THE digital advertising screens in London’s main railway stations are now so enormous that they’ve become impossible to ignore. Even on the occasions that I’m racing to catch a train, therefore, I find it difficult not to gawp at them for a moment before searching for the platform number that I so urgently need. In these instants, I can take my fill of dramatic scenes from films that I will never have time to see, advertisements for products that I will never own, news of fixtures for sports I do not follow and gossip regarding celebrities that I know I should have heard of.
Passing through Waterloo this week, I was distracted by an instruction projected in capitals across one of the two, vast advertising boards there: ‘Get on the wrong train—you have no idea where it will take you.’ I’m not quite sure how this related to the trailers for Wonder Woman or Baywatch that seemed to frame it in the loop, but, more importantly, I know that it’s not good advice. That’s because I stupidly did exactly that from Waterloo two weeks ago. Know, therefore, that the wrong train takes you to Farnham (instead of Farnborough). Also, that sorting out the mistake prevents you from enjoying the fact. JG