2. Ignore Authority If you take the tube in London, make sure you ignore the announcers. Just because these people are paid to look after the platforms and deal with accidents doesn't mean you should ACTUALLY wait for people to get off before you get your elbows out and push your way on. How else are you going to beat that granny to the only empty seat? Remember, manners equal sore feet! Squeamish Louise
3. Preparation People often seem to meet the barriers at rails stations with some surprise. Only stopping to look for their ticket when they get to the platform barrier. This is a favourite pastime for that collection of people who also stand, blissfully unaware of the huge pile up of people behind them, on the left of the escalator! In my ideal world there would be a trapdoor in front of the barriers and if you stop there for more than 3 seconds they open and drop you into a pit of alligators. Gareth
4. Don’t Offer Your Seat Public transport no-nos: Offering possibly pregnant women your seat. Because we've all had that awful moment when we did, and she looked confused, and we both realised it was that one of us had mistaken abundance for a bun in the oven, and two women just stand there wanting a hole to open in the ground so they can crawl into it and die. Much safer to be rude and hog the seat. F1Kate
5. Offer Your Seat (A Cautionary Whale) You know what’s fun to do on the tube? Large lady roulette. The game’s simple: you reach the only spare seat on a carriage a split-second before a woman with a few extra pounds. Are you going to take the seat, and potentially force a poor, tired, pregnant woman to stand on aching feet while protecting the God-damn miracle of life inside her being, or are you going to offer it to her, and possibly effectively point out to someone in front of a train full of strangers that you think she looks fat enough to be carrying round another person? You have literally one second. GO.
A few months ago, this happened to me. And we’re talking pro-level large-lady roulette here. Huge coat, round figure. Coulda tossed a coin.
Fuck it, I thought, and took the seat, giving her a smile that said “I’m sorry that you didn’t get the seat, and really I’m starting to regret this decision already, but you’ve got to see that I’ve committed to this course of action and we will both have to let the chips fall as they will.”
She smiled wanly back, her smile saying “I don’t agree with your decision, but social norms prevent me from doing anything about it, and so I will have to stand here quietly instead of throwing you under the train at the next station, as you so richly deserve.”
The woman opposite me stood up. “Would you like this seat?”
“Oh, yes please – thank you very much,” said the first.
She sat down, and adjusted her coat enough to reveal the huge white badge on her lapel that read “BABY ON BOARD”.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the presence of mind to immediately commit ritual suicide and messily bleed out on the floor of the District Line. Instead, we sat facing each other for twelve stops. Pete