• Philip Bryer

We are sorry to announce...


Announcement: “We are sorry to announce that the 18:27 Great Western Railway service to Bristol Temple Meads is delayed by approximately fifteen minutes.”

Me: (sighs).

One minute later: “We are sorry to announce that the 18:27 Great Western Railway service to Bristol Temple Meads is delayed.”

Me: “Oh…, great. Just delayed now? Until when? Next Tuesday?”

One minute later: “We are sorry to announce that the 18:27 Great Western Railway service to Bristol Temple Meads is delayed by approximately thirty-one minutes.”

Me: (thinks), what can possibly have changed so much in two minutes?

Announcement: “Passengers are reminded to mind the gap between the train and the platform edge.”

Me: “What bloody train?”

“We are sorry to announce that the 18:27 Great Western Railway service to Bristol Temple Meads is delayed by approximately eleven minutes.”

Me: (to self) I mean, what bugs me most about this is the way she puts completely unnecessary emphasis on ‘Railway,’ well, that and the pronunciation of minutes – minnits, anyone?”

“Passengers are reminded…”

Me: “Oh, do piss off.”

“We are sorry to announce…”

Me: “Is it any wonder that I drink?”

“Me too, mate,” says an unsteady bystander, and I hurriedly pretend to be on the phone.

“Passengers are reminded that smoking is not permitted anywhere on this station.”

Me: (sighs).

“Passengers are reminded that the use of bicycles or skateboards on station platforms is not permitted.”

Me: Embarks on extended internal debate about bringing in a maximum age for skateboarders. Settles on fourteen.

“Passengers are reminded that passing trains cause turbulence so they should always remain behind the yellow line.”

Me: “Passing trains?”

“We are sorry to announce that the 18:27 Great Western Railway service to Bristol Temple Meads is delayed.”

Staff: “Excuse me, sir? Sir? You’re not allowed up there, sir.”

“We are sorry to a

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Me: “Can I phone my wife?”

Police officer: “Yes, sir.”

Me: “Hello, darling. I am sorry to announce…”







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