Finkelstein comments: I have a long-time correspondent who is a British expat currently residing in Southeast Asia.  He’s bumptious, cantankerous, and as politically incorrect as they come. But he’s also the most adoring, doting grandfather of his wunderkind grandchild, that redeems all his faults and flaws in the eyes of G-d (or, at any rate, in my eyes).  I love receiving his periodic updates of his granddaughter’s achievements as well as of her trip-ups of him, which he handles with grace, wit, and wisdom.  Below, he sent me his latest contemplation on the wayward ways of the world.

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For no other reason that it was there in front of me and I needed a break from watching, “A touch of Frost,” (David Jason cop show), I was watching a YouTube video of a train ride from Leeds to Birmingham – its title infers that it is one of a number of horrendous journeys for passengers to endure – a journey on a train route known as a “Voyager” – so far I cannot see why the infamous reputation – perhaps that will come later in the vid. (PS – it never did).

However, what did strike me was just how stupid people in the west must surely be these days, (or perhaps more kindly put, how stupid our authorities perceive them to be), and I gleaned this from the Station concourse views that the video maker used as the introductory section of his video.

The amount and type of, “helpful,” and in the main, overdone, signage for passengers was unbelievable.

“People are getting smarter – Content is getting dumber.”

(Ref: A. Macris – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJtEbvSOd_E)

I have noticed this tendency in the west to, “over-assist,” before in other videos. One video made in the UK decrying the amount of metal signage all over the place and most of it pointless and almost certainly never even read, let alone followed. I take it that a lot of this signage is based on, “arse covering,” and where much of it hinders rather than helps, in that it simply gets in the way of normal passage. Confusion is more likely to follow than anything else, (Roman Catholics a target where, perhaps, “cross” / “do not cross” signs are located).

Nevertheless, it does seem to be the trend these days. So, I decided that since it seemed our authorities required our people to be granted such assistance, perhaps more were needed in and on our Railway Station concourses – perhaps my American cousins might consider adopting them too.

Let’s have some more, I thought.

01. WALKING: passengers, please remember to place one foot in front of the other, preferably the leading food directly in front of the trailing foot, when walking. Attempts to place the leading foot behind the trailing foot when in mid-leading foot mode can result in nasty accidents. Please note that this requirement will not be necessary in the event passengers are standing still. Other advice on standing still can be found in the Station Rules Handbook which is available for a small fee at your nearest, ‘WHSmith,’ book purveyors and on the top shelf – placed next to Health and Efficiency Monthly. (See also 04 below – sub Ref: 02 below – sub-sub Ref: 07 below).

02. BREATHING: passengers are reminded that it is necessary to breathe out after breathing in on Station property, (Note Station By-Laws).

It is an offence not to breathe out after breathing in.

Passengers who have not breathed out after not breathing in are exempt from this requirement, but not necessarily so antonymously where passengers have breathed in but were unable to breathe out due to various reasons such as involuntary blockages. Autonomic tongue swallowing brought about by a weak constitution will be considered as an involuntary blockage, but only in special circumstances and then again only on National Holidays during leap years. (Special Circumstances could include a medical note from your General Practitioner or by your provision of a death certificate).

Please note that French kissing SHALL not be considered as an, “involuntary blockage,” where blockages might arise: (Note also that former EU exemptions to French kissing on or in the Station Concourse, or any of its environs, as defined within the Station By-Laws, no longer apply in the UK as of Jan 1st 2021).

Involuntary blockages following English kissing may be considered as an exemption, since it does not voluntarily include purposeful blockage of the larynx. However, voluntary or involuntary vomiting, (regardless of blockage), on or in the Station Concourse, or any of its environs, (as defined within the Station By-Laws), followed by an English peck on the cheek, is a fineable offence. Passengers should also note that the Station is not lawfully allowed to provide vomit bags as defined in the Dangerous Goods Act – SI 947-90, Amendment 13: Spontaneous Vomiting, sub-clause: Bags, Vomit – Provision of: note 17a, exclusions. See also Transportation Act – SI 749-91, Environs clause 4a: Hazardous Waste Disposal in public concourses: Note 19c, exemptions.

