Monday, May 19, 2008

AND there was no trolley service.

I board the train that will take me from Truro to London, where I have a number of meetings scheduled, one of which is (genuinely) about dragons and ninjas, so I am QUITE EXCITED. On top of this, I got a bit of notice for this trip, and have managed to book first class train tickets. Agent Matt has also made good use of the time dividend, and has booked me a metric shitload of extra meetings. One comedy development person will even be buying me lunch, and frankly it doesn't get better than that.

I find my reserved seat. It is next to a Youth who, despite being, as far as I can tell, British, is wearing a loud shorts and t-shirt combo, overspilling midrifually and elbwishly into my seat, chewing Skittles with his mouth open and gazing vacantly at a wrestling DVD on his laptop. A WRESTLING DVD. Well, it is either a wrestling DVD or some kind of open-air gay porn, it is hard to tell. The youth's father is sitting opposite me. He is reading some variety of tabloid newspaper.

Astonishingly, the train does not appear to have one of those emergency brake cables. Instead, I walk up and down the coach a few times, sighing loudly, hoping someone will take pity on my plight and call the police.

Bah for the complacence and nimbyness of the British Midde Classes! No-one will help. I surreptitiously peer at the reserved tickets above their seat, and apparently they do somehow have the legal right to sit exactly where they are sitting, the unstoppable bastards. And all the other seats are reserved. And the next coach is the Quiet Carriage, and I want to listen to my Adam and Joe podcasts.

So I give up, and take my seat, having to lean a little towards the aisle, what with The Youth having his filthy elbow all over my side.

The Youth makes a fresh assault on his skittles, and marks the emotional apogee of the wrestling DVD/gay porn by breathing loudly out of his mouth. A glittering cloud of Skittle fragments hangs lazily in the air, then falls to the ground with a delicate tinkling sound.

I have born these insults for as long as I can (four seconds), but can take no more, and STORM out of my seat, snatching up my bags and stropping down to the Quiet Carriage (taking the reserved ticket out in the unlikely chance someone else might want to sit there, I am not a BARBARIAN). Adam and Joe will have to wait. And Song Wars is very entertaining at the moment as well.

Five minutes later The Dad pads quietly down to my seat.

'You left your magazine behind,' he says, handing me the film periodical.

'Hahahahahahaha!' I say. 'It's like I am trying to take up every seat on the train! What am I like! Hahahahah!'

He nods politely, and walks (quietly) back to his seat. I shrink in my seat and try not to meet the gaze of my son Joel, oh wait, that's Jon Ronson.

18 comments:

Fat Roland said...

Adam & Joe podcasts are somewhat fairly fantastic.

Miss Schlegel said...

You is velly funny. Velly velly funny.

james henry said...

Oh now stop (don't really though, obviously).

FR: they're very good, aren't they? Jude is the new Samantha.

Oli said...

For as long as your meetings involve dragons and ninjas, don't let anyone tell you you don't have the best job in the world.

kaiki said...

a WRESTLING DVD ? does such a thing exist ?
(i thought 'doctor sexy' was one of the best song wars songs i've heard in ages.)

Jayne said...

I politely (by gesturing at the signs and saying sorry) asked some Daily Telegraph reading dickhead to stop talking REALLY LOUDLY on his mobile in the quiet carriage at 7.30 this morning and he told me to stop being an interfering c**t and to fuck off.

Bastard.

Oli said...

Yet again proving that people who talk on the quiet carriage are WORSE THAN SATAN.

Oli said...

Into phones, that is. Normal talking's fine.

Jayne said...

Oh I don't know, my quiet carriage has a big X through mobiles, headphones and an outline of a head that has wavy lines coming out of its open mouth. It is, in fact, the equivalent of a mobile library. So why to loud people who want to talk get into it eh? Eh?

*grumbles off*

patroclus said...

Perhaps it means 'no projectile vomiting'.

cello said...

I buy first class tickets only, not because I want a bigger seat for myself. Oh no, but because I want to relieve the world of any midrifual, shoudertastical or buttockish overspill that just might emante from from my person. In short, I am a saint, but a slightly podgy one.

Oli said...

Oh, I was being sincere. I hate it when people talk on mobiles on trains. Why I bought a car.

michellelipton said...

And it's not just trains is it?

A man made almost entirely out of elbows was chomping open-mouthed through a packet of polos in the reference section of my library last week.

Indomitable bastards the lot of them.

james henry said...

Cello - I should say, I don't mind a certain amount of midriff/elbow overspill (I occasionally indulge in it myself), but this was downright aggressive, and not the sort of thing one expects from Coach H.

James Moran said...

In years to come, people will mention your name along with Rosa Parks.

Also, people who talk on their phones in the quiet carriage should be shot in the arse with a cannon. Similarly, people who sit in the quiet carriage with screaming babies should be thrown into the nearest alligator pit. Oh, the babies can't help themselves? Then they can sit on the roof, and scream as loudly as they want. I'll help them climb up.

JonnyB said...

"Of my son Joel"

*pisses self laughing*

DS said...

The Youth sounds like a class teenager though.

llewtrah said...

I ended up next to the perve on the train from Paddington to Bristol Templemeads. He was a regular who got on at Reading and I really hoped the seat next to me was was booked by someone. A couple of times the perve sat next to me and his hand sort of slipped off his lap and onto my knee. With seats scarce, I took to putting a thick coat over my knees.