Wednesday 5 May 2010

Another “timetable” day, a few minor difficulties but nothing outstanding so today I’ll highlight one thing that is an irritating problem on the Tube; rucksacks. For whatever reason their numbers are on the rise, I assume it’s a fashion thing as once the only people wearing rucksacks on the Tube were teenage tourists and that was bad enough.

For a start they double the space you take up on a train but what makes them a real problem is that the people wearing them seem totally unaware they are doing so. You turn round with a rucksack on your back and bam, it hits anybody stood in your turning circle, not good on a crowded train or platform. And when you see a space on a train where a person could fit and jump on board the rucksack is invariably hanging out the door, result doors won’t close.

It has been suggested that all this can be avoided by removing the item and carrying it as hand luggage as there is more room down by your legs than up at torso level. Sadly this assumes that the wearer has a couple of brain cells to rub together and if I’ve learnt one thing in my years on the Tube it’s that you should never overestimate the intelligence of the punters. Once they pass through those ticket gates they switch their brains off and take on a stupidity that if described as bovine would be an insult to cows. We get many complaints that passengers are treated worse than cattle but quite frankly if they insist on behaving as such they have only themselves to blame.

Still rucksacks can be a source of amusement; I once saw a man jump onto a crowded train at Stratford, the doors close with his rucksack on the outside and then head off down the Jubilee Line. I laughed myself silly because I knew that the doors didn’t open on that side of the train till somewhere around Baker Street.

Rucksacks, great for going up Everest, shit for going down the Tube.

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