A list of Station Approved permissible blockages can be found in the Station Rules Handbook, (handbook acquisition details can be found in 01 above), and under the section titled, “Station Handy Hints,” sub-title, “Permissible Station Blockages – Post EU exemptions.”  

NOTE A: Yes, “antonymously” is an approved word and for the benefit of our passengers who did not pay attention to their English teachers at school, (most of you), it is the adverbial form of the adjectival word, “antonymous,” (OED Approved – March 2016). Another reason why passengers should ALWAYS keep abreast of the Station Rules Handbook – the Station Rules Handbook available for a small fee at your nearest ‘WHSmith’ book purveyors and on the top shelf – placed next to Health and Efficiency Monthly – See also 01 above and 04 below – sub Ref 02 above.

NOTE B: To assist passenger breathing, nappy / diaper changing facilities can be found within Public Conveniences. Such little conveniences can be located within the Station confines. Tokens for these facilities can be purchased from the usual public outlets such as drug sellers, (located just outside the Station concourse and to the right when exiting, Bob usually has them and Crack-Head Charlie is another good source), or other well-known Pharmaceutical outlets. Passengers should be reminded that Mother-Care outlets have now ceased providing tokens due to a local turf-war.

03. THINKING: Passengers who engage in solitary thoughts should note that such thoughts should not be verbally communicated to others at any time. “Thoughting,” or other forms of telepathy are not permitted. Exemptions from this requirement do apply in the case of emergency. If you think there could be an emergency, please contact your nearest Station Emergency Thoughts Officer and pass on your thoughts to them. They can be recognised by their prominent ethereal uniforms and are always available throughout the Station concourse, (except during rush hours when they float overhead – they are recognisable by the small bubbles that trail from their heads). In the event you are inexplicably unable to contact one of our Station Emergency Thoughts Officers you are also cordially invited to send an email to JK.Rowling@jkrowling.com or other media celebrity as known by you and expressing your thoughts directly to them. They in turn will; no doubt; as they usually do, express their drivel over a variety of public social media platforms – in this way we shall inevitably be informed of your thoughts with no little immediacy.

04. TRAVELLING: passengers are reminded that travelling more than three paces, (See also 01 above), while carrying items is an offense. Passengers are reminded that Station Referees are in constant attendance within the Station confines and anyone seen travelling more than three paces while carrying a suitcase, or other similar object, shall be arrested. If passengers hear a whistle being blown and if they are carrying a suitcase, or other similar object, they should not run after their train. They should immediately cease their perambulation, (See also 01 above), and then wait to be arrested. For a first offense an arrested person shall be placed in the Station Concourse sin-bin and shall almost certainly receive a fine payable on the spot. For those for whom this is a second or further offence, the passenger shall be placed on a transfer list to another Station at the opposite end of the country.

NOTE A: ITEMS CONSIDERED, (but not necessarily limited to), AS “OTHER OBJECTS,” INCLUDE: Basketballs, Pizzas, AK47’s, Large sized new-born Nappy / Diaper packs, Copies of the Guardian and Small Children, (unless they are inebriated in which case please refer to the Station Rules Handbook which is available for a small fee at your nearest ‘WHSmith’ book purveyors and on the top shelf – placed next to Health and Efficiency Monthly – and under the section titled, “Station Handy Hints,” sub-title, “Smart Breast Feeding Mothers – Inebriated Children.”).

NOTE B: Passengers should be particularly aware that fines SHALL apply if rigor mortis is found in standing still passengers – (See also 02 above).

NOTE C: Mime artists, particularly those dressed-up as Clowns, SHALL fall into the category of committing a standing still rigor mortis offence: this includes cases where movements are spasmodic. Mime artists should further be aware that whether they are, or are not, noticeably dress-up as Clowns, they shall be deemed as Clowns, (Note Station By-Laws).

