Selfish, depressed fuckers

I sat on the tube the other day as an announcement came: “The Piccadilly Line will from now on run with some delays due to a person under a train at Arnos Grove. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.” In front of me: a row of tired, annoyed faces. Tutting and sighing all round. That particular day, for some reason, the absurdity struck me: it was an announcement like any other, a reason for delays like any other. Yet another voice mechanically apologising for the inconvenience of someone killing themselves on the particular tube line YOU depend on. People are in a hurry, you know. They have meetings to attend, emails to reply to, bosses to face. Almost everyone in the whole world is busy enough to get seriously annoyed...

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Baby on board – shout it from the rooftops!

“I like to think I’m a fairly tolerant person. I’m not, obviously, but I still like to think it. In truth, as I get older the list of things that disproportionately annoy me gets longer. Grammatical errors. Tourists who walk too slowly down busy London thoroughfares. Pregnant women who wear “Baby on board” badges when travelling on public transport. That kind of thing.” I read the first paragraph of Elizabeth Day’s column in The Observer last weekend and thought: I like her; she’s a bit like me. Because not only am I a notorious grammar stickler, but I used to think exactly that – in fact, I still feel a bit like that – about those stupid badges. Still today, I refuse to wear one. Despite finding out that the back pain...

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