Stories from the Tube – The bizarre and hilarious

If it wasn’t for the man casually walking up a street in Melbourne shouting, “I don’t know!” really loudly and scaring everyone in his wake, I wouldn’t have thought to recall some of the hilarious things that I’ve seen in our few months in London.

Don’t show emotion – laugh on the inside

The tube is a magical place.  It’s the heartbeat of London and practically everybody uses it, so it’s only natural that when so many people are crammed together that hilarity will ensue.  Here are just a few memories, which were seen through eyes in a face which needed to remain deadpan – of course, you can’t show emotion on the tube!

#1 – The pole dancing lady on the District line

I remember this one quite vividly, as this was the time I couldn’t keep my poker face (also, I was not on this train, so I was free to show emotion without recourse).  Hopping off the District Line train at High Street Kensington to change for a Circle Line train, I noticed a particularly awkward bunch of commuters.

They were all sitting starting down the carriage, which I was yet to see.  There was a partial look of amusement combined with disgust.  Luckily, as the train slowly pulled out of the station, I witnessed a ‘lady’ twerking against the pole in the doorway, then proceeding to gyrate around the pole.  She caught my gaze and I gave her a nod of approval and a giggle, so she continued on entertaining her fellow passengers as the train continued along out of sight.

#2 – The cute puppy dog on a scooter on the Jubilee Line

The Jubilee line can get quite crowded, especially around school times.  On this one morning, a well-groomed man got on, with his young son and beautiful King Charles Cavalier puppy (and I emphasise puppy, this dog was very, very young).

There was not much room to move, so the man held his son in his arms while allowing the puppy to stand by his feet on a leash.  The fun came when the tiny scooter, that was obviously the son’s, was held closely to the man – close enough for the dog to pop 2 feet on.  For about 3 stations, it looked like the puppy liked to glide and grind down the pavement on his razor scooter – but I guess I was the only one who found it adorably funny.

#3 – The man sneezing without a tissue

Well, this one heads into the territory of gross.  Of course, a Jubilee Line train, middle of peak time.  This dapper gentleman holding intently on to the handrail seemed to become possessed momentarily by the devil, letting out an almighty sneeze.  Whilst not releasing his hand in the slightest to cover his nose and mouth, the ‘gentleman’s’ face now contained a hearty glop of snot dangling from his nostril.

Better look intently at my phone or out the window into the dark tunnel, lest someone think I should tell him.  The journey carried on.

#4 – The tourists talking about me in French

Minding my own business one morning on the Jubilee Line (are you getting to see a theme here?) on a bright summer’s day.  A couple of French tourists got on the train at the stop after I did and sat directly opposite me.  A few stations passed and the train began to fill.

The Jubilee Line is quite noisy, and hard to talk to each other when the train is moving. This didn’t seem to stop me overhearing the couple shouting to each other in French “Where do you think he is from?” “It’s hard to tell, but definitely not here” “I like his watch”.  Of course I could understand it – I was only upset because they said nothing seriously derogatory about me that I could get all dramatic about.

Satisfying nonetheless that someone could think nobody spoke French in London… Anyway, the journey continued without even a raised eyebrow.

#5 – The little girl doing gymnastics

This, while cute at first, also bordered on the annoying.  A little girl got on the train with her weary mother. Of course, this girl was full of beans and jumping around the place – what’s this?  A bar to hang from?  Great!!

So, of course, this little girl is hanging, swinging, twirling like your regular monkey.  There are squeals and screams as the train rattles along, throwing her off-balance.  Unfortunately, while the mother just looked off into the distance (I think she needed a break), this little girl then loses grip and falls down onto the seat unexpectedly with a thud and with a shocked look on her face.

I’m sure she was fine, but the rest of the trip was delightfully quiet.

#6 – The little boy correcting the automated announcements pronunciation on the Jubilee line

Again on the wonderful Jubilee Line, a mother and her son were heading east (as was I).  The kid seemed to be quite smart, well spoken and alert.  Each time the train politely announced “The next station is…”, the boy would question the pronunciation.  Of course, the announcements are in quite a plum English accent – however the boy was having none of it.

“Canada Water” became, “Canader wa’er”, “Canary Wharf” became “Canaree Whorff”, “North Greenwich” became “Norff Grennich”, and of course, “Stratford” became “Stra’fed”.

I sorely miss this East London accent and hoorah for the little boy for correcting TFL’s announcements to reflect the local area.

What have you seen or overheard on the tube that made you giggle?

Let me know by leaving a comment or reply.  I’d love to hear them, and of course, keep a straight face as you’re telling the story.


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