05. ELEPHANTS: passengers are reminded that Elephants are not permitted on the Station concourse at any time, unless they have a valid ticket of travel: valid for that travel day. At no time shall Pink Elephants be permitted entry to the Station concourse, not even if they are in possession of a valid ticket, unless it is a party season ticket.

06. VISUAL ACUITY: passengers are reminded that seeing eye-dogs are available on request for those passengers who wish to complain about trains not being on time. These seeing-eye dogs are specially trained to be aware when a train is or isn’t, (rarely, if ever), on time and they are capable of reading the display boards which can sometimes be intellectually challenging for many, indeed, most of our passengers. These specially trained seeing-eye dogs will bark once when asked, “is the train on time” and similarly for the question, “is the train late?” One bark means the train is on time. Should you wish to complain about the lateness of a train you will be issued with a seeing-eye dog, a white stick and a jacket bearing the words, “I am blind,” printed in day glow orange on the back of the jacket. Should your problem persist we will then issue a jacket with the added precautionary words, “deaf and dumb,” similarly printed in day glow orange. Multiple complaints will be considered as accumulated points and the word, “and stupid,” will be granted.

07. TANNOY MESSAGING AND STATION / RAILWAY PROPERTY: Passengers are advised that there has been a spate of thefts as of late and they are therefore asked to be particularly vigilant. This principally refers to child minders and scrap metal merchants / dealers, but does not exempt others.

Passengers hearing the message, “Mind the doors, please,” should, in most cases, take at least one step backwards when hearing this message: whilst also noting the requirements stipulated in, 01 “WALKING,” (See 01 above). Walking backwards shall be permitted as long as it is performed in a non-perfunctory and approved manner. Advice on non-perfunctory and approved manners for walking backwards can be found in the Station Rules Handbook which is available for a small fee at your nearest, ‘WHSmith,’ book purveyors and on the top shelf – placed next to Health and Efficiency Monthly – and under the section titled, “Station Handy Hints,” sub-title, “Walking Backwards – Post EU exemptions.”   

Passengers should be aware that the term, “Mind the doors, please,” does not constitute a legal contractual offer on the part of the Station, or any of its legal representatives, or other railway officials. Thus, passengers are reminded that there is no remedy in Law when a child minder, scrap metal merchant or other bona fide passenger; or indeed, non-bona fide passenger; claims acceptance of the term, “Mind the doors please,” where door, or doors, removal is considered an appropriate action – or actions. Nor shall it be deemed legally acceptable if said child minder, scrap metal merchant or other bona fide passenger; or indeed, non-bona fide passenger; claims that legal consideration has been made / paid by them in the form of ticket payment or any other form of payment made in or on the Station Concourse – and this shall include, (but shall not be limited to), donations made in the form of cash, shirt buttons or can ring pulls deposited in the numerous, “charity boxes for Station / Railway officials,” scattered willy-nilly through-out the Station Concourse. It is illegal to remove any of our doors and we SHALL prosecute any perpetrator who removes them, whether singly or as any multiples thereof, unless said door, or doors, are being removed for official purposes as sanctioned by Station Management. For further advice on, “How to mind the doors,” passengers’ attention is brought to the Station Rules Handbook which is available for a small fee at your nearest, ‘WHSmith,’ book purveyors and on the top shelf – placed next to Health and Efficiency Monthly – and under the section titled, “Station Handy Hints,” sub-title, “How to ‘mind the doors’ without removing them – Post EU exemptions.”

THANK YOU AND MAY WE WISH ALL OUR PASSENGERS A FREE FROM HATE SPEECH DAY – SOMETHING THAT IS BEST ACHIEVED BY PASSENGERS USING THE VENDING MACHINES CONVENIENTLY LOCATED THROUGHOUT THE STATION CONCOURSE RATHER THAN ASKING TO SPEAK TO ANY OF OUR COMPANY REPRESENTATIVES WHO ARE USUALLY VERY BUSY TRYING TO MAKE YOUR DAY A FREE FROM HATE SPEECH DAY TOO.

NOTE: will Conservatives please consider using the Bus Station instead.