De omnibus disputandum
Until quite recently I lived in Brixton and in the morning, cutting it fine as I made my way to work, I used to catch a bus up the Effra Road if one threatened to overtake me on my way to Brixton Underground Station. Travelcards have that effect: if there is a bus, you find yourself taking one automatically, even if only for a couple of stops, even if you could probably get there just as quickly under your own steam.
A little more than sometimes, when I got across Brixton Road to the station, the gates would be closed, the station unaccessible due to some problem inside or further up the Victoria Line and I would have to phone through to the answerphone at work while wondering if there was any other way of getting in without being late. There wasn't: even if I squeezed myself onto an overground train to Victoria with all the other refugees from the Underground, I wouldn't make it on time, and none of Brixton's multitude of buses had any chance of getting me across London in an hour, not at that time of the morning.
Still, they were more than handy at other times of the day, when I wanted to go into town , or even if I just wanted to go a short way up the road to Stockwell, to my chess club, in the evenings. Sometimes the Tube would be shut then, as well, or perhaps I just felt like changing buses, or the one I'd caught on Effra Road didn't go to Stockwell after leaving Brixton. I'd change buses on Brixton Road and then get out, at Stockwell station, walking the last few hundred yards if I were going to the club. Or perhaps, if Brixton station had been closed and I had some other destination in mind, nipping into Stockwell station.
The funny thing is, after all that messing about - nobody ever shot me dead for it.
Matter of fact I was never even wounded.