Commuting is a blast

This morning, as my wife and I squeezed onto the London Underground train, we got separated into different parts of the carriage.  My wife ended up halfway down the carriage whereas I ended up near the door literally face to face with a tall blonde girl.

She wasn’t un-pretty (I’m assuming; she was hidden behind some heavily applied make-up) and was stood there not making eye contact with anyone as she pouted and posed among the newspapers and armpits.

In my single days I may have given her a second look, but since meeting my wife every one else comes a distant second. Although cheesy, this is absolutely true and has nothing to do with the fact my wife was:

a) five feet away and
b) reads my blog.

Anyway (moving on swiftly), the train began to pull out of the station and a gentle breeze came through the open window in the door between the carriages.  The girl took this opportunity to turn her head to face the window so the wind rushed through her hair as she continued to pose and pout.

It was like watching a Michael Jackson video.

She was loving it.

However, as the train picked up speed, the breeze became everything but gentle.  After a few seconds it had reached Hurricane proportions and her pouting was quickly replaced with her squinting eyes and flapping lips like a dog with its head out of a car window at 70 miles per hour.

More amusingly was her hair violently whipping and slapping her in the face, sticking to her make-up and going in her mouth.

“Hwaarrgh!” *Cough cough* “Gaaaak!”

Attractive.

After a couple of minutes the train slowed down for the next station and she finally managed to compose herself, pulling fistfuls of hair from her throat and gagging.  As she did this she looked at me and smiled with embarrassment.

“That didn’t go as you expected it to eh?” I said, looking at the make-up that had now slid back to her ears.

“Not really” she wheezed, “I was actually worried for anyone behind me getting hit with my hair!”

“It’s ok” I said, “I think the guy behind you enjoyed it”.

She laughed awkwardly.

“Shame it wasn’t in slow motion.” I continued.

“Like a shampoo advert”, she laughed.

Erm, no.

It was more like a ferret being hit in the face with a tumbleweed.

wind face

Are we becoming a nation of idiots?

In the past I used to believe that America was home to some of the dumbest people on the planet.  After all, they have no clue about anything outside America and their grasp of sarcasm and humour (or ‘humor’) is as tight as a slut’s vagina.

But after meeting my wife, who is from Las Vegas, I’ve had a lot more exposure to them (Americans, not sluts’ vaginas) and I’ve come to realise that this belief isn’t true.  I mean, it’s true of a lot of Americans, but it’s not fair to tar them all with the same brush.

Since my wife came to England I’ve started seeing the country through her eyes and cracks are beginning to form.  I’m slowly noticing that we are a lot more flawed as a nation than I realised, or cared to admit.  It’s like peeking behind the curtain at a magic show to see levers, pulleys and a white rabbit taking a colossal dump into a top hat.

England is also home to some of the dumbest people on the planet.

Case in point:

Last night, on the London Underground, my wife and I got off the train at Victoria station and shuffled with the masses towards the two upward escalators leading to the surface.  There were two guys in front of us and as we approached the escalators, one of the guys took the left escalator and the other took the right.

Neither of us paid any attention until one of the guys started talking to the other.  With a distance of around six feet between them and the combined noise of the escalator and the throng of chatting commuters, I should say one started shouting to the other.

Guy 1 – “So what happened next?”

Guy 2 – “What?”

Guy 1 – “I SAID, WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?”

Guy 2 – “Oh, right. Well she decided she was going to work Saturday instead”

Guy 1 – “She was going to what?”

Guy 2 – “PARDON?”

Guy 1 – “SHE WAS GOING TO WHAT?”

Guy 2 – “WORK SATURDAY INSTEAD!”

Guy 1 – “AH, I THOUGHT SHE MIGHT”

Guy 2 – “WHAT?”

I couldn’t believe it.  These two guys were together!  It wasn’t that busy in the station which meant they weren’t herded accidentally onto separate escalators; they’d CHOSEN to do that.

I looked back at my wife who was staring at them in disbelief.  She looked back at me, rolled her eyes and mouthed the words “Why the fuck?”

