As expected the already overloaded London Underground network has been pushed to it limits by the 2012 Olympics, with delays on the Central and Jubilee lines causing problems for commuters and sports fans alike. This means long delays for many, which more than anything can leave you with lots of time on your hands and no way of filling it.
To make those dull hours and minutes spent crammed into a carriage or stuck on a crowded platform pass a little quicker, here are a few ideas on how to keep busy during Olympic tube delays.
Don’t try these at home, because that wouldn’t make any sense.
1) Use your Nose
Have you ever read the book Perfume? It’s basically about this weird kid who’s born with an awesome sense of smell, an attribute which could make him the world’s best scent-smith, were it not for the fact that it also turns him mental.
Anyway, London is a glorious, stinking city at the best of times, but it is only in the confines of the underground that you can get intimately acquainted with the olfactory assets of your fellow travellers.
You might, for example, try and play snap by finding people who are wearing the same fragrance. Meanwhile lunchtime is a good period to play ‘Guess the Recent Meal’.
Based on perspiration odour you might also like to play ‘Who smells like they are late for something?’
The long and the short of it is that smells, good or bad, are nevertheless interesting. And you can sniff to your heart’s content while keeping your motives secret.
Holster your iPhone, put away your paperback and do as much blatant spying as you possibly can. Parents and children are always good fun to listen to, because kid logic will always throw up delightfully warped thoughts. From the mouths of babes comes some weird stuff.
Equally fun are the conversations of couples, particularly if they are clearly annoyed with each other but, for the sake of social propriety, are keeping this anger bubbling along under the surface until they can get somewhere private.
The rarest and most enjoyable examples of this occur when one person in a relationship is bitching openly about their absent partner to a friend. 100 points are awarded if that friend is overtly trying to split the pair up so that they can sneak in and pick up the pieces, preferably with their genitals.
Which brings us neatly on to…
3) PDA Countermeasures
Public displays of affection are a travesty in any setting, but when they are being enacted by couples in a crowd, it can be a little bit like an upsetting Chat Roulette session that you can’t quit.
To disrupt this rutting, there are a number of options available, which will not only alleviate your boredom but also make you a hero in the eyes of your peers.
You could try having a loud, fake phone conversation near them with an imagined friend in which you talk graphically about sexually transmitted diseases, asserting that you’ve heard about a new strain of ‘mega-herpes’ which can be contracted via kissing while in groups of 10 or more people.
Alternatively, while you’ll have the urge to get as far away from the oral combat zone as possible, you should resist this and instead get far too close. They can’t call you out, because you’re going to be in amongst throngs of other people, but it’s hard to remain romantically entangled when a stranger is backing slowly into your personal space, humming Ride of the Valkyries.
Finished with the Metro? Stick it on your head, you plum!
5) Play The Game
I lost the game. And if you’re bored enough, you will too.
6) Read 50 Shades of Grey
It’s a popular book of some kind. Presumably it tells the story of a colour blind person taking part in a Neapolitan ice cream eating contest. Read it and find out!
If you’ve got any ways you like to entertain yourself while waiting for the tube, feel free to add them in the comments below!