An alarming tale…about bloody time!

I have two alarm clocks.

Aside from being a notorious snoozer, there is a sane reason behind this.

In the past I have overslept and been very late for work due to random power cuts in the night; resetting my alarm clock and leaving it entirely redundant by disabling the very important functions of ‘alarm’ and ‘clock’.

Is there anything worse than waking up and being taunted by the L.E.D. display flashing the time that has elapsed since the power cut occurred?

(Flash) Ha ha, I was reset 2 hours and 12 minutes ago!

(Flash) Ha ha, I was reset 2 hours and 13 minutes ago!

(Flash) Ha ha, I was reset 2 hours and 14 minutes ago!

(Flash) Ha ha, I was reset 2 hours and 15 minutes ago!

Yeah, cheers.

Now how do I set the time on this bastard again?

To combat this power cut issue I bought a battery powered digital alarm clock as a backup, although I couldn’t completely replace my alarm clock in case the batteries in my new one died in the night; creating the same problem I was desperately trying to remedy.

So I kept both.

I surmised that the chances of a power cut happening on the exact same night as the batteries dying were very slim.

Then again, this is ME we’re talking about.

Oh wait, hang on; I have my phone alarm too.  Dammit.  Ok, let me start again…

I have three alarm clocks.

Aside from being a notorious snoozer, there is a sane reason behind this.

I usually set the alarms on the two clocks slightly offset from each other so they don’t both go off at the same time. I figured I was more likely to wake up if there was a constant abuse of sound from which I couldn’t recover. However, I soon discovered that I now just hit two snooze buttons instead of one; and I’ve become quite good at it, with ninja like precision.

Pa-chow!!  >click<

However, for some reason my phone does a better job at waking me up than both my clocks do.  This might have something to do with the overly complicated process of snoozing it by sliding an icon across the screen in a particular direction whilst holding it upright and singing the national anthem of Hungary or something.  By the time I’m done snoozing the little shit I’m wide awake and angry.

As a result I’ve kept my two alarm clocks as they act as a ‘heads up’ that my phone will be waking me up soon.  They’re like the appetizers before the main course or the shit warm up act at a show.  Plus, I get a massive sense of satisfaction from pressing snooze on my clocks and then nuzzling back into my pillow.

Except for this morning.  This morning was an epic fail.

Let me tell you why.

My alarm clocks had been set thus:

  • Mains powered alarm clock – 6:00am
  • Battery powered alarm clock – 6:04am
  • Phone alarm clock – 6:15am

As we had to be out of the house no later than 6:45am.

I woke up shortly after 6am due to the usual ear piercingly harsh beeping from my alarm clock.  Well, I say ‘beeping’, but it’s more like a “BLAARGP! BLAARGP! BLAARGP!” as if someone was fisting Wall-E with a goat.

I suppose that’s the point.

I reached out and pressed the snooze button, ready to nuzzle back down when I realised it wasn’t snoozing at all, and now neither was I.

“BLAARGP! BLAARGP! Baa!(Eh?) BLAARGP!”

I reached out again and pressed snooze.  Nothing.

“BLAARGP! BLAARGP! BLAARGP!”

Ok, what the hell is going on?  I lifted my head (getting serious now) and looked at this mutinous little turd as he Blaargp’d over and over, no matter how much I pressed the snooze button.

Pa-chow!!  >click<

Pa-chow!!  >click<

Pa-chow!!  >click< >click< >click<

It was at this point I flicked the button to actually turn the alarm off.  This is the button feared by severe snoozers like me as it can often result in days being lost, sometimes weeks.

Nothing.  The sound of mechanical goat love continued.

“BLAARGP! BLAARGP! BLAARGP!”

My wife had woken at this point and sleepily asked, “What’s going on??”.

“I honestly don’t know!  I can’t turn my alarm off! This has never happened before!”, I paused a moment before having a brainwave “Wait, I know what to do!”

I reached down and smugly unplugged the clock.  Ha!

The alarm was still going!

“What the fuck?  How is tha….oh, wait, it’s the wrong alarm clock.”

My wife laughed; mockingly.

I plugged the clock back in, snoozed the Blaargping offender and laid back down to nuzzle into my pillow.

“What time is it?” I heard from behind me.

I lifted my head again, ignoring the flashing L.E.D. that was saying ‘Ha ha, I was reset 2 minutes ago!’ and fumbled for the offender.

“6:11am.”

“What? It can’t be!”

“It is.”

“Are you sure??”

