Thursday, 14 February 2013

engineering an emergency


Due to emergency engineering works trains are subject to delays and alterations.


Suitably vague, the sign placates without informing. Ninety-five per cent of those on the platform accept the message without question or at least give the impression that they are satisfied with the implied apology. They will wait and then eventually sardine themselves before being ejaculated onto the platform of their choice over other ninety-five percenters, presumably similarly informed and accepting of their fate.

One unfortunate picks himself up from the platform as the ejaculate of commuters spews from the delayed 9.20 to Waterloo, some more successful than others in minding the step between the train and the platform edge.

Crossing the rail/underground interchange offers the same mundanity as any other day; the Cornish bacon is still burnt. The barriers randomly snap shut on every one hundredth passenger to the poker-faced amusement of the station staff as they stand beneath their 12-feet high heater possibly thinking back to their wasted school days and confusing themselves with a snatch of memory; something about heat rising and heaters being more efficient at ground level. 18 feet above them, defiant pigeons stir briefly from their warm slumbers, dreaming of the good old days in Trafalgar Square, a time when food was free and tourists could be targeted at will.

The passengers here are warned of emergency engineering works causing delays and cancellations. A warm smugness envelops those who were only subject to delays and alterations, comfortable with their onward journey being underground and unaffected. The epicentre of these delays, alterations and cancellations must be close but it matters not so long as the emergency engineering works are finished within the next seven hours.

The friendly tube driver offers no apology ten minutes later as he explains the train is being held at the fourth station's platform to regulate the service. An inconvenience to most, it is the highlight of his day, one that may prevent him completing one of his assigned return trips across London thus allowing him home an hour early and one that will bore his unemployed wife as they sit otherwise silently in front of Corrie later that day. Him enjoying the overcooked sausage pie, looking forward to an early bed and more District Line delights tomorrow. Her wondering what happened to her ambitions to be a dental nurse.

1 comment:

Come on, spit it out. You're not normally this quiet so let's hear your thoughts.