Commutus Commutus

Commuters aren’t born. They’re raised. In hate.

And they have a hatred of you, the non-commuter, the ordinary train traveller. Commutus Commutus hates you, and when I mean you, I mean specifically YOU.

If you think you’re important in this world, to anyone, then know this. You’re not, and then pay heed to this when travelling on a train that’s full of Commutus Commutus.

You and your journey. You, with your bag and your determined stride. Your ticket in the most appropriate pocket of your jeans so you can whip it out in seconds, ready to breeze through the barriers like they’re not there, like a walking, breathing object lesson in Taylor’s Scientific management. You with your spatial awareness and respect for other people’s personal space. You are not important. You are shite on the bottom of Commutus Commutus cloven hooves, who lost their spatial awareness after the first 1000 journeys, and has lost the respect for other’s personal space by reading The Metro every day. Fuck you they think. I’m in your space and in your face. I OWN YOU.

They also own this time of the morning. Most of them don’t want to be going to the place they’re hurrying to. Hurrying and scurrying with hate in their red and angry eyes.

I’ve travelled on trains lots since the beginning of the year. Often very early in the morning. I’m not commuting to a place of work but I have been travelling somewhere. It’s a long journey too. But one which I love because, at the end of it, I see someone so beautiful that my heart, for a second, stops, and the breath catches in my chest. For me this journey is one of love, not of hate.

But many people on this train at this time of the morning are not like this. For they are going to work. The brilliant @SJP_72 once called a train full of Commutus Commutus “The Passive-Aggressive Express.” Innit though bruv.

In some ways you can tell what someone’s going to be like in the office environment, simply by the way they behave at the station. They know exactly where to stand so they can get on the train and barge their way into a seat. They would call this ‘being organised’ but they’re actually the sort of person that will stand at your desk insisting that their thing gets fixed quicker than everyone else’s simply because they are slightly more belligerent than the average bear and much more important than the rest of humanity.

I get to the station, earlier than these people, and stand in the spot that means, when the train comes in, I’m right by the door. I’m the first one there and ready to board the train so this should, in theory, get me that seat just there, the one I can see when the train pulls in. I get first dibs innit?

Go fuck yourself sunshine. The rule is, the first one closest to the doors pushes the button to open the door, and while YOU’RE doing this Commutus Commutus has already performed some deft move around you and leapt into the seat you had your eye one. It’s like Grand Theft Auto. Fuck you, I’ve jacked your seat cocksucker, and I’m going to sit there with my Ipad, Iphone and spread my gadgets around me like this is my office. And you, helpful door opening loser, are my bitch, and now you’re sitting in the communal area by the folded up bikes. And by the bin. Which you deserve. Go, on, sit by the bin. Like the trash you are. You trash.

Recent behaviour I have observed by Commutus Commutus include;

  • Stopping anywhere on their walk from the train, including right in front of you. When they stop, don’t you dare walk into the back of them or they will skin you alive. You are behind them, this means you are beneath them.
  • They do have a ticket but if they have forgotten it they display aggressive and threatening behaviour. Commutus Commutus will shout at the ticket inspector, ask their name, threaten to report them to their supervisor, call them an arsehole, a jobs worth, for merely wanting to see the ticket they bought last week but forgot to put in their jacket this morning. It’s not Commutus Commutus fault they forgot it. They are an incredibly busy species. The reason why they can shout expletives at ticket inspectors is not because they are at fault but it’s because the ticket inspector is at fault or wanting to see this “ticket.”
  • They wield insulated cups which they believe have the same properties of the Holy Chalice and therefore makes them God.
  • They also wield devices. Phones, Iphones, Ipads and similar technology which allows them to connect to their offices, check their emails, and do work. Such technology was invented in order to make the world smaller, but has in fact, made working hours longer. They check their emails on the train into the office, tapping replies furiously into their touch screens, because they are actually now working. Thinking about work. Doing work. A working day that begins at 6.30am on the train and might possibly end at 6.30pm when they’re making their return journey home. In anyone’s books that’s a long day.

Perhaps that’s why they look so frightened, angry and dead behind the eyes.

Being somewhere they don’t want to be.

As parents we surely remember the first few months with a new baby. The hollow eyed look that greets you in the mirror after a night of little sleep. The insania that comes from being sleep deprived for the large portion of this time. This is what commuters look like. At this time of the morning. Dead on their feet. With a fierce anger in their eyes but accompanied by a look on their face that simply says “Why me?” Like shell-shocked victims of the trenches suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Perhaps I shouldn’t pay heed to the ways of Commutus Commutus, but instead try to understand the species. Rise above the hate and sympathise and empathise with them. After all, who wouldn’t feel fucked off if they had to spend hours in a fast-moving tin can at stupid o’ clock in the morning?

The anger at having to spend thousands of pounds each year to travel on a service, which never improves, while costs get higher, makes them look like angry monkeys trapped in a high-speeding cage.

Know your enemies, it has been written. And I truly subscribe that. Always have and always will.

Yes. Sympathy and empathy is the route to greater understanding. Next time I see one go a bit mental I’ll hold their hand and calm them down. Or ape their behaviour like Attenborough did with those silverback gorillas.

Because, once, a while back, I was exactly the same as them.

Thanks for reading.


10 responses to “Commutus Commutus

  1. I was on a packed commuter train recently and there was a seat vacant just waiting for me. Attributed this to my fetching femininity and found too late someone had weed on it. Anyway, forget your journey – I want to know about the glorious being at the end of it…!

    • That would be telling, and a gentleman doesn’t tell.
      Did a wee on a train? Man alive, these things need zookeepers on them.
      Thanks for reading. 🙂

  2. My name is Andy and I am a commuter. The line in this that made me laugh the most was the idea of one of you ‘non-commuters’ having a ‘determined stride’. I have to navigate cattle heading to Madame Tussauds every feckin’ day and their preferred method of perambulation is to randomly drift like smoke. When I do finally kick one of them in the head they will deserve it.

    Aaaaahh! And relax. I will look out for you so you can hold my hand next time I lose it :0)

    • Thanks senor. I always have a determined stride and know where my ticket is. Years of being one of the Tribe myself.
      Happy journeys my friend. 🙂

  3. Oh fuck, I love that blog post. Spencer, you star! You have summed up every single reason why I despise getting on trains. Here in my corner of Wales we have police on certain journeys because the on-board monkeys like to indulge in a little light murder and rape after a night out. Delightful.

  4. Fab blog Spencer, I really laughed at this, I love how you see things. I had to go to London for the day last week, on commuter trains there and back. When I got home I just thought ‘Thank fark I don’t have to do that everyday’
    The guy opposite me sniffed all the way there, I’m glad I didn’t offer him a tissue!
    HOpe you will tell us about the fabulous person soon xx

  5. Ah I can so relate…nothing like a trip on the metro for blog material…they should get themselves a bike, best thing I ever did for my commute. Its quicker, cheaper & solitary. Who could ask for more in a dull autumn morning.

  6. Brilliant. But, oh dear, I suspect that that used to be me… before I moved to within walking distance of work. Of course now I am even further from the commuter train, up a mountain in Spain. I once saw some poor bloke practically sneeze his brains out on a train and for some reason, that I can’t explain, I couldn’t bring myself to reach into my bag and fish out a tissue for him. Poor man was covered in snot. I have never been so ashamed of myself.

    • You’re not his mum, he should’ve brought his own hankie. If only to stop the rattling noises in his pocket from the loose change.
      Thanks for reading and thanks for your rather awesome comment. You selfish mare. 😉

  7. Pingback: Last Man Standing « There is always time for biscuits·

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