Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dolcet Tones

This morning's Queen streetcar commute nearly rendered me postal before I'd even reached work. I had one of those drivers who just can't shut up. Short of announcing that there's an accident ahead and the car is delayed, or that we've been short turned, there is no further reason to chat up the passengers. Not now that the TTC has installed an automatic public address system that not only displays the next stop on a digital sign, but also announces it on the speaker.

Now before you get all Luddite on my ass, realize that this doesn't mean the driver, in a pique of civil mindedness, doesn't still feel the need to announce (or bloody sing in some cases) not only the stop, but the buses and the local services...within a ten-block radius...with a "time stamp." Who needs to know that the beer store is closed at 8am? If I do, I'm either unemployed or working nights and therefore asleep at home...not on the streetcar. The rest of us are sucking back coffee and thinking of our first proper drink at 5:15pm, thanks.

And so, as I shoved my anti-social iPod in my already hearing-impaired ears, I thought of Emma Clarke, the ex voice of the London tube; she's been sacked. Apparently, she suffered the wrath of an un-civil servant's lack of humour...or lack public transit experience.

From the Mail on Sunday online:

“The thought of being stuck in the Tube with strangers for minutes on end and having to listen to endless repeated messages of my own voice fills me with horror,” she told the paper.

The whole experience reminds me of a scene from the film Croupier starring the very lovely Clive Owen. His character, Jack Manfred, is heading to his new job as a casino blackjack dealer, is packed in a train like one of many sardines, and clinging to a handrail: "I hate public transport."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good movie