Sunday, August 07, 2005

Old Yeller

Well, I took the Underground into work today because I couldn’t get to the overground train station in time (must fix bike, must start getting ready earlier). There were plenty of seats. I tried to slip into a sense of complacency about my fellow tube travellers just so I could relax and enjoy the ride. I nearly managed til a guy with a rucksack got on and started acting all strange, looking around, walking up and then back down the carriage. Turns out he was just trying to find a copy of the Metro, which is the free paper distributed at Underground stations. They run out early so if you’re a later traveller like me you have to scrounge or scramble for an abandoned copy. Ho hum…heart beat back to normal.

Then just before my stop I see a flash of day-glo (all the cops are in high visibility jackets now) and hear a warning to watch our feet. A member of the British Transport Police (it’s like the Highway Patrol for trains) comes through the carriage with a sniffer dog. I know they’re supposed to be there for reassurance, but cops make me nervous. Anyway, I guess I’m somewhat reassured to see that they’re bringing dogs through, but then I notice – this dog – a big yeller mutt dressed up in a real fancy leather collar with a brass plate which read “British Transport Police”.– isn’t actually sniffing anything. He and his handler stop at the end of the carriage near me and just play around. The handler pets the yeller dog and the yeller dog just rolls around on the floor of the carriage tongue hanging out, looking happy and goofy.

I wanted to get up and pet the dog, too, He was just the kind of dog I’d like to have. But I’m not sure what the new Fortress London etiquette is on stuff like that.

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