It grieves me that once again, my fellow homo sapiens have disappointed me with their lack of etiquette. Nobody’s perfect, least of all me, but there really do have to be some minimum standards set for interacting with fellow travellers. While out and about on my sojourns in our fair city this week, I noticed a shocking lack of respect for mankind from various members of the public – and a couple of dogs (who I hold to be as accountable as their owners). Here are my requests. Please print a copy, and feel free to share it with anyone who looks vaguely bored on the Metropolitan line. It only takes a spark to set a fire going.
1) Please adhere to the minimum speed limit.
The average pedestrian speed is 5km an hour. In all London stations, this is increased to 7km an hour, with obvious exceptions made for those among us who are disabled or elderly. If you have children, they should either be taught to adhere to the minimum speed, be carried with their arms pinned firmly to their sides at said speed, or left behind at a suitable child caring facility. No allowances will be made for any excess baggage you decide to carry with you on your journey. You should have thought about that before and planned an appropriate work out routine to facilitate the extra weight.
2) Anyone over 5 ft 9 is required to be vigilant in regards to armpit hygiene.
As someone who chooses not to conform to societal expectations of height, I would really appreciate if the rest of you would consider me in your morning routine. My nose always reaches someone’s armpit on packed tubes, and I’d rather smell Lynx Africa than last night’s bacteria.
3) You are allowed 2 barges per week.
If you are fully civilised you won’t even want to consider this, but the rest of the proletariat are allowed 2 barges of another traveller which should be minimal in pressure and leave no signs of bruising. No barging of the elderly, disabled or pregnant. Barge children at your own discretion depending on their age, weight, height and potential breakability. Any more than this and it just becomes a free for all.
4)If you cannot find your ticket, step away from the barrier.
I totally empathise with the scatterbrained folks. I am one of you. But if you have lost your travel card in the depths of an oversized tote bag, please, please, stand within a reasonable distance of the barriers. It’s for your own safety.
5) You are not a public Spotify.
Some of you feel like you are London’s resident DJ. I really appreciate your desire to supply a soundtrack to my life, but seeing as you don’t know me, you’ve probably picked the wrong genre, and the wrong time to donate your musical gift. We’re underground for Pete’s sake. I couldn’t even escape your nonsense if I wanted to. Surely that’s a form of torture and a violation of my human rights?
6)Kindly hire a dog sitter.
A random passenger had a dog and Bingo was his name-oh, Is this smart? No, no, no! Is this smart? No, no, no! Is this smart? No, no, no, in fact it’s kinda lame-oh. Ok, that was a kinda lame rhyme. Where are you going that it is so essential that you take your pet with you underground? Are there no vets in your local area?
7) If you sneeze, cough, or secrete any type of bodily fluid do NOT touch the hand rail.
Carry hand sanitiser and tissue, and disinfect your dirty little mitts after you splutter into them. There’s Ebola flying about, not to mention the onslaught of Norovirus every winter. Stop killing and disabling other people with your germs, it’s not very friendly is it?
8)Feel free to give someone the travel card you’re not using.
Someone did this to me a few months ago, and I still remember their face with fondness. Lovely man. This might actually be illegal. If it is, I’m only joking.
9) A reiteration of the minimum speed limit.
7km per hour. Stamp in on your forehead, seal it on your heart.
10) Enjoy your journey!
If, after Boris Johnson has bled the money from your bank account like a leech on a mammal in the middle of the Amazon, you manage to remain cheerful, then good for you. Personally, I try to maintain a suitable level of grumpiness until I leave the underground.
Happy travels folks! What are your tube etiquette rules?