Every person you’ll hate on your London commute
Do not, under any circumstances, ride a micro-scooter
It’s no secret that commuting is the bane of every Londoner’s life.
Most of us would have a minor breakdown if we tried to drive here, and we can’t exactly cover the cost of constant Uber rides with banterous Barry from Bethnal Green – so the whole ordeal of travelling has to be done with other human beings.
If you’re one of those arseholes who makes commuting a living hell for the rest of us, then you are what is wrong with this world.
People who cycle
First of all, let’s face it: if you didn’t pass your cycling proficiency in Year 6, you probably shouldn’t be cycling in London. When pedestrians start wondering if you’re having a heart attack at every set of traffic lights, it’s time to give up.
Equally, if you’re one of those smug bastards who rides around in Lycra for no apparent reason and blasts “Eye of the Tiger” from the speakers attached to your handlebars (yes, this person actually exists), you can also fuck off. This is not the Tour de France.
Alas, with the construction of the new East-West super-duper-cycle-highway in full swing, a load more of these lunatics are going to be mounting their death machines, out to kill the rest of us. We have to remain vigilant, because only half of them will do it unintentionally.
People who use the tube
Everyone else likes to think they’re a pro at using the tube – but it’s merely an illusion. On the escalators, imbeciles are either standing on the left (people, there’s a sign warning against this faux pas every two seconds) or rushing past you, taking five steps at a time because their schedules simply will not allow standing with the rest of us peasants.
Honestly, if you like walking so much why don’t you do it above ground and leave the tube to the rest of us lazy bastards who actually need it?
What’s more, if you want anyone to respect you on the tube, you should seriously keep any feelings of joy/ optimism/ politeness to yourself. This will avoid awkward thought processes like: Why are you smiling at me? Nope, no, this isn’t happening. Just because you’re a friendly Northerner, it doesn’t mean I want you to talk to me. Oh no, I’ve made eye contact with that toddler more than once now. You with the novelty tie, don’t you even dare open your mouth. It’s awkward enough that we’re practically upright spooning here.
Then there’s those stubborn pricks who just will not move down the platform, even though every true Londoner should be able to select the optimum carriage for its perfect combination of proximity to the exit at your stop and minimum crowding by now anyway.
That’s not forgetting the people who keep diving between the lift doors at the last minute and delaying your commute by a further 15 seconds. And the fat bankers who somehow need three whole seats for themselves, their briefcases and their massive egos. I mean, does it ever end?
People who use the bus
For some reason, tube etiquette (not that anyone follows it) doesn’t always extend to buses, and people can get a bit too friendly. Sometimes, they even… talk to each other. I am not in the mood to sit here moaning with you about the traffic at Elephant and Castle. Or about the extortionate cost of a monthly Travel Card. Or even about David Cameron.
I’m perfectly aware that I’m living in the most stressful, overpriced city on the planet. In fact, I’ve probably had no sleep and no breakfast because of that very reality, and am pretty much losing the will to live right now. I don’t need another random commuter to remind me how sad my life is. Just. Leave. Me. Alone.
People who walk too fast
And once people are off public transport, things only get worse. We get it, you live in London, you’re a busy guy, but do you really have to angrily speed walk/ weave/ barge through the streets to reach your destination? Meanwhile the rest of us are dragging ourselves across Waterloo Bridge, sweating our arses off, wearing practically none of the clothing we left the house in and seriously considering throwing ourselves into the Thames to cool down.
You might have the energy to jaywalk in front of every bus you possibly can, but if it’s alright with you the rest of us will have a little rest and wait for the green man, thank you very much.
People who walk too slow
Of course there’s also the other extreme: the dawdler. She can usually be found in absolutely everyone’s way, tweeting her philosophical/ feminist musings or reading a big fuck-off novel which is blatantly for show (surprise, surprise, she’s only got to page 12 of War and Peace). Of course, to top it all off she’ll be tucking into her vegan Pret breakfast. She probably works, nay, interns in “the arts” and spends her free time planning her sabbatical just learning to be spiritual, hence her complete lack of urgency.
And worst of all, people who use micro-scooters
There’s only one thing worse than them all: the micro-scooterist. If this is you, you are even worse than a cyclist. In fact, you’re the absolute worst kind of commuter in London and everyone hates you. Seriously, what the fuck are you doing with your life? If anyone has the balls to carry their scooter onto a tube or a bus, they should probably also have the decency to rapidly unfold it and scoot off back to Halfords for an immediate refund. You are not edgy, you are not cool. You have just committed social suicide.
The most tragic part of it all is most of those who zig-zag past you along the Southbank are genuinely 40 years old and wearing a full suit. What are you doing riding a scooter in the city? Have you ridden it all the way from your home in fucking Richmond? Why are you wearing a helmet when you’re literally rolling along at 1.5 miles per hour?
It’s enough to make you want to leave London. But not really.