train for Bank. Place was packed and everyone was doing the same shuffling forward and waiting to board. As I was going to work I was in no rush to cram myself in to a stinky carriage, so I got to the doors and made to wait for the next train.

It was then that I was elbowed aside by a power dressed business woman in trainers. She tutted and lept onboard to take her place in the miniscle gap by the doors, she looked out smugly upon me. Superior in her powerful business woman commutes regularly way.
The doors shut on her head.

I laughed so loudly, people turned to stare and frown. Apart from the one woman on the platform I shared a wicked smile with.
Made my day.
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 17:13, 2 replies)
I would like to apologise to the cleaners
of the toilets on First Capital Connect trains. I was mid-poo and needed to be sick and I wasn't sure what to do. I now realise that deliberating with my arse facing the door and my mouth the wall wasn't the best thing to do when the spasm hit. To spray so completely two sides of a toilet and the floor, although impressive, must have ruined your morning. You will be rewarded in the afterlife and I will be reincarnated as a toilet duck.
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:29, 1 reply)
Not mine, but someone else's
known as "The Unpleasantness on the Railway".

This FoF had gone to a beer festival in the West Midlands, and had - as you'd expect - drunk long and hard. He was sober enough to get himself on the last train home, a type of train called a Sprinter. I suspect some irony there, but still...

All was well until twenty minutes into a 50 minute journey, when our hero realises that the 12 pints of old Scrotum he's imbibed are not sitting happily and want out. There is, of course, no toilet on a Sprinter, or wasn't back then, back then being nigh-on 20 years now.

After some thought, he realises he's not going to be able to make the rest of the journey intact. Being a gentleman, the thought of soiling the carriage (which is thankfully empty) is not acceptable. Jumping out at the next stop means being stranded there, this being the last train and all beer tokens having been spent. He's considering whether the arc of piss would be high enough to escape out of the carriage's only opening windows (the sort that open inwards at a slight angle at the top of the frame) when he spots an empty crisp bag.

Necessity is the mother of invention; our hero manages a somewhat clumsy piss-into-bag-then-hold-willy-shut-empty bag-out-of-window-whilst-train-is-rattling-along manoeuvre with some aplomb. Only issue is the volume of crisp bag as opposed to quantity of urine seeking escape. After three bags have been filled and emptied - the task not getting any easier as the bag now has a tendency to stick shut - the pressure on the bladder seems not to have abated at all. We all know what it's like having to stop mid-flow, imagine that process repeating frequently - his prostrate must have been the size of a small onion by this point.
And then, the worst thing of all occurs - the train starts slowing down. The lights of the station can be seen as the train comes to a halt. And into the carriage comes a family, Mum and Dad and their two young, female, offspring.
Our hero somehow pushes past them as they get on the train, hand in crotch, suffering agonies one can only guess at. He then floods the thankfully empty station, spraying like a fire hose trying to reach a tower block. The relief is so great he practically forgets the impending 8 mile walk home; until he realises he's also forgotten his backpack on the train containing such useful extras as wallet, walkman and house keys.
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:37, Reply)
Not me but
I woman I worked with had a son in prison.
When he got out he came into town to see her.
He took the bus.
The first thing he said was 'have you seen the people you get on buses'.

The man had just been inside and he was horrified by the people on buses.
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:19, Reply)
I was on the Dover to Calais ferry
with two blokes, both called Ian, both had been stripped of their peerages for running their tongues along the outside of a bar

they were my worst pub-lick trans-port ex-peer Ians
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:29, 8 replies)
Got on a plane for a long-haul flight. Middle seat on a 747. Aaaargh.

Got settled in, just ready for twelve hours of vegetative contemplation, when chap next to me leans over and says:

"Tell me, do you ever read The Bible?"
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 9:28, 8 replies)
none of teh funny here, just an IT related rant - please move on
Already this qotw is proving to be a belter and I have nothing even remotely as funny as some of the gems posted here.

Once, however, on a bus coming home from work some years ago I overheard two off duty bus drivers have a conversation that made part of my inner child die as I came to the realisation that my profession would never command any respect in society. Ever.

I hate comedy nights.

Comedian: 'Ere, what do you do mate?
Me: *sigh* I'm a code monkey.
C: Eh?
M: I'm a software engineer.
C: Oh, computers 'n that? You mean you work in IT.
M: *sob sob*
C: Yeah must be pretty boring.

