Thursday, 13 December 2007

Orange Squash

Imagine the scene: you've arrived at the station to catch a train. You've arrived a short while before the train is due and you're standing on a freezing cold platform waiting. The platform gradually fills with members of The Public all stamping their feet in an attempt to keep warm. Suddenly the train pulls in to the station and people start climbing into the carriages. It's busy, but you're confident everyone will fit. You remain confident until the moron a dozen people in front of you suddenly decides, for no apparent reason, to stand in the isle and entirely block it. Ahead of him you can see a third of the carriage remains empty. He's clearly happy where he is though and will go no further.

Behind you the orderly queue has descended into chaos. People are pushing, trying to get on the train before it leaves. The guard comes past and helpfully instructs the people at the back to move down the carriage. A few moments later he angrily informs all the people still on the platform that the train isn't going anywhere until they've filled it and he can wait all day if necessary. Meanwhile the fool continues to stand still - either ignorant or oblivious. For reasons best kept to themselves, those directly behind him choose not to get involved despite their increasingly irate fellow passengers and the inevitable shrill woman shouting "move down, move down". Finally the guard gives up in disgust and slams the door in the faces of the people waiting on the platform and the train moves off with half of the potential passengers still on the platform.

Sounds insane. It wouldn't be tolerated. People would complain to the railway. And yet this is exactly the scene that greets anyone catching the Bright Orange Bus from central Bath up to the university every morning...

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