As we reached the top of the escalator my wife shared her thoughts with me.

For fuck’s sake England!

When an American living here rants about the sheer stupidity of people around her, it’s time to sit up and pay attention.

england fail

Train’d Monkeys

Over the years I’ve noticed a few habits adopted by the idiots I’m forced to endure every day on the trains (or ‘commuters’ as they’re better known).  A lot of these habits have become such commonplace that I usually can’t be bothered to blog about them, or I simply forget.

However, this morning there were three happening all at once and my Punch-O-Meter’s needle was twitching in the red zone.

Punchometer

See?

Dangerously close.

So I’m taking time out to vent about these habits that leave me craving the sweet sound of knuckles on face.

 

1. The Multitasker

This is the person who, whilst having a conversation with someone else on the train, is also reading their phone or tablet.  Even though they’re (thankfully) not talking to me, it’s still really rude and they don’t make any attempt to hide it.

checking texts

It’s bad enough that they’re flapping their jaws while I’m trying to sleep or watch a movie, but to be doing it and not remaining committed to the conversation they’re having is like getting a drum kit for your birthday and then playing it out of rhythm, like Yugoslavian Jazz. 

If you’re going to annoy me at least have the decency to do it properly.

 

2. Casual Viewers

I’m a bit of a viewing Nazi when it comes to TV and movies.  If you’ve made a decision to sit down and watch something, then sit the fuck down and watch it. There are certain things you should never do, especially when I’m in the vicinity.

These include:

  • Talking to me.
  • Talking to someone else.
  • Talking at all.
  • Using your phone (for ANYTHING!).
  • Leaving the room without pausing it (at home obviously)
  • Eating and paying more attention to your food than the screen

The woman sat next to me on the train this morning was watching some boring shit on her tablet, but was also moronically scrolling through her Facebook newsfeed on her phone.  I use the word ‘watching’ loosely as she didn’t actually look up from her phone for almost the entire journey into London, which was an hour.

I thought about all the money spent hiring writers, producers, directors (first and second unit), actors, extras and production staff, plus all the time taken perfecting every line of every draft of the script to keep the plot engaging, every camera angle to capture the subtle nuances of the actors’ performances, the scouting for locations, the permissions needed to shoot in these locations, the time spent in principle photography, all the post production, the special effects, music, overdubs, Foley dubs, the editing process to keep the right pace, the test audiences to ensure it will satisfy the masses and bring in the bucks, the premieres, the red carpets, the press junkets; all of this wasted on some bint ‘liking’ a picture of a kitten.

It really grinds on me.  Can you tell?

Then, when she’d stopped mindlessly scrolling through the pointless crap on her newsfeed and sucked in her drool, she then spent ages rewinding what she had been ‘watching’ in an attempt to find the part where she’d tuned out.  To be honest, I don’t think this woman was ever fully tuned in.

text movie

And finally,

 

3. The Aisle Sitter

This one has always confused me. 

It’s the idiot who gets on the train, sits in an aisle seat and leaves the window seat vacant.

Why?

aisle prick

Inevitably someone else will get on and want to sit down, so rather than simply (and sensibly) moving over to the window, they make a big performance of stopping what they’re doing (sometimes tutting and sighing in the process) and awkwardly standing up in the aisle (stopping other people from getting past) to allow the new arrival access to the seat by the window.

This is time consuming and makes absolutely no sense.  It’s a commuter train which means this happens EVERY day, and EVERY day they do the same thing.  I’ve seen it with my own eyes.  Same dickheads, same thing; every day.

If they don’t want to be disturbed, then sit by the window, or find a seat next to someone who already has.

These are supposed to be intelligent people, right?  I mean, they’re wearing suits and stuff.

I’m reminded of a quote from Tim Minchin:

“We’re just fucking monkeys in shoes”

monkey platform

Near Miss

This morning, whilst walking to the office, my wife and I saw a man cross the road in front of a cyclist.

