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Home > Culture and Society

Ten reasons to hate the tube

John Camm

7 December 2003

Here are ten good reasons to hate the Tube:

1. Itís falling to bits. Who would choose to be stuck 300 feet underground in a small metal cylinder, while around you wiring dating back to the 1940s is waiting to go up in flames? Oh, and it's just been announced that Brixton tube station is going to have to close for six weeks so they can get rid of a ton of asbestos they've found tucked away behind an old mop and bucket. They'd forgotten it was there, of course.


2. Itís terrifying. Just a few of the risks of the Tube are: boredom, dehydration, fire, body odour, terrorist attacks, muggers, flashers, and motors falling off trains (the cause of the Chancery Lane crash).

3. Bad adverts. Possibly the most dubious claim of which is that your life will become a vista of joy and success if you get a degree in Psychology and Catering Logistics via distance learning.

4. Escalators. Forget watching The Exorcist on LSD, possibly the most terrifying film of all time was the public information film of the 1970s depicting a hapless rag doll being drawn inexorably toward the malevolent metal teeth at the base of an escalator. And we all know what happened to Sarah Balduin Drummond in Rome the other day. Ouch. You'd think they'd be the safest things on earth considering how often they're shut down for repairs - and they put up those irritating sequential posters that run up and down the sides of the escalators, which you invariably read in the wrong order:




















5. The lack of air conditioning. When the Tube was built, it was envisaged that the movement of trains would suck enough air around the system to make air conditioning unnecessary. Unfortunately, this system seems better at sucking fetid air from the previous station, complete with the interesting smell of warm commuters.

6. The Man Who Absolutely Must Get On This Train And Cannot Wait Two Minutes For The Next One. If youíre on a crowded train and feel something wriggling in your armpit, it is he.

7. Job (non-) opportunities. If youíre down on your luck, you might be forced to become a `deflufferí- one of the people who goes into the Tube when itís not running to remove all the assorted crud, fluff, mouse droppings, dust, dead skin particles etc. from the system.

8. Panic attacks. Usually caused by the train stopping in a tunnel for long periods of time with no announcement from the driver, leaving your oxygen-starved imagination to run riot and create horrific scenarios involving fire, terrorists and, quite possibly, giant rats with a taste for human flesh.

9. Buskers. Itís a sobering thought that if youíre about to die in a smoke-filled carriage, your last memory will be of the tuneless busker at Victoria bellowing incoherently over his acoustic reggae stylings (he really ought to tune those strings one of these days). Buskers are infuriating. Bursting the feeble comfort of your relative silence with 'Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercaydeeez Baynz' - (no he won't, and neither will I now we're on the subject). Or standing there in bare feet and shoving their drugged baby into your face with one hand while trying to play 'Those Were The Days My Friend' on the squeezebox with the other.

10. Other people. No further explanation needed.

See meish.org:

Ignorant lardarse
Let me get off the tube now
Or I will kick you


(follow the link through to brainsluice.com)

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