'Tube chat' is a badge that encourages people to talk to each other on the London Underground.
The only conclusion is that the gods are angry. This is the eleventh plague of Moses. Have mercy.
The guidance that comes with each badge gives these utopian instructions:
Have a chat with your fellow passengers. Wear this badge to let others know you are interested. You'll benefit from a daily chat. Start using it today.
If you read them with just the right amount of perky, it will sound deeply sinister.
The Twitter account @tube_chat has existed since August, but it was on Tuesday that images of the bagdes as they were handed out on London transport were shared by the account
While the badges bear the iconic Transport for London branding, the campaign is not endorsed by the transport authority, a spokesperson confirmed to indy100.
If you want to talk, just do it.
Humans aren't supermarket tills that say 'Conversation Number 5 please'.
How about you just use your knowledge of etiquette and gauge whether or not a stranger is in the mood to talk? This demands far greater social skills than a badge will ever give you.
If someone looks upset, ask them. Don't scan their clothes, looking for a badge.
Wearing one of these smacks of virtue signaling, and makes it seem like you and you alone are friendly amongst a sea of monsters. Good for you. Have a medal.
It also plays up the stereotype that Londoners are unfriendly.
Want to meet someone unfriendly? Go to your home town and be told repeatedly by the professional locals that 'You don't sound like you're from round here' despite being born there.
There are plenty of examples of Londoners helping one another out, and all without the magic assistance of some lapel plastic.
Luckily, there are other curmudgeons who agree with us.
Putting automatic hostility to one side, this bear sort of has a point.
But no actually. Social media thoughts are usually best suited to the web.
So that's where they should stay, on the internet, and not in the face of an A&E nurse riding the night bus, who has been socially shamed into wearing one of these diabolical badges.
Rather awkwardly, googling 'Tube chat' brings up from NSFW results.
So maybe it's all a hoax to up the profile of some adult websites.