Punctuation station

Every morning I see this sign on the door to the control room at London Victoria underground station

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Obviously this room is out of bounds to commuters.

But this sign also suggests the same applies to station staff and contractors.

So, who CAN enter this room? 

Maybe only those people capable of using punctuation.

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

Hitting birds

This morning at the train station there was a large concentration of feathers halfway along the platform.

Either there had been a pillow fight over the weekend (which, in my typical male mind, was between two giggling girls wearing next to nothing), or an unsuspecting pigeon received a massive faceful of train.

With no sign of a body, or a pillowcase, we’ll never know which type of bird got a battering.

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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

“London Bridge is failing Dan, failing Dan, failing Dan….”

London Victoria underground station was closed tonight due to ‘someone being taken ill’.

Bollocks.

There’s no way someone said “I think I’ve got the flu coming on” and they shouted “Stop everything!”

I suspect it’s a more subtle version of “someone being liquidated by a train”.

If it’s not I can assure you that I, and about a thousand people frantically redirecting to other stations to escape the city like a frantic piss out of a pair of leaky rubber pants, will be hoping they feel better long enough to fall under the next train that’s “not stopping at Victoria”

It was utter bedlam tonight with agitated commuters strutting around directionless looking for an alternative way of getting home, and failing.

I made my way to London Bridge station as I knew I could get home from there and stood waiting for my platform to be announced.

It’s always been platform 5 whenever I’ve travelled from this station so I went through the barrier into the station, up the escalator and waited patiently by the platform entrance.

And waited.

And waited.

It was 6 minutes until my train was due to leave and the platform still hadn’t been announced.

And then….

‘Platform 9’

What??

Where the fuck is platform 9?? There’s only platforms 1 to 6!

Cock!!

I ran down the escalator, back through the barriers, out of the station and saw there was another entrance which had platforms 7 and up.

Grrr!

There is nothing more infuriating than the possibility I was going to miss my train despite having been there for ages!

And, true to form, all the commuters had been switched to ‘slow, ambling, zombie fuckwad mode’; making my run that much more varied with slaloming, hurdles, chicanes, twists, turns and twats at every step.

I bolted through the masses, up the escalator, through the barriers to the platforms and ran (a concept unfamiliar to the cretins around me) down the platform alongside the train.

Ideally I wanted to be at the front of the train, but it was about to leave so I boarded halfway down and continued my journey inside.

It was at this point that some suited prick boarded the train at the next doorway and cut in front of me, only to then stand still.

Oops, my mistake, he WAS walking but at a speed which I could be forgiven for mistaking as ‘stationary’.

In fact, ‘Mr Stop’ here was so piss-achingly slow, I got off the train, walked down the platform and boarded ahead of him (on the same carriage) so I could continue at a pace that actually involved putting one foot in front of the other.

No sooner had I traversed another carriage than a woman did the exact same thing and cut in front of me; moving at sloth-like speed while she decided where to sit on this virtually empty train.

It amazes me how these people function day to day.

I sat down and took out my phone to begin writing this blog entry.

It took around 40 minutes to write (as autocorrect can be a bitch) and, as I sat thinking about how I could end it, I looked up and saw Mr Stop finally taking his seat.

Perfect.

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