I wonder does anyone else play psychological games on public transport, to while away the boring commute? You know the kind – a crowded Luas/Train/Bus, and people start to get a little antsy. The leaner – the ignorant git who refuses to hold on to any bar, and just leans against your back. I like to allow the leaning, and then step suddenly to the side. They stumble backwards, and look embarrassed…success. I also enjoy the seat-race, when a seat becomes free equidistant from you and the opposition, and a race-that-pretends-not-to-be-a-race begins as you both move nonchalantly towards it. I could go on, but you get the gist of my sad little world, and that’s really not what this moan is about.
I travel the Luas – Sandyford line, the nightmare run. I’m about to say something terrible, something that will have most people thinking I am a prejudice toad – but this is my only section-of-society-that-I-can’t-stand flaw, I swear! I have a thing about Southsiders…I dislike them on sight, and they are ‘guilty until proven innocent’ as far as being decent people is concerned. I have friends who would be considered Southsiders, but it took some time for us to actually make it to friendship – some time, and some serious effort!
Now, I’m not talking about people from the South of Dublin when I say Southsiders, because ‘Southsiders’ can come from anywhere outside of this postal code – Smithfield, Swords, Wicklow Town, Meath. I’m talking about that West-Brit class of people who say ‘Dort’ instead of Dart, ‘Gorda’ instead of Garda and consider six inches of make-up, heavily-straightened-then-tousled hair, orange tan, and Ugg boots with O’Neills tracksuits the height of style. Those morons typified by their slavish regard for labelled clothes, and their air of money. The type of people who talk very loudly to each other about Fiachra and Marie-Claire, and what they got up to at this, like, totally crazy party they all went to Sunday night. The ones who buy SUV’s for a life in the centre of the city, and proceed to cause traffic every morning by driving their precious one child half a mile to school. Where does this accent come from? What is wrong with their brains that they can’t get past the most superficial of conversation topics? Why do they consider the GHD to be a must-have in any make-up bag?
I have to stand with them every day on the Luas, people who make my skin crawl with their total disregard for world events, or even for happenings in their own country. So sickeningly benign in their superficial lives, they look forward to a life of ease – prep school, followed by Trinners-for-Winners, followed by a year out to travel (paid for by Daddy) so that they can, like, totally see the world, you know? and really live like common people, followed by marriage to a surgeon/dentist/financier/stockbroker for the women, or blond, fake-tanned, lady-what-lunches for the men. It’s a world that beggars my belief totally – how someone can move through life so totally convinced of their own importance, yet contributing nothing to the world around them. Paying lip service to charity and democracy, while simultaneously slipping bribes to the council to add a second extension to their house, and pricing the rest of us out of the property market by buying third and fourth homes. Their world is one of selfishness and artifice, and they will be first against the wall when the revolution comes.
And then I won’t have to squash up next to them on my Luas journey.