Seeing Red

I had trouble walking through London Victoria station this morning due to some idiot in front of me pulling a big red holdall on wheels.

Slowly.

I tried as hard as possible to pass him, but he blocked me at every attempt; zigzagging like a shark swimming through an ocean of directionless pillocks….sorry, pollocks.

Is it wrong that I wanted to punch him out of the way?

He was a menace, nearly taking out my legs and those of others around me.  He was oblivious to the carnage he was leaving in his wake.

It might also explain why his bag was red; stained with the shin blood of the capital’s masses.

Eventually I managed to get past him and felt the same sense of freedom as overtaking a tractor on a narrow country road.  I had the urge to run through the station, flailing my arms in the air screaming “Yes! Yes!  I’m free!!”, but I decided against it as I wasn’t entirely convinced my wife would join in.

Although she IS American, so there was a chance.

Still, I wasn’t going to chance it and frankly I was just too tired.

The excitement and energy of passing the holdall hauling halfwit meant I really didn’t have the strength to do anything but place one foot in front of the other.

Anyway, we traversed the concourse and headed towards the underground station, joining the throng of people shoving themselves through the entrance.

As we joined the back of the crowd, there in front of me was the big red holdall on wheels.

How the fuck?

I looked behind me in case there was another big bag bearing bell-end, but only saw a trail of hobbling commuters; limping and clutching their shins.

I turned back in disbelief and it was then that I noticed the writing on his bag:

‘London Fire Brigade – Keeping London Safe’

(clenches fist)

punch a shark

You, shall not, PASS!

The place – London Victoria Station.

The time – 07:29am.

The scene – Hundreds of ‘cheerful’ commuters ploughing through the ticket barriers with an assortment of tickets and cards.

At times the barriers decide to have a hissy fit and refuse to open.  This could be for several reasons:

  • Your ticket or card has become unreadable.
  • You’re travelling in peak hours on a leisure fare.
  • You’re carrying several bags, boxes and children.

The machines love preying on those who need the barriers to open more urgently than anyone else.

These bastards know; (whispers) they KNOW!

However, this morning there were no commuters carrying anything heavier than furrowed brows and a desire to get through the barriers quickly.  This is when these automated arseholes prefer to strike; picking off the weakest of the herd and testing their patience to the limit.

Today was no different.

A woman strutted up to a barrier, pressed her Oyster card against the card reader, received the usual ‘beep’ and continued strutting, only to be virtually impaled on the unopened barriers.   This can be frustrating at the best of times, but when you’ve got a queue of 20 or more people behind you, it is also incredibly embarrassing.

She tutted and pressed her card against the reader again.

‘Beep’

The barriers didn’t open.

The air suddenly felt thick with silent rage and suppressed violence from those behind her.

“Oh come on!” she half shouted as she slapped her card against the reader.

‘Beep’

The barriers didn’t open.

“Oh for fuck’s sake!”

Slap!

‘Beep’

Slap!

‘Beep’

“Come on you fucking thing!”

Slap slap slap!

‘Beep’

The barriers remained closed and the queue behind her was getting longer and longer like some massive dickheaded snake.

Instead of admitting defeat and seeking the help of a guard, she did something that inspired me to write this post; she began ramming herself against the barriers shouting “come on!”

Over and over she thrust herself against the barriers, trying to squeeze through the unyielding and un-widening gap.  It had eluded her that it was called a barrier for a reason.

Slam!

“Come on!”

Slam!

“You bastard, come on!”

Slam!

“Gnn!”

Slap slap slap!

‘Beep”

Slam!

I noticed the snake had started to dissipate and join other queues, but a few people stayed behind to watch this woman meltdown before their eyes.  I don’t blame them.

She eventually relented and went, bloodied and bruised, to find a guard.

‘Beep’

I went through.

train barrier