Thursday, September 29, 2016
Tempted by tube chat? Here are my top tips to avoid getting sucked in.
The decision by Transport for London to encourage people to talk to each other on the tube has met with understandable derision from citizens of the Smoke.
The first rule of the UK capital - and the very glue that holds together its social fabric - is that no one makes conversation. Or eye contact preferably.
If you are feeling remotely tempted to wear one of the new badges that signals your willingness to engage in idle banter ('Baby, I'm Bored'), here are some suggestions to help suppress your urges. It's a process a Hampstead psychotherapist would call sublimation and it can come in very useful.
Isn't there another level of Candy Crush you could aim for?
If that's not your type of crush, go back and and re-read Rush Hour Crush in the Metro.
See if you can find a mouse on the platform or tracks. Hold a conversation with them instead.
Ostentatiously do your make-up - a process which can often last quite happily from Theydon Bois to Liverpool Street.
Recite to yourself all the stops on the District Line between Turnham Green and Plaistow.
Practise making general announcements to the carriage about the train being held in the station to regulate the service.
Dial one of your Skype contacts at random using the subterranean wifi network and explain that no one in the carriage is interested in talking to you.
Close your eyes and indulge in a little meditation. We'll wake you up at Morden.
Take physical exercise by swinging on the straps and handrails in the carriage. People will ignore you and carry on playing Candy Crush.
Pull the emergency cord and talk to the British Transport Police at the next stop.
If all else fails, get yourself as far North as possible. Talking there is perfectly acceptable. But I'm talking way beyond Colindale.