Monday, June 02, 2008

Last Call on the Underground

Recently, the new mayor of London announced that starting today, consuming alcoholic beverages on the Underground would be banned. This prompted a huge "last night of drinking on the Tube!" party, which got kinda out of hand from the sounds of things. Fighting, throwing up, strangers falling on top of each other...sounds like the morning commute to me.

I'll pause for a second as the realisation sits in that before today--drinking alcohol on the Tube was completely legal. I LOVE LONDON.

And I also LOVED eating and drinking on the Tube--not "drinking" drinking, but lots of times, the only way I was going to get a meal in if I was on my way from class to rehearsal or to work was if I snapped up a sandwich and an apple and chomped down on the Tube. If you're going to be commuting for an hour at a time, what better way to pass the time? And I know that this leads to a lot of the mess that people complain about on the Underground: I can see how a ban on booze is going to lead to a general bad on food consumption in general, because there will be less trash to pick up. (Chicago L to London Underground: Food bans don't work. Athens Metro to Chicago L: Yes it does. Chicago L and Athens Metro *fight*.)

So bye-bye to endless chances for continued unsobriety. Fare thee well, chavvy men with their cans of Carlsburg furtively clutched in paper bags. You will no longer be able to fool no one. But consider this: would you rather have all these people being annoying drunk jerks on the Tube, or being annoying drunk jerks in their cars, driving around in London? Presumably the Tube driver is sober, so I'll take the former. Besides, if you're on a Tube at two in the morning surrounded by sloshed people, chances are you're probably sloshed too. (Theoretically that is. I've never tested this theory, of course. Of course.)

Incidentally, smoking on the Tube was banned in the sixties or seventies, I believe. You're not supposed to smoke on the platforms either--but I did see a pair of Irishmen smoking in a Jubilee line carriage on St. Patrick's day once. I decided I'd rather suffer the smoke than tell a pair of Irishmen they needed to stop on St. Patty's and suffer the consequences.


Peter said...

Good move on the irishmen. I hear you want to buy a car. I'd suggest a Hummer, an H1 to be exact, just like the army uses.

Laura said...

One thing I loved about the tube was how clean it is even though there are no underground trash cans nor trash cans around the tube stops above ground thanks to the IRA in the 70s. To protect the citizens from tube-bombings they decided it was more worthwhile to pay people to pick up trash. Still - the tube was cleaner than the NYC subway - which still has trash cans. STILL has trash cans and not even the metal mesh ones you can see through and go, Hey is that a bomb? (shakes head) seems like we're not even trying.