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However, as mentioned within the above, there are DOWNSIDES to all this, and by and large this is the simple FACT that London is a MAGNET for tossers, arseholes, gits, wankers, and the Generally Arsey. I'm not sure if they all MOVE here, or whether the city is a PILLOCK GENERATOR or something, but wherever you go, there they are - pushy, overwhelmingly arrogant, and just plain RUDE sods who think they are more important than ANYONE else and see no reason to apologise for anything they ever do, indeed, they think they should be APPLAUDED for their "get up and go".
This can be seen any morning at a busy TUBE station. For instance where I get on, at that time in the morning, trains go roughly once a MINUTE, yet still, EVERY time a train comes in these people RUN, PUSHING and SHOVING everyone else out of their way, to the doors and GRAPPLE with each other to get in, then HURL themselves to seats (where they then STRETCH their arms out to read the Daily Mail and GLARE at whoever's sitting next to them) or stand far too close, ANGRILY staring at the infidel who DARES to be seated. This usually happens just as the next, empty, train is pulling in to the station.
I mention all this because this morning i saw the ABSOLUTE ZENITH of Arsey London. Coming OUT of the tube station next to me this morning, a woman stopped to look at an advert. Coming DOWN into the station a man almost collided with her. Normally there would be tutting, some GLARES, and then they'd step round each other, but not today: Arsey Man GLARED. Arsey Woman GLARED. Neither moved. Arsey Man BERATED Arsey Woman. Arsey Woman BERATED Arsey Man. NEITHER MOVED. Apparently Arsey Man was VERY IMPORTANT INDEED and had no time to be STOPPED (for 0.01 seconds) by having to move round the Arsey Woman, whereas Arsey Woman was VERY IMPORTANT INDEED and should she choose to stand still on a busy stairway to look at a picture, then everyone else should move around her. Nobody Moved. Arsey Man had now delayed himself a good five seconds, whereas Arsey Woman could not look at the picture she wished to see due to Arsey Man in the way. And yet still they stood there, halfway up the stairs, face to face, each refusing to move.
This all went on ahead of me as I walked upstairs. As I passed they were pointedly IGNORING each other - because, of course, there was now A PRINCIPLE AT STAKE, which was EVEN MORE IMPORTANT than they themselves were - whenever somebody says "It's the principle that matters!" it always seems to me that the "principle" is "I am very important indeed, LOOK AT ME!" - and so, of course, to give in would be IMPOSSIBLE. Still they stood there, by now QUAKING with RIGHTEOUS ANGER. How DARE she be where I wanted to walk! How DARE he want to walk where i am standing!
I reached the top of the stairs and looked back, and they were STILL THERE. Surely he was in a hurry to catch a train? Surely she was on her way out somewhere? Could it be that NEITHER of them were SO vital to the ongoing good health of the nation after all? I didn't notice the foundations of the United Kingdom quaking, though that may be because they were pumping "Bohemian Rhapsody" out of the front of The Theatre With The Giant Freddie Mercury.
I got to my corner, and turned back, to see NEITHER of them emerging. I wonder if they'll still be there, stood face to face, when I go home tonight? I do hope so. If more Arsey People like that could CANCEL each other out in this way it would be a happier, simpler land to live in, and even IF we had to lose that aspect of public transport, I for one would be willing to make that sacrifice. And if someone as INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT as me can do it, surely we all can?
posted 21/10/2004 by MJ Hibbett
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