A subway is an enclosed path for pedestrians, usually under a busy road. Americans say ‘subway’ to mean their underground trains. Subway is also a chain of low-quality sandwich shops, selling rolls full of cheese, processed meat and mayonnaise to people who have somehow been tricked into thinking they’re healthy. The first of these subways is the one I’m talking about.
Some people call a subway an underpass. Morrissey sang about a “darkened underpass”, although I think he was in a car at the time so he might’ve been singing about something else. Anyway, the underpass I walk through hasn’t been darkened; it’s just not been very well lit. And I’ve never thought “oh god, my chance has come at last.” But then sometimes a strange fear does grip me – the strange fear of being hospitalised by a drunken thug.
It feels weird to walk through a subway every day and think ‘this is the scene of my future mugging.’ At least, I hope it’s a mugging – I’d hate for something strange and Irreversible to happen to me. Most people don’t use the subway at all; they prefer to run across a busy dual-carriageway. I don’t know if I’m braver than these people (for using the subway) or they’re braver than me (for crossing the road.) I don’t feel like I’m scared of crossing the road – in the last thirty years I’ve got rather good at it, even if I do say so myself. Also, on some level, I can’t help thinking that it’s a bit rude to cross the road when a subway has been so lovingly built underneath. Surely, if the designer of the subway were passing, wouldn’t he see people not using it and feel terribly disappointed?
Here are three ways to stay safe when using a subway:
1. Pretend to be texting, but use a really old phone. Even if you’ve got a new iPhone in your pocket, a potential mugger will see you using a big old Ericsson and think that you’re not worth bothering with.
2. Stamp your feet. The loud noise might trick a criminal into thinking that someone big and strong is coming. Be careful, though – the sound can echo in an underpass and you might think someone big and strong is coming your way.
3. Pick your nose. Nobody wants a bogey on them, and thieves will think twice before robbing someone with a finger in their nostril.
There may be other ways to protect yourself, but I don’t know them. Thanks for reading – stay safe everyone!
Incidentally, the other day I was walking through the subway and I saw two banana skins next to each other on the floor. How can this have happened? I’m used to seeing rubbish on the ground – beer cans, chicken bones, Greggs bags – but never before have I seen two banana skins. It seems statistically improbable that two people would have finished their bananas at exactly the same spot, so one person must have eaten both of them. It doesn't make any sense. I can understand someone taking Heroin in the subway, but who goes down there to eat bananas? It’s absolutely bonkers.