Officer Bert Harris
Fifty, pale, bug-eyed, pot-bellied in Transport Police uniform. Gets on at Waterloo and looms over the end row of seats. His colleague, passenger 91 blocks the other doorway.
Joined Transport Police after a stint in the Army. The job consists of scooping up drunks from platforms, hoisting suicides off the tracks, moving buskers on.
What he is doing or thinking
He's aware that something strange is happening to his mind the longer he stays in the job. You see the worst on the Tube: beggars with hands that won't work properly who stink, whose hair is falling out because they can't wash. He's started to wash it for them, with windowlene spray. The lads caught a poof in the toilets at Waterloo. For a joke they poured bleach on his naked genitals and he ran screaming out into the main concourse with his trousers down. Bert arrested him for indecent exposure, which was the best joke of all. Animals. Even animals don't do it toilets. The skin came off.
Now we got some berk bothering people for a bunch of fun-lovers. An old dear is getting off. "Do you want to make a complaint?" Bert asks her. She just grins at him and gets off. She's gaga. Put her in a home.
"You ought to find yourself a seat, Sir," says Bert.
"I can explain," says the berk, easily scared. "We're a theatre company."
"I can get your autograph then. When we get out at the next stop." Officer Harris grins. God, he hates his job. God, he hates the people.
Car 3 map