Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Correct human bevaviour

Many overland train carriages in the UK are now phone-free. This is small step forward for society. But to take a greater stride towards social cohesion and community togetherness, policymakers should immediately ban all talking on public transport. They can start with the Tube. Talking on the Tube is antisocial behaviour on a par with shitting on the pavement or spitting on a dog. No one wants to listen to two people hold a conversation on the Tube. It’s infuriating because you have no choice but to listen given the confines of a Tube carriage, and further, since you are forced to listen, you are without the benefit of context so everything said is completely meaningless. There is a distinct gender divide here. Women seem to have no problem with holding an animated personal conversation across a crowded Tube carriage. Men’s conversations, if forced to talk at all, are much more muted. The correct behaviour, of course, is to sit there in stoic silence, enduring the heat, smell and inane chatter while the veins in your temples throb away the heartbeats until your inevitable stroke. A hiccup can often occur when boarding a Tube carriage with a colleague or friend who doesn’t understand that talking on the Tube is wrong. The best way to avoid the awkward situation where you are forced to ignore your friend, or at least move slowly away and pretend they’re insane, is to have a quick chat beforehand and make very clear that there will be no talking until you’re out of the Tube and once again in daylight.


  1. Given the content of your previous article (entitled "The problem with press week"), can we take it that the error in the title of this one is an attempt to see if we're all reading carefully?


  2. Haha, didn't even notice. Good spot. Am off to whip myself with a birch branch for 20 minutes.