Common Sense: Using Public Transport (part two)

24 Oct


Matt Webb

You can read part one of our common sense guide to using public transport here.

Please enjoy part two, entitled:

Your kids aren’t special

Not many people know this, but I am actually a Satanist. It’s a lifestyle choice I made a few years back, and I’ve had no real reason to regret it (apart from the nightmares. Dear God, the nightmares!) The trouble with practising Devil worship is that there is an awful lot of noise, mess and paraphernalia involved in carrying out the rituals.

A few weeks back, I had kidnapped a virgin and was taking her home to sacrifice while performing the Rite of Kulum Ba’ak (which would have ensured that the poached eggs I was having for tea that night would not be overcooked.) Unfortunately, I had to take her on the tube at rush hour to get her to my flat. We’d just boarded a busy train (me nearly decapitating two other passengers with the ceremonial scythe I was carrying) when the virgin came round from the sedative I’d given her and started screaming and crying. She was flailing about like a mad thing, and everyone was pretty pissed off with her. When she made a break for it at the next stop (stepping on a few toes as she did so) I had no choice but to let her escape, as the embarrassment of admitting ownership of this hysterical woman was too much to contemplate. The upshot of all this, of course, was that the yolks of my poached eggs were cooked hard all the way through, and I was furious.

This, of course, is untrue. I would NEVER take something as cumbersome, noisy and disturbing as a murder victim on the tube during rush hour. That would be selfish. People have no problem bringing their toddler on the tube in their pushchair though.

Obviously, my attitude of “get your fucking kid out of my face” is pretty selfish too, but it’s more convenient for other commuters.

I understand that there are legitimate reasons for bringing your child on the tube at inconvenient times (at least, I’ve heard that there are such reasons.) So, for those of you that are planning on forcing your fragile little poopsykins onto a crowded train, please take note of the following:

  • Your child doesn’t need a seat to itself. They can either sit on your lap, or they can start to learn that adults are more important than them.
  • If your child is having a tantrum or just generally making noise, please make a token effort to shut it the hell up. I appreciate that sometimes it is hard to get a child to be quiet. I also appreciate that as a parent you have an apparent ability to tune out their screaming. No one else does. We just need to know that you care enough to at least try to stop your kid pissing off everyone within earshot; we don’t expect miracles.
  • This applies to any public environment, but counts double on transport; your pushchair is not a battering ram. I know you think that bearing a child makes you more important than everyone else, but this still doesn’t give you the right to use weapons to break up a crowd.
  • If you choose to ignore my advice and decide to ram your pushchair into the back of people’s legs in order to make space for yourself, certainly don’t roll your eyes and huff as if you’re the one being inconvenienced by their inability to dodge your blows.
  • Again, a piece of advice that can be applied to all public areas; clean that child up a bit, will you? I might have to sit on the train/bus opposite your child for an hour or so, maybe even longer. I don’t want to spend that time suppressing my gag reflex because the snot encrusted across your child’s face is making me want to heave. So keep some wet wipes handy and use them for Christ’s sake! Give that kid a haircut while you’re at it.

Part three coming soon


2 Responses to “Common Sense: Using Public Transport (part two)”

  1. Alison Thewliss (@alisonthewliss) November 14, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

    Some thoughts. I’m a relatively new mum, and about a year and a half ago I could totally see your point of view. It remains true that in the end, I chose to have a child. However, in the world I’m in now, people like you just get in the way…

    1) Parents might have little choice about when they travel. I pick my son up from nursery after my own day’s work. We’re both tired, need fed, and frankly can’t get home soon enough. Glowering at someone’s girning bairn won’t improve matters one jot. Peek-a-boo probably might. Both of us will be grateful, as strangers are often far more fascinating than mummy.

    2) Buggies have to be manoeuvred in a relatively small space while on public transport. I get exactly the same time as anyone else to get off the train (and less on the bus!), so forgive any panic and related damage to your ankles that sets in should you not be aware of my need to alight. It’s probably because your ipod’s up too loud and you can’t hear me politely say ‘excuse me’.

    3) Efforts to reduce screaming and remove goo may already have been made on several occasions before you clap eyes on the clatty looking spawn. Just feel lucky it’s not projectile vomit or exploding nappy.

    Like your point about oxters in part one, a little mutual tolerance and understanding goes a long way… Looking forward to part three.

  2. Webbo November 24, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    Ah yes, this is totally an exercise in selfish indulgence on my part. I am the world’s biggest hypocrite. When I have children of my own (if I can find some poor woman willing to bear my child…) I will doubtless do all the things that annoy me now, having said that I would never do them. I also get in people’s way and have smelly armpits too, probably.

    I forgot I was going to do a part three. I’m going to have to make a note of people that annoy me on the way home tonight.

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