The London Underground is often quite frustrating, often quite smelly, often quite hot and sweaty, but nevertheless usually quite entertaining.
What interests me the most about the London Underground is the moment just before your tube departs the station platform. I usually position myself facing one of the doorways of the tube just to watch a moment like this happen. “This train is ready to depart. Stand clear of the closing doors.” Then the loud beep, beep, beep of the warning system. Then the moment I have been waiting for, through the window of the door, I see some idiot who thinks he can still make it onto the tube, yet he is a good 25 meters away up the platform.
Usually this is when everything goes into slow motion for me. I gaze up the platform and peer straight into the tubehopper’s eyes, I can see their sheer determination, they believe without a shadow of a doubt that they can make it onto my tube. Then they set off, like a greyhound after a hare, with their laptop bag, coat and shopping bag usually interferring with their aerodynamics. The doors start to close. The tubehopper is in full stride, but still 15 meters away. The doors are now half closed. I can now see the tubehopper’s beads of sweat dripping from their forehead. The doors are centimeters from shut. A hand creeps through the opening between the doors, then the finger tips of the other hand, both hands intensely gripping onto the inches of space between the closed doors. Now it is battle time. The Jaws of the London Underground vs. the Tubehopper’s arm strength.
Most of us usually know the outcome of this battle. The tubehopper usually puts up a good fight, and you usually see some amazing facial expressions worthy of a kodak moment, but the tubehopper comes off second best, with some cuts and bruises, to the notorious Underground Jaws.
“So long sucker” I quietly chuckle to myself as I watch the battered and beaten victim get left behind on the District Line Platform.
Moral of the Story: There is another tube coming in 4 minutes. Just relax.