Quite often I write while travelling on the tube. It’s hard because even the smoothest London Underground train subjects you to bumps and jolts as it whizzes up and down the Northern Line.
In fact, with some smart-arse tube drivers, the bumps and jolts are intensified as the trains approach and leave stations – apparently it’s funny to slam on the breaks and send flying the frail little old woman who’s clinging for dear life to the standing rail. She looked like she wished she’d accepted my kind offer of a seat after we stopped at Warren Street yesterday…
Anyway, on Saturday I was slouched in my seat scribbling away as I took the tube from K-Town to Waterloo, when I noticed the woman sitting next to me was peering over my shoulder at my book. The nosey cow was trying to read my journal – what cheek! It’s bad enough when someone tries to read the newspaper over your shoulder (especially if it’s one you’ve paid for), but reading something someone’s actually writing is far worse.
Luckily for her my mood was more humourous than heinous, so rather than telling her to fuck off I made her aware of my opinion on over-the-shoulder snooping in a far more eloquent way. Just after I’d finished a sentence about the joys of strap on sex with my girlfriend (joke), I wrote: “The strange looking lady sitting next to me is trying to read what I’m writing.” Cue her to visibly jump, shift her head 90 degrees to the left and spend the next five minutes inspecting the very interesting floor space directly in front of her seat. Result. Bet that’s the last time she tries to read my diary.
Unsurprisingly, I was enjoying my tube journey immensely. And, just when I thought it couldn’t get any more entertaining a pair of matching obese half-Japaneses joined the train at Tottenham Court Road. It wasn’t that they were the same shape, nor that they were wearing co-ordinated black and white Arab scarves, not even that they were producing matching beads of sweat on their sweaty fat foreheads. Perhaps it was all of those things, combined with the shoulder-snooping woman who legged it off the train at TCR, that made it the funniest three stops I’ve travelled on the N-Line for quite some time.