On second thought, I don't hate comedy nights but rather I hate comedians. Especially comedians that think taking the piss out of the front row is an acceptable alternative to bringing some material with them.

Anyhoo, I digress...

So female driver A is telling male driver B that she's had enough of driving busses and wants to get out. It's hard work, shit pay and you have to deal with the general public *shudder*. Her solution to escape this career path?

"I'm going to get a job in computers!"

Of course she is.

"You see, you look at all them adverts for jobs with computers it's 50, 60 thousand a year plus."

Is it really?

"Yeah, I've got a mate who knows all that stuff already and he says I can come over and he'll show me what's what. Or I could get on one of them courses they advertise on the tele."


"Some of them are learn on the job type things so I can be 'earning', while I'm 'learning'. Wicked eh, innit?"

Well fuck me furiously with a broom. I never realised it was that simple.

At the time of this conversation I'd held down a proper job for less than a year. I was 24 and had 'one of those jobs with computers' but despite having a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from a red-brick university I seemed to earning less than half of what I apparently should be. I realised there and then that my vocation would never be viewed seriously by society.

I immediately launched forth to the female bus driver a rebuttal that is now also well rehearsed prior to every comedy gig I attend:

"To say I work in IT is like saying an architect is good at colouring in. To say I 'work with computers' is like saying an accountant 'works with a calculator'. Both technically correct but missing the point very badly. I'm a software engineer. I know the syntax and semantics of all modern programming languages including every subtlety to do with object orientation and reflection, I understand the difference between memory allocated on the stack and memory allocated on the heap and how to do garbage collection on the latter, I can pass by value, pass by reference and do pointer arithmetic, I know dozens of different abstract data types (how they're used, how they're implemented, when they're appropriate for use, what their time and memory complexities are for all associated operations). I appreciate the complexity Apple had porting applications from the PowerPC chip to the x86 chip owing to the pure little-endianess of the latter. I understand what it means for a problem to be called NP-complete and can prove it too :P I know how to calculate the big-O complexity of an algorithm, I know how to write the algorithm using recursion, how to test the bloody thing when I'm done. I know about critical sections, semaphores, concurrent processes and avoiding deadlocks in distributed environments. I know about system architectures, how to write a .Net DLL that implements a COM interface, I know about OS paging, what the kernel does, whether my program is likely to be IO, network, database or processor bound. Perhaps you'd like me to describe the ISO OSI 7-layer model to you illustrating the interfaces built on top of each other and the protocols these networking abstractions use to communicate with each other. I can even get back to philosophical fundamentals with logical truth-tables and De-Morgan's law, state whether your language is Turing complete, assert that we'll never know if your program will end owing to the Halting problem. It's not just transistors either, I understand how neural networks work as logic gates using their weighted pathways to train themselves, how it's possible to store memories in a Hopfield net. I appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of various programming paradigms: imperative, functional, logical. All this and I can write your sodding program via the waterfall, spiral or evolutionary software design methodology if you'd like.

You wouldn't attempt to draw up a will after reading a book on law for 5 minutes, you wouldn't try and build a house after watching a DVD on structural engineering and you wouldn't offer to do an appendectomy on your best mate because you saw one done on ER. I have spent 8 years at university learning my craft, give me the respect I deserve! I... am... a software engineer."

Nah, not really. I just got off the bus, walked home and cried.
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 21:44, 14 replies)
I you think the London Underground is bad, you should try the Shanghai Metro at rush hour. After flying for 12 hours. Whilst carrying a 65 litre rucksack, a 20 litre daysack and a carrier bag with a mint chocolate Thorntons Easter egg.
Do this for seven stops packed in like a sardine, only to have to change at the busiest interchange that is people's square, go two more stops to the main train station, then after queues of epic proportions and standing-room-only waiting rooms finally get on a train to Hangzhou.
And after you do all that, after you find your seat and put down all your bags, then proceed to sit down only to realise that you've just sat on the Easter Egg.

The one you dragged half way around the world for your girlfriend.

That you kept with you at all times just to keep it safe.

The one that has the special message written on it in Chinese for her.

The one that survived the plane, the monorail, the shanghai metro rush hour and some crazy ticket queue people.

The very same one that is now cracking under the pressure of your very own arse.

That's trauma. If not for the egg, then at least for my arse (it was quite hard).
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 20:42, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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