Anyone with the misfortune to be a customer of South West Trains will be painfully aware of their corporate drive to charge more for less and of their skill in getting away with it year after year, unimpeded by regulators. Anyone with the brazen affront to remove lavatories to squeeze more seats in and deploy urban metro trains on inter city routes clearly operates on a "do as we damn well want basis."
43cm (16.9ins) is all you get in standard class, usually three in a row; bastards.
Obviously, the weary South West Trains commuter believes himself to be a model of uncomplaining fortitude. We're not though, alone. Our old friend Dirk Randolph with his latest dispatch from Kent,
"I pressed the button for the doors to open, and with a gallant flourish allowed the high-tog lady to climb aboard. I know this one, she tends to waddle off to wedge herself securely into one of the table seats facing backwards, a comfortable crash-pad which I have in mind to aim for in the event I get catapulted there in an accident. I was relaxed in the knowledge that she wasn’t going to go where I like to go, up against a window buttress in the spoon-seats, but to my rage she made straight for it.
With chivalry back in its box I was forced to settle across the aisle where I glared from behind my newspaper, too late realising I’d put myself right in the zone for the Two Morons who got on 10 minutes later. This pair are well-known to us as top-tier irritants, guarranteed to jabber away for the entire trip to Waterloo East.
One of them, I would charitably suggest, has a speech defect but it’s probably just lazy diction, and his side-kick doesn’t know any words but hangs in there in case he’s supposed to react in any way. With one of those smirky faces much like that of York’s victorious team captain on University Challenge I’d like to think you’re with me on this. Today I was too close to kip but perhaps I might learn something of interest. Perhaps he really was as brilliant as York’s team captain. As it turned out, I am able to confirm what I’d already assumed for the chat was incessant but utterly useless. They are both morons and deserving of my continued disdain, and for that I feel strangely relieved."