The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Mar 25, 2010


Pavlov reflex? I'll give you a Pavlov reflex.

The other day, a colleague and I transferred from the Underground to the commuter service at Waterloo. At least, I did; he found his electronic ticket short of funds, and had to go off to recharge it before going through the turnstiles.

"Which platform are you going to be on?" he said.

"I don't know," I said. "Platform 3?"

"Okay," he said, and went off to put some money in his ticket.

I walked up the stairs to Platform 3, and stood waiting. I pulled out a book out of my bag and began to read it.

Presently, a train arrived and streams of passengers alighted and boarded. I kept reading.

Then I heard the beep-beep-beep warning of the doors closing, and without thinking, jumped into the compartment nearest to me.

The doors shut. I felt silly. The train pulled away from the station.

Minutes later, my mobile rang.

"Which platform are you on?" said my colleague.

"Er," I said. "I was on platform 3, but now I'm on the train."

"Ah," he said.

I continued to feel silly for the rest of the journey. What was it about that beep-beep-beep that prompted me to jump into the train?

I blame Pavlov. I'm no different from a slavering dog, it appears. Everyday as I commute I hear the beep, and invariably I jump into the nearest compartment. Evidently, I have no control over my legs.

So there you go.


blewgenes said...

Don't blame Pavlov. You were just self-absorbed :-)

??! said...

Does it the work the other way round too (rushing to get off before the doors shut)?

Fëanor said...

I'm never in a rush to get off the train, for some reason...

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