This week has been especially grim as Andrew and I raced to exchange on the flat we’re buying. Wednesday night saw me particularly stressed, so I took myself off to the pub with some close friends to have some salving wine.
On my way home I happened across this scrappy lil’ lady. She was brilliant – just sitting contentedly on her owner’s lap. She looked so soft and snuggly I just wanted to bury my head in her fur (the dog that is, not the nice owner lady). Obviously due to social norms, I didn’t do this – I took this picture instead. Thanks for brightening my day, lovely pup!
People who don’t live in London probably get annoyed with Londoners moaning about public transport. Well, to those people I say, “Move along, buddy!” because I’m about to unleash a verbal tirade against everyone I deem an idiot on London transport. In fact, no, not everyone because there’s about 1billion of them (citation needed). I’m only listing 5 here. So feel glad. Also, you can add your own rants in the comments. It’s great pathos. Come, scream into your virtual pillows with me. The Olympics is over; normal, miserable service can resume (ugh).
1. Wheelie Suitcases
It is unfortunate that these things are normally carried by Londoners arch nemesis, The Tourist (disclaimer, I don’t actually have a problem with tourists. They bring trade and vibrancy to my city. I’m all for the little fellas). But sometimes they’re being pulled by a regular douchebag Londoner. I don’t know which are ever which, because I don’t stop to check. All I know is that I avoid anyone pulling these things like the plague.
The vast majority of people pulling them don’t seem to remember they’re pulling a 4ft tail behind them, and unknowingly take out everyone’s legs behind them. Or they change direction quickly meaning everyone behind them falls over their suitcase. Or they can’t figure out the handle mechanism and spend ages panicking at the top of the stairs because they can’t push it down or get it out again. Anyway, everything about them makes me annoyed. I feel like a git for saying it though, because I also feel deeply sorry for those who have to negotiate London with one. But still: get out of my way.
2. People Who Stop to Read Stuff /The Positions of Signs
I have a real problem with people stopping suddenly in front of me when I’m walking around. I don’t think that’s unreasonable. What seems to cause most people in London to stop suddenly is because they’re looking at stuff. Whether it’s a great building, or they really need to get a snap of a London bus – whatever, they stop. Mildly annoying.
What is really annoying is the way TfL, or whoever is in charge of signage in the underground, puts maps on turnings in pedestrian tunnels. This mean people stop, like lemmings, forced to work out if they want this turning or the next. And they jam up the entire hallway, meaning people are piling up back on the escalator as it delivers more and more people into the tunnel while Dennis carries on reading the map saying “I think we want Eastbound. No! Westbound. Wait, where are we going?” la, la, la.
The more I think about it, the more annoyed I am at the signage planners (I think that is an actual, real job guys) and less annoyed at the clueless tourists that don’t know east from west.
3. Audible Music
I think this needs little explaining. Douchebags with noise-leaking-came-free-with-my-iPhone (other smartphones are available. They’re crappy, but they are availavle) who listen to crap RnB (any music, I’m not just picking on RnB fans here. OK, I am. A little) so loud. If you need to listen to it that loud, please, for the love of sweet baby Jesus, invest in some decent headphones. If you don’t need to listen to it until you give yourself tinnitus, then great, lower the vol.
Playing music outloud on phones is beyond the pale. Of course, everyone else in the carriage is too polite/scared to tell the annoying person to quit it, so everyone just exchanges frowns or eyebrow raises, secretly hoping it will encourage SOMEONE TO BE BRAVE ENOUGH TO SAY SOMETHING. Nah, no one will. They’ll just tweet about it when they’re outside.
4. Short People Hogging the Middle of the Carriage
I get really secretly enraged by this, but there’s no way to ever say anything to people without them getting offended because you called them short (but hey, it’s fine for them to say, “Oh my God, you’re so TALL! Were you always tall?” [answer: no. I was a kid once. I haven’t always been 6ft tall.]). But basically short people who are standing up, if it’s crowded, should stand near the outsides of the carriages. They have adequate headroom. Tall people do not, they end up with a crick in their neck before they’ve even got to work.
It’s my absolute worst when short people won’t move down the aisles in the seats because they can’t reach the overhead bars. Don’t go down the aisle then you absolute wally! Stay near the poles with the other little fellas. It means that people don’t get to get on the train if you won’t move down, making the nice people on the platform late for whatever they’re headed to.
5. “Excuse me, I need to get off” (hurrr)
There you are. It’s Monday morning. You’re packed into the tube like sardines and you can smell the dude next to you’s hangover. You pull into a station – your station. What sweet ecstacy to get out of this claustrophobic tin can! The train slows and then someone in the middle carriage starts saying “Excuse me, can I get past” while shoving themselves down the aisle. People look at the pusher with a frown, but don’t say anything. To say anything would be rude, and we don’t want to be rude to the person who has just pushed past five people. Oh no. “This is my stop!” the pusher exclaims while the tube is squealing to a holt. The doors are yet to beep or open.
What I want to say to this person is, “Alright, chill OUT! You will get off, but there’s a whole load of people also wanting to get off – including me – so just wait your God damn turn.” But what I actually do is look at them, frown and then let them past. Maybe if I am feeling especially brave I might shake my head after they’ve walked off. Yeah, I’m a tough guy.
I’ve got a confession. I love making friends with strangers dogs when they’re not looking (and I really hope that isn’t some unintentional double entendre). I also try to take photos of them. Yeah, the more you read of this blog the more you’ll realise I am a totally creepy person.
Now I am going to share all my sightings with you. Here is my favourite London underground dog spot – four of the little guys! This man has my dream job – hanging out with dogs. Well I assume that it’s his job. I like the grumpy border terrier at the back best.