I checked again as it was possible I’d misread it.  After all, I was tired, I had eye bogeys, I wasn’t wearing my glasses, it was dark and I was checking the time on the offending clock using the light from my mobile phone’s screen.

“6:11am, see?” I said, showing her the clock this time.

“You’re kidding! How is that possible? Shit!”

My wife was up and out of bed like a shot; the sound of “Shit shit shit” following her out of the bedroom, along the hallway and disappearing behind the bathroom door.

I was starting to wake up a little at this point, so I decided to set the correct time on my recently reset clock to match that of the offender.  I then reached for my phone and checked the live online rail services to make sure our train was running on time this morning.  I love rushing around to get to the station only to find the train is cancelled so we can spend 27 minutes on a cold frosty platform waiting for the next one instead of spending that time all warm and cosy in bed.

The train hadn’t been cancelled and was running on time.

Damn.

This was when I noticed something weird; the website wasn’t showing our train despite the fact it was due to leave in 45 minutes.  In fact, it was only showing trains up to 6:30am, including ones that should’ve left half an hour ago, presented in future tense.  That was when I noticed that the time wasn’t 6:11am; it was 5:11am.

Oh shit.

Shit shit shit.

I bolted out of bed and rushed to the bathroom, but I was too late; I could hear the sound of the shower behind the door.  I gingerly stepped inside.

“Baby?” I said lightheartedly, hoping to set the mood for the conversation.

“What?” she curtly replied, setting the actual mood for the conversation.

“You’re not going to believe this”, I continued, rolling my eyes and chuckling slightly as if she should find the following piece of news ironically funny in some way.

“What is it?” she replied, not picking up on any of that whatsoever.

“It’s actually 5:11am.”

“I hate you.”

Fair enough.

I closed the door, went back to the bedroom and got back into bed.  It was then that that thought dawned on me; if it wasn’t 6am yet, why did the alarm clock go off?  I looked at the offender and it did indeed say 6:17am.

What the…?

The clocks don’t go forward for another 3 weeks or so.

I checked my phone; 5:17am.

I got out of bed and checked my watch; 5:17am.

I even went downstairs and checked both the kitchen and lounge clocks; both 5:18am (it took me a minute to get down there)

So why was my battery operated alarm clock an hour fast?  It couldn’t be a mechanical fault with the hands or something because both clocks are digital.  It must have been changed; but by who?

Also, it’s a bitch to change the time on the battery powered clock, so it couldn’t have been done by accident.

Hmm.

And yet, despite being awake a full hour earlier than we were supposed to be, we still left the house late and had to rush for the train.

groundhog day bill murray smashes alarm clock

Advertisements

The tortoise and the hare

Recently my wife started working at the same company as me.  Her role in the company requires us to get into work a little closer to 8.30am than 9am.

Dammit.

In order to achieve this we’ve discovered we can catch the same train I’ve always caught and then get off at the following station to connect with a much faster train into London.

Make sense?

So why haven’t I always done this?

Well, there is a method in my madness.  The train I always catch is virtually empty with tons of cosy seats for much needed snoozing, whereas the faster (and therefore more popular) train is standing room only; packed full of happy and joyful commuters all too happy that I’m taking up that last square inch of space on the train.

It’s all very intimate.  Lots of touching.

So, in true form, we boarded the slow and empty train and took a seat.  It was a little taster of what we could’ve had if we’d stayed on board, but soon enough the next station was upon us and we reluctantly got off.

It was a cold and rainy morning, so that always makes it easier.

The train sat in the station for a few minutes and I took this time to smile at the amount of people running to get on before it left.  There were a lot of them this morning for some reason.

Maybe they knew something we didnt.

Maybe they should’ve risen out of bed earlier this morning.

Maybe I hadn’t noticed in the past because by this time I was usually sat on my virtually empty train; head back, mouth open.

My favourite of these platform runners was the business man who sprinted at the doors just as they began to close, managing to wedge his hand between them in a futile attempt to prise them open like some kind of action hero.

The doors didn’t open.

He removed his hand.

I smiled and turned to my wife, “That’s happened to me so many times”, before turning back and continuing with, “Ha ha, gutted mate”.

The guard blew his whistle and the train slowly started to pull away.  The business man looked thoroughly pissed off, as did the others who didnt even manage to get close enough for some ‘hand in door’ action.  But, to be honest, they needn’t be; the next train was also heading to London Victoria station and would actually get them in 15 minutes earlier.

Granted it’ll be standing room only, but its all very friendly.

Why the rush for this particular train?  Calm down people.  The faster train is just behind it.  Relax.

We looked up at the information board which was still displaying the virtually empty, and still slowly departing, train and waited to see if the fast train behind it was on time.

‘Cancelled’

What??  No!!!

We shouldn’t have got off!

The slower train would’ve got us to the office on time, but now we were going to be late.

The runners knew.  They KNEW!

Shit.

And as we watched the virtually empty ‘slow’ train full of warm and comfy seats (that we’d just been sitting on) leave the station I swear I caught the business man smiling at me.

Ha ha, gutted mate.

image

All for one…

This morning my train was delayed due to a “passenger being taken ill” on board.

My first clue that something wasn’t right was when a man entered from the adjoining carriage and woke me up by screaming “IS THERE A DOCTOR ON BOARD!??”

No reaction.

“PASS IT DOWN!”

No-one did.

He stood there for a few seconds, shot everyone a contemptuous look and headed back to his carriage.

Once I’d wiped away the drool from my mouth and the shoulder of the woman next to me, I looked out the window and saw we were just outside Clapham Junction, the busiest train station in the UK.  I then looked at my watch and saw that we were running 40 minutes later than usual.

What the fuck?

I soon discovered it was something to do with signalling problems/electrical issues/leaves on the track/frost.  [Delete as applicable…take your pick]

It was at this point, as the train slowly trundled into Clapham Junction (the busiest train station in the UK), that I noticed an unnatural silence in the carriage.  At first I thought it might be due to concern for our fallen comrade in the other carriage, but I soon concluded it was because everyone was thinking the exact same thing as me….

“Don’t stop the train, don’t stop the train, don’t stop the train, don’t stop the train…..”

‘Crackle’

Oh no.

‘Fizz’

Oh shit.

“Good morning ladies and gentlemen, this is your conductor speaking…”

Please no.

“…it appears the alarm has been pulled in one of the carriages…”

Ah, dammit!

“…owing to someone being taken ill on board.”

Here we go…

Now, I’ve ranted about the delays caused by those ‘taken ill’ before, but that was about the afflicted being on the platform, whereas this time it was someone actually on the train.

After multiple “apologies for the delay” and “awaiting a first-aider” announcements, it occurred to me….

Just take them off the train.

I mean, how ‘ill’ was the person if all we were waiting for was a first-aider?  At no point did the announcements say we were awaiting a surgeon…or a mortician; so why not take them off the train and treat them in the cool, refreshing morning air?

Nope.  As a lot of us feared, the inevitable happened.

The speakers crackled and fizzed to life again and the conductor suggested it might be a good idea we all leave the train and board another one.  After all, there were plenty of trains heading into London as this was Clapham Junction; the busiest train station in the UK.

As you can imagine, this went down as well as a vegan’s fart in a broken elevator with the packed masses who were already very late for work.

Now, I’ve estimated a train carriage holds over 100 people and this was a 12 carriage beast packed tighter that Tom Jones’ trousers, so in effect we had over 1200 rats fleeing a sinking ship.  That’s 1200 moaning, tutting, multi-directional shuffling zombies joining the crowds at the busiest train station in the UK; all heading towards platform 14 to join other equally packed trains full of scowling, miserable sods all unwilling to ‘move down the carriage using all available space’.

Amongst the crowds and mayhem I found a gap on platform 14 and, whilst silently congratulating myself, smugly waited for the next London-bound sardine tin.  Soon enough it pulled up and I discovered why there had been a gap on the platform; I was stood equidistantly nowhere near the train doors.

I couldn’t have positioned myself better if I’d tried.

The doors opened and people started piling off the train.  The rest of us glared at them as we watched the ever increasing space form behind them like a tin of cookies at a Weight-watchers meeting.  I began sizing up my fellow commuters to see who I could take down if the need arose.  The small Chinese woman, the man in front of me with the rucksack, the woman checking her make-up in a portable mirror; I reckon I could take them all with a well placed elbow here and a careful headbutt there.

As it turned out we all got on board.

Lucky bastards.

Mind you, some dude had my arse in his face all the way into London.

Lucky bastard.

Anyway, we arrived into Victoria almost an hour later than usual and everyone made a beeline for the underground station which, for some reason, wasn’t busy at all.  It was actually a breeze getting through the barrier and I couldn’t, for the life of me, understand why th……

Oh wait, it was 09:25am.   Of course it was quieter; most people were actually AT work!

Oh well, at least the tube would be a nice end to this nightmare journey.

