The Secret Deafie: Signing on the tube

Posted on October 8, 2012

The Secret Deafie is a series of anonymous columns written by different writers. Today’s Deafie tells us about an incident on the tube…

Attempting to converse on the London Underground is impossible. So much noise in tiny little carriages, carefully avoiding the gazes of others around you…

Of course, signing can be just as challenging. Especially at peak times, with commuters trying to squeeze into ever smaller cracks and spaces.

A few months ago I was travelling with my wife to Victoria. Asking all the important questions of course (the pub is important, right?).

Halfway to Victoria however, our conversation was interrupted by a tourist who had boarded our carriage and positioned his bag between us.

Well. As this was disrupting the pressing decision of which pub to stumble home from, something just had to be done!
So with that, the infamous (but not that infamous) two fingers were carefully deployed; pressed firmly against their bag, continuing slightly to the left. With the obstacle removed, we continued to debate our options.

Unfortunately our poor tourist seemed quite bemused by this and spent the rest of journey looking quite confused but interested!

You’ll be pleased to know however, we both managed to arrive at the pub and home safely. Though our bank accounts may not have recovered since.

Do you have a story or experience you’d like to share? If you’d like to write a Secret Deafie column, just email

The Limping Chicken is supported by Deaf media company Remark!, provider of sign language services Deaf Umbrella, the Deaf training and consultancy Deafworks, the RAD Deaf Law Centre, and BID’s upcoming 5th anniversary performance by Ramesh Meyyappan on 12th October – don’t miss it!

The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne. 

Find out how to write for us by clicking here, how to follow us by clicking here, and read our disclaimer here.

The site exists thanks to our supporters. Check them out below: