diamond geezer

 Thursday, June 14, 2007

It's getting more and more crowded on the tube, and not because there are more passengers. It's because of newspapers. People never used to carry quite so many newspapers around with them, but now nearly everybody has at least one. The number of free papers being thrust into Londoners' hands is almost endless. And what a lot of carriage space reading those newspapers takes up. There you are trying to squeeze onto a train in the rush hour, but it's almost impossible to get on because a significant percentage of the commuters inside insist on reading their newspapers. See that suited City bloke with a Financial Times flapping in his hands? He's not shutting it for anyone. Selfish space-hogger. See that secretary standing in the doorway engrossed in her London Lite? She's not noticed you, so you'll have to squeeze round to one side (if you can). Selfish space-hogger. See that paint-stained workman checking out the back of a red-top tabloid? Nobody's getting in the way of him reading the latest sports news. Selfish space-hogger. See that shaggy student type flicking through a discarded Metro? He's taking up double the space he would normally, because nobody's allowed to stand within his quarantined newsprint triangle. Selfish space-hogger. This crowd, and their refusal to stop reading when more commuters want to get on, are unnecessarily clogging up the train. Nobody has a divine right to read in an overcrowded carriage, nobody's open newspaper deserves to leave other passengers stranded on the platform. If only a few more people would learn to tolerate unstimulated commuting, more of the rest of us could climb on board.

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