Friday, 20 April 2007

Get Me Off Of This Train

Preferably before I SCREAM!!!

I just generally don’t like other people, especially when I’m tired or hungry. If I’m both then you may see a tear swelling in my eye if you look close enough. This shouldn’t be hard to see considering how closely we’re crammed into this train carriage.

What happened to personal space?

Rush hour is only tolerable when you have a seat; life looks better from that angle. It’s easier to read a book, a newspaper or whatever. You can relax you legs and crank up the volume on you mp3 player. You can wrestle for the armrests. If you’re extremely tired you can use the adjacent strangers shoulder as a pillow; you might get a troubled look but you’ll be sleeping so who cares? It’s a free world after all.

I grabbed a copy of the Metro this morning while I sleepwalked my way to work, and noticed an interesting little piece about the stress of commuting and how we deal with it. A few interesting points were made.

One . . .
Singing, humming or talking to ourselves

I don’t know how this helps people deal with stress. At best people will discretely veer away from you, providing you with more of that precious personal space. You might even be lucky enough to score a seat . . . falsetto.

Two . . .
Planning for the day ahead or after-work activities

It’s just way too early for this . . . and if I’m on my way home, then it’s way too late also. Unless it’s a Friday and this that case I’m probably banging out text messages.

“R U Cumin 2nite?”

Three . . .
Working on a laptop, writing or reading and always make the effort to travel outside of rush-hour

Is travelling outside of rush-hour even an option for most people? I’ll drop this issue right here, but only because the Metro is a free newspaper. You won’t see this kind of crazy talk in The Guardian. Yes, everyone, stay at work till seven and then . . . oh, that’s the original problem, we’re all leaving at the same time.
OK, I really will stop now.

Four . . .
Getting angry with other commuters or admiring attractive people

I don’t know who writ this, or if their job is even secure. OK, yes it was in bullet points but I just don’t understand whether or not they are giving me permission to ‘wild out’ on public transport. I try to keep my cool when people annoy me on the train, but I might just have to reconsider if it will help me to ‘de-stress’.

I like how they have fused anger and lust together so casually. The two emotions that can fast-track your applications to jail and Hell.

Five . . .
Listening to music or audio books

Yes I must listen to my music this loud so stop looking at me like that before I exercise point four!

Six . . .
Oral gratification – from chewing gum, talking on a mobile, chatting with other commuters or eating

Yeah, I was disappointed too, thought they were going to take this in another direction.

Seven . . .
Abusing substances such as tobacco and alcohol

I was waiting for a train last week and was offered a beer (Stella Artois). I’m usually up for freebies but politely declined the generous offer; this didn’t stop him from taking to me though. I felt sorry for the guy; his wife won’t let me bring alcohol home . . . I guess she is cool with him coming home drunk though.

Eight . . .
Meditation or prayer

This requires a focused mind, especially with ladies breasts pressed against you and sweaty men’s armpits in your grill (how’s that for ambiguity?). I’m 6’2” though so it’s not an issue for me (the armpits, I’m still a man).

Nine . . .
Seeking counselling or medication to cope with stress

I’m guessing that they don’t expect you to do this during rush hour. Wouldn’t it be cool to unload your problems to someone while you travelled home though?
“Ak, this is just between you, me and all the people in this carriage”

Please . . . just get me off of this train.

A to the . . .


david mcmahon said...

G'day Ak-man,

Nice post, applicable to everyone. And a SERIOUSLY good picture. Love the reflection up the top.

Don't forget to monitor your progress on Aussiejourno's Weekly Blog Awards - you've been climbing pretty steadily all along.

Cheers, mate


Sebastien said...

Riding the train has never really bothered me. Sometimes there would be football games, and then the trains are jam-packed full of drunk sports fans, those are the train rides I hated.

Shrink wrapped scream said...

Hey the AK,

Acute observations again, my man!

In my dim and distant youth, I regularly rode the torturous route from Putney to Holburn, and oh my dear sweet Jesus, does that bring back a blast from the past!

One fine morning, late as ever, as I sprinted up the steel moving steps, some plonker with lank, greasy hair, and a ponchance for letchery, grapped and pinched my arse so hard I felt it bleed. By the time I reached the top, I'd decided today was not to be a good day for him.

On behalf of womankind, I stopped sprinting, and waited at the top of the staircase, as it delivered this upstanding piece of human excrement into my tender clutches.

I released every frustration of my morning behind the belter of a slap I delivered to him. (I even received a round of applause!)

God did it feel good..

san said...

Hi Ak-man! Writing to you from SA. And I thought Joburg was getting bad. The view from that, don't think I would make it..I like my space bubble in tact and untouched...