There are sometimes good reason to be late home from work. Drinks and post-work celebrations. Sporting events & concerts. Simply catching up with friends. But being late because the trains failed? And not just failed – spectacularly stuffed up would be a better description. It’s enough to drive a girl to blog about it.
So here we are. After a spectacularly busy day, working overtime until almost 6pm was a necessary evil, but I had confidence that the rail network would enable me to make my 1-hour journey home without any major headache. Alas, no. The following is a rough synopsis of my journey home, narrated by my fellow passengers:
18:00 (Automated voice) Welcome to Tranz-metro. Our journey tonight takes us to W, and we should arrive at 18:55. Have a pleasant journey and please travel with us again soon.
Hello love. The Train Manager has just informed us that they’ve run out of power on the line. I guess someone didn’t pay the electric bill. Anyhow, they’re taking us back to the previous station to wait for a bus.
Oh look, there’s a bus….. It’s filled up and left. I suggest we stay here until the next bus arrives.
Bugger. There’s another train coming. I’m going to queue up outside
You won’t believe this. The passengers on the new train have barged to the front of the queue! It’s like scrambling for lifeboats on the Titanic!
Hi darling. The second bus has just filled up and left, and we’re still in the queue. Any chance you could come and pick me up?
Hello love. We’re on the replacement bus now and guess what? I just got a txt from the train network to say the trains are running normally again. Too bloody late.
I think I just saw a train go past us…
Hello love, I’m back at the station and will be home soon. BTW, the train has just pulled into the station – the same train I got off an hour ago!!
When you’re sitting on a crowded replacement bus, in a queue of traffic, receiving a chirpy little text message to say the trains are running normally again is frustrating to say the least. But the evening wasn’t wasted. We passed the time by dreaming up realistic txt messages for the train network. You know, the ones you wished they’d send.
Your train is running late because the driver couldn’t be arsed
You were hoping to get home early tonight? Sucker!
The trains are f*cked. Get a bus instead.
And finally, in the same vein, I stumbled across a list of bona-fide passenger announcements made on the London Underground network. They included such gems as:
1. ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, I do apologize for the delay to your service. I know you’re all dying to get home, unless, of course, you happen to be married to my ex-wife, in which case you’ll want to cross over to the Westbound and go in the opposite direction.’
2. ‘Your delay this evening is caused by the line controller suffering from E & B syndrome: not knowing his elbow from his backside. I’ll let you know any further information as soon as I’m given any.’
3. ‘Do you want the good news first or the bad news? The good news is that last Friday was my birthday and I hit the town and had a great time. The bad news is that there is a point failure somewhere between Stratford and East Ham, which means we probably won’t reach our destination.’
4. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, we apologize for the delay, but there is a security alert at Victoria station and we are therefore stuck here for the foreseeable future, so let’s take our minds off it and pass some time together. All together now…. ‘Ten green bottles, hanging on a wall…..’.’
5. ‘We are now travelling through Baker Street … As you can see, Baker Street is closed. It would have been nice if they had actually told me, so I could tell you earlier, but no, they don’t think about things like that’.
6. ‘Beggars are operating on this train. Please do NOT encourage these professional beggars. If you have any spare change, please give it to a registered charity. Failing that, give it to me.’
7. During an extremely hot rush hour on the Central Line, the driver announced in a West Indian drawl: ‘Step right this way for the sauna, ladies and gentleman… unfortunately, towels are not provided.’
8. ‘Let the passengers off the train FIRST!’ (Pause . ‘Oh go on then, stuff yourselves in like sardines; see if I care – I’m going home….’
9. ‘Please allow the doors to close. Try not to confuse this with ‘Please hold the doors open.’ The two are distinct and separate instructions.’
10. ‘Please note that the beeping noise coming from the doors means that the doors are about to close. It does not mean throw yourself or your bags into the doors.’
11. ‘We can’t move off because some idiot has their hand stuck in the door.’
12. ‘To the gentleman wearing the long grey coat trying to get on the second carriage – what part of ‘stand clear of the doors’ don’t you understand?’
13. ‘Please move all baggage away from the doors.’ (Pause… ‘Please move ALL belongings away from the doors.’ (Pause…. ‘This is a personal message to the man in the brown suit wearing glasses at the rear of the train: Put the pie down, Four-eyes, and move your bloody golf clubs away from the door before I come down there and shove them up your arse sideways!’
14. ‘May I remind all passengers that there is strictly no smoking allowed on any part of the Underground. However, if you are smoking a joint, it’s only fair that you pass it round the rest of the carriage.’
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