Apart from the outrageous fares and the cancellations and the bogans, there’s one other thing that bugs me about catching trains in Melbourne.
Connex has a long history of bizarre and patronising advertisements, which we are subjected to onscreen, in print and even at the station. Who can forget the sheer originality of the Harry Connick…Connicks…Connex debacle. I for one cannot. A leap of logic or a leap of faith, I do not know.
Then there were those Humpty Dumpty ads about staying within the ‘safe yellow area’, because ‘bad things could not happen there’. I liked to imagine myself being chased across Flinders St station by a giant tarantula with the head of John Howard, and hundreds of tiny Costello-headed babies clinging to its undercarriage, leaping into the yellow area and saying ‘nyah’.
There’s some fairly new ones about:
1.Watching the gap (did you know there’s a little gap between the train and the station?).
2.Looking out at the boom gates for trains (a picture of a girl with a train roaring in front of her, and looking slightly surprised)
3.Pausing to allow people off the train before you board (I always wondered why people got angry when I shoved in front of them!!).
Money! Well! Spent!!
And now my personal favourite, a lyric plea for cultural tolerance, Connex-style.
An Anglo teenager smilingly offers his seat to a grateful Muslim woman. A Sudanese youth with blonde tips strap-hangs and grins at the world. A Hasidic Jew pulls on his beard and ponders why the ticket machine swallowed his change for the third time that week… And up the top an earnest headline: WE CATCH PUBLIC TRANSPORT…. JUST LIKE YOU
Every time I see it, I want to howl like a dog.