Tuesday, January 8, 2008

It's a London thing

The anti-London brigade will inevitably tell you that one of the reasons they loathe London with such a passion is because nobody talks on the Tube. It's an obsession with them. 'I hate it there,' they will say, scowling in absolute horror. 'You get on the underground and nobody even looks at you!'

I tend to think this reveals quite a lot about a person with such obviously significant insecurities that being anonymous for up to half an hour at a time is a fate worse than death. I also think, in certain circumstances - notably bad hair/skin/eyebrow days - the fewer people notice you, the better.

I formed this opinion on the tube to Euston this morning (have been dispatched to the north to cause trouble) while earwigging in on a really quite tortuous conversation between two guys in suits, who I'll call Aussie Boy and Older Colleague, because that's all I know about them. When Aussie Boy got into the carriage Older Colleague was already there. Aussie Boy attempted to pretend he hadn't seen him... but too late. Aussie Boy, by the way, is a twat. You will see why. If I was Older Colleague I wouldn't have bothered making eye contact in the first place.

OC: Happy new year Aussie Boy!
AB: (flashes pearly white teeth) Older Colleague! Hi!
OC: First day back?
AB: Yeah, Just back from two and half weeks in Australia. Got off the plane this morning but hey - it's only jetlag. (see what I mean? twat)
OC: Ah right. Good time?
AB: Oh yeah, hung out with friends and family, had BBQs and parties... after two weeks the family was starting to get on my tits though, you know what I mean?
OC: (how dare you speak that way about your elders) hmmm. Do you go back often? (please go back often, in fact please go back and stay back).
AB: once a year? yeah, about once a year. Actually while I was there I dropped in on the Brisbane office. Just wanted to put a few names to a few faces (see, not only is he a twat, he's an arselicking twat). They were real busy but they said next time I'm there, they'll take me out for dinner and drinks so we can get to know each other (yeah, don't hold your breath mate). They really know how to do business down there.
OC: (you really are an arselicking twat aren't you? But shit, you're after my job, you smug bastard) Oh great. That must have been... interesting...
AB: yeah, sure was (why don't you want to know more about my great story? You've realised I'm after your job, haven't you, you pensioner)

After that, painful silence until the next stop, When Aussie Boy leapt off, presumably to catch up with the London office on the way to the, er, London office.

And that, my friends, is why you should never, ever make eye contact on the Tube.

7 comments:

almostwitty.com said...

See I wouldn't have read the subtext into that conversation. But then again, that's probably why I have no idea about office politics and will be out of a job next month!

btw, nobody talks on public transport in the frozen hail-driven north either ;)

fake adult said...

There's a great little Aussie film out on DVD called 'Noise', with one of the best opening scenes in a film ever, set on public transport. I won't ruin it for you, except to say that sometimes it's good to check that your fellow passengers are still alive... Other than that, I pretend not to see boring acquaintances all the time. Thankfully they also pretend not to see me.

silverfox said...

We don't want him, he can stay there, until we get there, then he can be here if you know what I mean! And yes, do see 'Noise', great little film. It's the sort of thing I want to do to people who have those inane conversations that lead nowhere and make your ears bleed!

KaB said...

oh how I love tube chatter...eavesdropping has got to be one of the bestest everest things ever! Makes me laugh at how silly & lame some folks are...wankers!

As for Aussie boy...well...they're all like that...aren't they?!? That's why they're a bunch of tossers...George Gregan & Ricky Ponting so totally fall in this category...gimps!

I can't wait to eavesdrop come my big move up north...hurrah!

Happy 2008 Zuz!!!

KaB said...

FA...my apologies...you don't count as a wanker in the Aussie sense!

Peace :)

Grace said...

Eeeek.... People should never talk on public transport!

fake adult said...

Kab, lucky I don't follow any sport, except NRL, sometimes, for the perve factor. Yesterday at boot camp, the trainer told us to run to "the first cricket pitch" in this park and normally I would lead, but I had no idea what a cricket pitch was. Now, with the wisdom of hindsight I can accurately say it's grass that's mysteriously different to the grass next to it.

But, be careful with generalising.