17 April 2007

Piccadilly hygiene

Most of you will be aware that the London Underground is not the cleanest place on earth.  Although contrary to some reports it's not as bad as, say, the Black Hole of Calcutta.  But an incident I witnessed on the Piccadilly Line at the weekend reminded me of the need for eternal vigilance. 

In a crowded eastbound Tube train near Gloucester Road, a man was transporting his pram-dwelling son, a tot of perhaps 12 to 18 months.  Said scion was well-behaved, perhaps in part because of the rubber dummy in his mouth, which he was avidly savouring in a contemplative fashion.  But at one point the small sir plucked the dummy from his mouth, waved it about a bit in the manner of many pushchair generals, and then flung it onto the ancient lino floor of the tube carriage.  A floor that had seen decades of grimy shoe heels and probably boasts umpteen encrusted layers of discarded chewing-gum. 

Quick-thinking Pater scooped up the dummy as it rolled on the well-trodden floor.  Not wanting to deprive his son and heir of his favourite accessory, and as there was no Mater in sight, he quickly popped the dummy in his own mouth and twizzled it around to 'clean' it.  And then he promptly reinserted the dummy into his son's welcoming gob. 

Whatever happened to the good old dab of spit on a hanky, is what I want to know?


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