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Born Again Commuter

Relive your birth trauma in reverse every morning
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One of my artistic fantasy projects goes like this:

You know the DLR tunnel that goes from above ground (near Royal Mint Street) to below ground for a fairly long run in a tunnel until it reaches the Bank-Monument complex? I've always thought that it would be the thing to do, to arrange that the tunnel mouth has a thick and curly vine plant growing around the mouth of the entrance - preferably of a dark brown colour.

This would, in a short space of time, hopefully completely cover the area that surrounds the tunnel entrance. It would need frequent trimming to prevent contact with the trains, though. At about the time that the vine growth has achieved enough density and shape, the interior of the tunnel should be painted bright pink.

Ian Tindale, Mar 14 2007

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       Very often (more often than not) I position myself on the Bank train right at the end of the train, facing the rear door so that I can look out at where the train has just been. The effect of disappearing into that dark tunnel suddenly and at high speed is exactly like running the birth trauma in reverse (presumably - I wasn't born that way as I was dangerously too big, apparently, well, I say apparently as if I wasn't there, but I was).
Ian Tindale, Mar 14 2007
  

       It might encourage use of the Poplar - Bow Church(DLR) - Bow Road - Aldgate East (District/Metropolitan) alternative of getting into town from t'East, in order to avoid what might later become known as "The Enormous Vagina".   

       Plus, there are those who are lucky enough to travel in the opposite direction who would be effectively reliving their births every morning, only to be reclaimed (is there a better word?) at about 6ish on their way home every evening.   

       It might be interesting to conduct studies on these two groups of people in order to determine the psychological effects.
zen_tom, Mar 14 2007
  

       //only to be reclaimed (is there a better word?) //
"envaginated"?
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 14 2007
  

       [Ian] "I wasn't born that way "
<Austrian psychologist> Eeenteresting... Maybe zis iz vy you spend your adult life reliving the experience of birth again and again and again vith train journies?<Ap>
hippo, Mar 14 2007
  

       Well, it sort of does make me wonder if there's an innate urge for people to start crying as soon as the train bursts out from a tunnel into the bright daylight, but I've not noticed this mass effect thus far. Maybe people have somehow got over this daily birthing? Maybe they haven't and they repress the screaming and that's why they're all so screwed up?
Ian Tindale, Mar 14 2007
  

       Perhaps train companies should employ people to lead commuters in a massed primal scream when the train leaves a tunnel? This could be confined to a specific carriage, the "rebirthing carriage", just between first and standard class.
hippo, Mar 14 2007
  

       And for those actually born on a train in aviney tunnel?
the dog's breakfast, Mar 14 2007
  

       Pre-ante-natel bun for you +   

       Someone's bound to come up with the idea of disguising all the tunnel mouths as anuses (is this a valid plural?), painting all the tunnel interiors brown and making all the trains dirty and smelly.   

       No, wait, hang on...it's already like that.
DenholmRicshaw, Mar 14 2007
  

       There's a Hays Code-referencing filmic pun (if that's what I mean) here:
Man and woman in bedroom, all buttoned-up desire. Cut to
DLR train passing into Ian's Tunnel, with a very slow fade to black as train keeps on ramming into the darkness, then cut to
Half a second of Ian's train bursting from the tunnel, before cutting to
The woman sitting in shabby bedsit, the man standing by the door regarding with apparent distaste, the screaming newborn in the woman's arms. But wait, doesn't that baby look like- like- like Ian?!
calum, Mar 14 2007
  

       A former friend once turned the London underground stations into adverts for Black & White whiskey. He created the slogan "you are about to enter the longest whiskey advert in the world" at the end of a series of station platforms just at the tunnel entrances.
xenzag, Mar 14 2007
  

       [calum] Once this train is in operation, I can see the reverse happening. In a film, when a shot of a train going into a tunnel is needed, it will be tastefully replaced with a shot of a couple having sex - viewers will understand the metaphor but won't explain to their kids that it means <whisper>a train going into a tunnel</whisper>.
hippo, Mar 15 2007
  

       For all those in the UK, this Sunday (18th March) is "Tube night" on BBC4, including an "Arena" documentary (9pm) on the tube which includes (according to my TV guide) "academic musings on the psychology of going deep into tunnels" - it looks like they've stolen Ian's idea.
hippo, Mar 17 2007
  

       "You know the DLR tunnel that goes from above ground (near Royal Mint Street) to below ground for a fairly long run in a tunnel until it reaches the Bank-Monument complex"   

       In a nutshell, no. Is this related somehow to the "tube thingy?"
blissmiss, Mar 18 2007
  

       Yes. It isn't the tube thingy, but it's related to the tube thingy in that it joins onto it, and it is part of Transport for London (buses, trams, Docklands Light Railway, the tube thingy and riverboats) and adheres to the same zonal ticket system as the tube thingy. However, unlike the tube thingy staff, the DLR have different unions and are overseen by Serco Docklands, an entirely separate administration to the tube thingy, so that when the tube thingy goes on strike the DLR often doesn't. But the DLR shows up on the London Underground tube thingy map as the lines to the East, that have turquoise with a white stripe down the middle.
Ian Tindale, Mar 18 2007
  

       Not much of great interest to report from the BBC documentary on the tube (see above) except for the nugget of information that the first time Sigmund Freud saw his mother naked was on a train.
hippo, Mar 19 2007
  

       //the first time Sigmund Freud saw his mother naked was on a train.// I'm wondering why a presumably respectable middle-class Austrian woman should have been naked on a train.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 19 2007
  

       I assume it was one of those sleeper trains, with compartments - but I could be wrong, it might have been a crowded commuter train.
hippo, Mar 19 2007
  

       Really, [AbsintheWithoutLeave]?   

       Hmmm.   

       Tell me about your mother.
m_Al_com, Mar 20 2007
  

       Embarrassingly laughed out loud in quiet office at "The Enormous Vagina".   

       Anyway, this is a nice idea. They are doing a lot of public art on the tube now, cf. Gloucester Road station, this could be an extension of that, getting artists to decorate the tunnel entrance and interior. A big swirly spiral thing would be good, to give the impression of time travel. Or something to recreate the chocolate boat scene of Willy Wonka (with the train captain doing the crazed poetry a la Gene Widler):   

       Round the world and home again / That's the sailor's way / Faster faster, faster faster   

       There's no earthly way of knowing / Which direction we are going / There's no knowing where we're rowing / Or which way the river's flowing   

       Is it raining, is it snowing / Is a hurricane a-blowing   

       Not a speck of light is showing / So the danger must be growing / Are the fires of Hell a-glowing / Is the grisly reaper mowing /   

       Yes, the danger must be growing / For the rowers keep on rowing / And they're certainly not showing / Any signs that they are slowing
ooooooooo, Mar 20 2007
  

       But what if it's a breech? Would the commuters all have to stand backwards whilst blowing through the tunnel exit/ entrance?
blissmiss, Mar 20 2007
  
      
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