Rucksacks: A Rush Hour Tube Etiquette PSA

Rucksacks! Just the sight of seeing one taking up huge chunks of space on a rammed and heaving tube during the morning rush hour while one suffocates and is awkwardly squashed up into the corner, can be enough to make even the most seasoned travellers blood boil.

Whether you call them rucksacks or backpacks, they are like a large festering tumour growing hideously from the back, inconveniently poking out like a leeching fungus and consuming all those that come in contact with it.

The tube is packed with people clutching bags of all shapes and sizes, and on the morning rush hour commute it is a common sight to see women holding on to their handbags for dear life or business men clinging on to their briefcase as the breath of  lingering commuters are squeezed in like a pack of sardines, sweating from even their faces. But these people are intelligent, sensible and considerate of their surroundings and the others around them; they have chosen to keep their belongings close so it does not interfere with any other travellers.

The same however cannot be said for those arrogant types who choose to strap on an inconvenient eyesore known as a rucksack. A cursed invention for the tube that invades the privacy of anyone standing directly behind them, which should have no place on an over cramped, full to capacity tube train.

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The Telegraph

Just the sight of one on a chock-a-blocked carriage during rush hour brimming with humans, infuriates me. What is the purpose of these thoughtless beings not at least switching them over to their chest or stomach area? Are they unaware that their giant sized disruption is in actual fact taking up the personal space of those directly behind them?!

It’s 8am in the morning and they look like they are seemingly going camping or are set to climb the highest mountain top or even venture out into some sort of battlefield with all that junk inside.

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Just one look at their oversized belongings would make it appear as if they had stocked up on enough food rations to feed a savaged zombie wasteland. What exactly lurks in the darkened confines of this monstrous contraption and why does it require more room than the amount of oxygen most normal actually inhale on a daily basis.

Rucksack wearers’ we give you fair warning of the rear facing personal space of others and that it is the real issue here. Rucksack wearers that do not turn that backpack around are ignorant and or are completely unconcerned of other people around them.  They are also ripe for pickpockets, so not only are they inconsiderate, but they could also be perceived as slightly unintelligent. They seemingly couldn’t care less if that strapped on inconvenience takes the space of two willing commuters or if it knocks an old lady off her feet, as they carelessly swing around to look at how to get onto the Victoria line.

Thanks, I like really your backpack in my face as I painfully die a slow death on the Northern Line! This is where we’d rather be, right here, buy some Tube inspired bed linen.

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At times, it’s as if we’re in some old 1950’s sci-fi horror flick, called ‘The Invasion of the Oxygen Eaters” with those damn rucksacks as a supporting cast and we’re the poor helpless victims squashed into the corner trying to gasp for dear life.

We just want to be able to breathe and not get knocked in the face. Is that too much to ask!?

So, if you the reader are one of the damned, who makes the life of others a burden with your backpack then please consider this. Be considerate of those around you and take off that horrendous appliance and stick it in between your legs or on your stomach, so that you can actually see it and are not inadvertently assaulting people by suddenly rotating 180 degrees without warning.

Okay? Have some “Tube Etiquette”, you dunce!


Story by Michael Lee

Featured Photo Credit: Evening Standard

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