Thursday, 11 March 2010

Once More Unto The Breach, Dear Friends

Every day, the battle lines are drawn. Challenges are issued and gauntlets are thrown down. Glorious victory achieved and crushing defeat meted out. But never a word is spoken, never a cry is uttered. For this is not a war of weapons, a war of gun and sword, of fist and tooth and nail. No, this is a war of delicate non-verbal communication and enforced but insincere politeness. A war where the tut is a valuable asset and a withering stare part and parcel of the armour one clads oneself in.

Commuting, gotta love it.

The first battle of the day shall be known as The Battle Of Who's Nearest The Door When The Train/Tube Stops. Positions are taken up. Sidelong looks of subtle irritation are given to the person who's in Your Place and are nimbly deflected by a studied concentration on the free metropolitan newspaper. The initial skirmish seems lost. But wait, the driver has pulled slightly further forward today. You are first at the door. First blood goes to you.

But the war drags onward. No sooner is first sortie won than the fray is resumed with The Battle Of Left Or Right To Get The Seat. In this clash, fortune favours the bold and an indecisive man is a standing man. However, fortune is a fickle mistress and, on this occasion, right has yielded a large selection of seated German tourists. Defeat is bitter and unpalatable. But all is not lost...

There is a chance to claw back victory from the jaws of defeat. A cunning man will position himself so that events will move in his favour when someone relinquishes one of the holy and much coveted seats at the next stop. Unfortunately, in this challenge, fortune favours with the ill manners of a dying dog who manoeuvre themselves to body block you whilst the person becomes upstanding thereby enabling them to deftly swing into the newly vacated seat ahead of you.

And so, the destination is reached. A minor victory at the start of the campaign seemed to bode well for the hardened campaigner and yet, by the fickle caprices of cruel and merciless fate, he was last the last man standing (well, he and fifty others).

He can console himself with one small thought. The campaign may be over for today but the war, oh my friends, the war goes on...

Still only one more day to the weekend, eh?

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