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.