05 September, 2006

Door stopped

Yet another development to report on the Underground.

Twice in one day I have witnessed people in such a desperate rush to jump into a carriage that their luggage has got caught in the sliding doors and the entire train has been held up waiting for the confusion to be resolved.

Yesterday morning it was a bloke with a giant rucksack, who somehow contrived to end up standing on the platform with his bag poking through into the inside of the carriage. Some charitable passenger jumped to his aid and tried to push the rucksack back through, while another person on the platform joined in and tried the pull the rucksack out. It was all to no avail, of course, and a huge palaver ensued before the driver realised something was wrong and opened up all the doors. Not before a great deal of time and energy had been expended for no reason.

Then in the evening the same thing happened again, although this time involving a person who'd made it into the carriage but whose luggage was still protuding half-out. Again a lot of faffing and flapping ensued, and again everybody was held up waiting for the doors to be properly opened and the offending bag freed.

Such cases are probably quite common, but in each instance I don't blame the driver. I blame the passengers who have the nerve and idiocy to believe a closing door isn't in fact closing but is somehow going to magically let them through despite being made of glass, plastic and lots of electrical wires. When the tannoy booms out "Mind the closing doors", they seem to regard this as an instruction to do the precise opposite. No wonder so many people are injured on the Underground every year simply boarding and dismounting from trains.

I'm still waiting for the occasion when I get to see someone have their tie or a piece of jacket caught in the machinery behind them and then have to stay jammed up against the door until being "freed" at the next station. It'd certainly make commuting a lot more fun. For me, that is.


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