A short (but necessary) lesson in Tube Etiquette

If you are fortunate to live in London, this fair city I call home. Then you will be familiar with traveling on the wonderful, if not a little antiquated tube network. One thought that I can almost guarantee has gone through your mind at one point during one of these mini underground adventures is “If we don’t get to my stop very soon, then I will be forced to do someone some serious physical harm”

Now this is not because you are suffering from an abundance of testosterone or serious anger issues. It is because the tube has this magical ability to turn even the most patient and placid of people into a ear steaming, eye bulging fit of rage.

The Dream Commute

The Dream Commute

Below I’ve just highlight a few of the things that are likely to go through your mind before or during the throwing of one of these internal commuter paddys.

1. Keep your armpit out of my face! – Firstly even if you had mastered the concept of personal hygiene, this would still not be a body part I wanted under my nose. I understand that we are crammed in here in worse conditions than transported cattle but the smells that you are emitting currently lead me to believe that you haven’t washed this week let alone today. No one should smell this bad at 8am!

2. Get some new earphones – At one point in time the iconic white apple ear phones were a fashion accessory as much as they were a practical way to enjoy the latest Kaiser chiefs or Snow Patrol album. Thankfully we’ve come a long way since then and Iphones and Ipods are no longer something special to show off about because everyone has them. Unfortunately this also means everyone now also has the piss-poor sound leaking monstrosities that are the apple earphones. I personally would never say anything but I will hate you forever and a day for the pain you have inflicted on my ears. That said a colleague of mine was recently told off by a forward thinking irate traveller who had had enough of listening to her Britney Spears album on the journey to work. So there are some brave souls who are happy to wage the war against shit earphones, one Britney lover at a time.


3. Watch where you are swinging your bag! –  Quite simply, If your bag hits me one more time I will slit your throat with my oyster card! Not because you’ve hit me with it, but because you have hit me with it several times, clearly felt that contact has been made and have not even acknowledged my presence or discomfort from the impact with a typically British awkward apology.

4. Let me off of the tube before you attempt to board! – The kind folk of the London underground are even nice enough to remind you of the order of things when the tube doors open. So I suggest that take heed and let me off the tube first or you will feel the full force of my covert aggression in the shape of a dropped shoulder.

5. Do not stare at me! – If you are staring at me I will assume that you are imagining me naked or planning to kill me, please overt your gaze so I can enjoy my cramped journey in peace. Btw If you really must imagining me naked, I’m circumcised and have a mole on my left butt cheek… Enjoy.


6. Pretend you haven’t seen me! – If you see someone that you kind of know but would not class as an actual friend, please do the right thing and pretend that you have not seen them. The tube is a painful enough experience without awkward conversations with an “acquaintance”. Why say “Hi” and ruin both of our mornings?!


7. Swap places with me ! – You are on the cusp of being a midget, why are you standing slap bang in the middle of the carriage while I slowly but surely develop a hunch back as I fold myself into the internal tube arch with a head clearance of about 5ft 5. I know this is not your fault but I hate you with ever fibre of my being.

If you see me on the tube having read this article, I’d really appreciate it if you gave up your seat for me so that we can avoid any of the above violent thought coming to fruition. Cheers.


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