Small Toon Girl: The Pissy Commute

Written by: Emmie Harrison

This was the day I realised London was ridiculous. And it had rubbed off on me.

‘Sensational!’ I said, sniffing up.

While the fiancé looked ashamed of me passing wind, I simply reached in for another crisp. Thai Sweet Chilli Sensations, of course. I’d had a bad day, so I thought reading the Slimming World magazine while eating a family-sized bag of crisps would help.

North Four, North London magazine, tube, underground, travel, underground, mind the gap, commute, lifestyle article

This was the day I realised London was ridiculous. And it had rubbed off on me.

I started out the day wet. Wet in my cute summer dress with a raincoat on top. It was July, pissing it down. But hot, very hot.

As my back weeped from heat, I was too scared to take my coat off. I knew there’d be pit pools.

Then I saw her, the girl handing out free newspapers. I’d caught her eye, she looked uncomfortable.

I’d stopped reading the Standard months back because, well, I’ve been on job seekers for longer than its editor has held one job… So I was visibly ecstatic.

‘Have a great day!’ I screeched, grabbing one from her wavering hand.

It was in Japanese.

North Four, North London magazine, tube, underground, travel, underground, mind the gap, commute, lifestyle article

I stopped dead, but could feel her eyes burning into me. The pit pools erupted into geysers.

So I laughed, nodded and turned the page. Walking away. Stroking my chin as if in deep thought. I pretended to read Japanese until I got to my office recycling bin.

That day it transpired that my new bra felt like barbed wire wrapped around my tits. I haven’t had my bra fitted since I was 15.

I spent 8 hours going to the toilet, releasing the boulders from their holders for a few precious seconds. Then plastering them with tissue.

50 shades of grey sports wear

As I pondered life as a woman, I came across quite the specimen on the tube to Stratford.

North Four, North London magazine, tube, underground, travel, underground, mind the gap, commute, lifestyle article

A middle-aged man wearing 50 shades of grey sports wear. With a white ribbed top stretched over his pot belly, matching white iPhone, women’s sunglasses and trackies with piss stains from his leaky snood.

He licked his lips when he caught my eye. He thought I was checking him out.

Recoiling in horror, I hung my head until I got to my bra fitting. M&S, no less.

‘There’s an 8 week wait,’ the sales assistant breezed.

Oh London females, why do we put up with men who don’t wipe and bras that don’t fit? ‘Matcha green tea soy latte. Extra hot.’ I groaned to the Starbucks cashier.

Woeful. I don’t even like green tea. Or soy milk. And what the fuck even is Matcha?


North Four, North London magazine, tube, underground, travel, underground, mind the gap, commute, lifestyle article

I start to wonder what happened to the days of two for a fiver bottles of Hooch in Spoons as a treat…

Her sad look was enough to say: not today.

The tube home consisted of me angrily tweeting the Canal and Rivers Trust to state Canary Wharf smells like shit.

Oh and Sensations weren’t even on offer that night.

But I’m fine. How are you?

Follow Emmie on Twitter @emmieeharrison and read more from Small Toon Girl

Photos by Mike Barry

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