Inspector Sands and Mister Neptune

I LIKE the Londonist post about Inspector Sands, the name you hear being called over the PA system when bad things are possibly happening at a tube station. This, it is assumed, is code for ‘CALAMITY OVER HERE’.

For the Londonist, an artist has shown how he imagines the invisible inspector, picturing an hourglass head on a Victorian suit. My vision of Sands, completely generated in my own head, is similar but without the crazy sci-fi head. He has more of a Geoffrey Palmer head to me. Yes, yes, yes, Sands could be a woman – everyday sexism hashtag – but in my imagination Sands is a kind of clueless Lestrade type from the Sherlock Holmes stories stumbling around trying to find the control room at King’s Cross despite repeated orders to get there quickly.

When he gets there, Holmes is already there playing his violin and Moriarty has escaped on a train to Boston Manor. But that’s just me. People will have their own imaginations of how Sands looks and conducts his business. That’s fine. Feel free to share.

All this, however, leads me to more important things. Why is it always Inspector Sands? Try searching it on Twitter and you’ll see his name is called over a tannoy somewhere in London every day. He’s super busy and given the workload, why can’t the calamity spotters call for his lesser known friend, Mister Neptune once in a while? As we’ve discovered before, if you hear Mister Neptune being ordered to go the town centre immediately, it probably really is time to get out of dodge…

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