To be honest, he had plenty of time to cross the road before she reached him, but I think he knew she was coming and had decided to walk so painfully slow that the cyclist had to swerve, barely missing him.

Although it could never be proved, we all knew he was trying to demonstrate it was his right of way (which it wasn’t); forcing her to slow down (which she didn’t).

As she whizzed by he looked up and shouted “Fuck off!”

Without hesitation she replied “Charming!”

London…the friendliest city in the world.

Bike Near Miss

Pretty vacant

Today my wife and I visited a home furnishings store in central London during our lunch break. It was one of those pretentious places where the mass-produced merchandise is carefully designed to look hand-made.

It seems to me that these places hire staff based on their looks because it appears their collective IQ doesn’t even come close to the price of one of their crappy little ‘hand painted’ ceramic egg cups (£4).

But at least they’re, like, so pretty.

Anyway, my wife and I were looking for matching towel and toilet roll holders for a bathroom we are currently redecorating. We were wandering around the store looking for the bathroom stuff, lost among the rugs and curtains in various shades of coffee, vanilla, caramel, mocha, cinnamon and cappuccino.

Suddenly I really fancied a Starbucks.

Our aimless wandering hadn’t gone unnoticed because a sales ‘assistant’ approached us with a massive, vacant smile.

“Can I help you with anything?”, she asked like she’d been practicing it from a prompt card.

(Yes I’ll have a large cinnamon cappuccino please).

“Yes please”, I replied, “I’m looking for your bathroom accessories”

She stood there for a moment; still smiling vacantly. It was clear she had either not heard or not understood me and, from her broken English, I was going with the latter.

“The what?” she said; her smile staying perfectly locked in place.

“Your bathroom accessories”, I replied, again.

There was another noticeable pause before her eyes lit up like she’d just seen a preview of a new season of The Kardashians.

“Ah, yes! Follow me”, she said and started to walk across the showroom.

Cool.

We walked past bedroom stuff, lounge stuff, kitchen stuff, dining stuff (all of which had me craving a double mocha latte) until we reached the corner of the showroom where she pointed down a corridor.

“Just down there sir” she said, still smiling.

“Thank you”, I said as she left.

My wife and I looked at each other and sniggered.

The stupid twat had taken us to the toilets.

vacant toilet

Rubik’s Tube

This guy was stood in front of me on the London Underground this morning.

Wearing a Rubik’s Cube T-shirt whilst completing a Rubik’s Cube one handed.

I couldn’t decide whether to ridicule or respect him. Could I do both?

It’s a puzzle.

image

A sign that things are rubbing me up the wrong way

Today, whilst exiting a burrito shop during our lunch break, my wife and I saw a massage parlour with a sign outside offering a “Walk-in back rub”.

Considering the shop was in a pedestrianised road with no vehicle access, I did wonder exactly how else they expected us to enter the palour without, well, walking in.

I suppose we could draw numbered chalk squares in front of their door and hopscotch in, but that just seems a bit extreme.

Plus, I’d left my chalk in my other coat.

This got me thinking.

What if I’m drunk? Would they refuse to accept ‘stagger-in’ customers? Mind you, that’s probably for the best; i’d fall asleep, fart and promptly vomit on their floor. Then every customer would be a ‘slide-in’.

And what if we danced in? Would they shun those of us who choose to Merengue through their door (cha cha cha)? Dancers need back rubs too.

What about wheelchair users, clowns on unicycles, or those on horseback?

And what if I’d tripped on a paving stone and accidentally stumbled through the door and into their parlour? One could argue that I’d ‘tripped in’, but what if they hadn’t actually seen the trip and only saw the moment where i’d regained my balance? Would I be obliged to purchase a back rub?

After the baby sized burrito we’d just eaten they could market them as a ‘walk-in burping’.

As we strolled away, I couldn’t help but smile at the thought of adding a ‘g’ to their sign.

A ‘walking back rub’ would be perfect, as time was running out and we needed to get back to work.

ministry of silly walks