‘Crackle’

Oh no.

‘Fizz’

Oh shit.

“We apologise that, due to a signalling failure at Brixton, the Victoria line is subject to major delays in both directions”.

Maybe someone should call a first-aider.

Quickly.

Faint

Miss taken identity

I’d been on the train about 20 minutes this morning when a guy got on and sat opposite me.  He was short, dumpy with glasses and was wearing a big anorak.  To be honest, he looked like Benny Hill.

I sat there for a while with my eyes closed in an attempt to get some sleep.  However, I could feel a bat in the cave and desperately needed to pick my nose.

The train stopped again at another station and I open my eyes briefly to see if any women had joined Benny and I before donning my mining helmet.

No women. Just Benny watching something on his tablet.

In went the finger.

Oh yeah, that’s it; that’s what I’m talking about.  Don’t run away.  Where are you going? Come to daddy.  Come on you little fucker….

I opened my eyes again for a second to see if there were any disgusted females around.

Nope, still just Benny.

On I went, like an 80’s ZX Spectrum classic prequel to Jet Set Willy.

(Nerd reference)

Once I was done I settled back in my seat to comfortably drift off to sleep.

After a few minutes I was woken by Benny and his rustling anorak, which was officially the loudest coat I’d ever heard.   As he stood up to remove the deafening apparel I got a face full of boobs.

Boobs?

Holy shit, Benny was a Jenny!

He…sorry, she then sat back down and went back to his…sorry, her tablet.  I decided it was probably best to close my eyes and continue to ‘sleep’.

In all fairness I could be forgiven for mistaking Jenny for a man.  She had short man-hair, a stocky man-like build, unflattering jeans with big man style boots and, when the guard announced that our train was being terminated due to technical difficulties, an ability to let out a massive “Farkin’ ‘ell, what the fark’s that all abaat?” for all to hear.

I suppose it had to be loud to be heard over her coat.

She didn’t care.

She had balls.

benny hill

Literally?

2014 is upon us and, so it seems, is some of the worst weather England has ever seen.

On this lovely Monday morning all the trains were either delayed or cancelled due to severe flooding from the deluge our fine country is relentlessly being twatted with.

There were buses being operated between certain parts of the route which meant the stations were getting very crowded, very quickly.

So, to hear a guy on the train tell some uninterested bastard on the phone that “there was literally a million people on the platform” left me to conclude that he was “literally an arse”.

Fat, hairy and spouting nothing but shit.

Happy new year everyone!

Fuck ‘n’ Awesome

Arrived at London Victoria station to see my train had been cancelled.

Fuck.

But I was earlier than usual so I could jump on a slightly earlier train and still make my connection near home.

Awesome.

The train was packed solid with commuters having the same idea as me.

Fuck.

And yet I found a seat!

Awesome.

But due to the train not taking the exact same route as my usual service, I forgot to get off at Three Bridges station which resulted in me having to go all the way to Haywards Heath.

Fuck!

Yet thankfully there was a train back to Three Bridges in about 6 minutes.

Awesome.

I jumped on and the train took us 98% of the way before stopping at a red signal just outside Three Bridges for about 12 minutes.

Fuck!!

When we finally pulled into the station I could see that a train going my way was on the other platform and was delayed. If I ran I could make it!

Awesome.

This run involved going down a slope, under the railway track and back up some stairs. I was wearing shoes that ‘clip clopped’ quite loudly to alert people that I was fast approaching. Most didn’t move aside; including a short fat butch dyke looking bitch who tutted me as I raced by.  Eat a dick.

I missed the train by about 3 seconds.

FUCK!

Its freezing cold, dark and I now have a 20 minute wait ahead of me.

Whine and complain?

Me?

Never!

No parking!

This morning I was greeted by this…

car block

Some inconsiderate prick thought it was a good idea to park their car right across my garage.

My first instinct was to get in my car and sound the horn until the fucker came out and then punch them in the face, but it was 7am and I didn’t really want to wake the whole neighbourhood.  I was angry, but that didn’t excuse me being an annoying wanker about it.

My second instinct was to kick or scratch their car, but considering my vehicle is the only one blocked in, it would’ve pretty obvious who had done the damage and I didn’t want to risk them retaliating. 

It’s not like I could move my car and hide it afterwards.

This is also the reason I resisted squatting on the bonnet and laying a hot fresh pie on their windscreen.

Shame, because the first one of the day is usually the meatiest.

And if they didn’t retaliate I could be slapped with a fine for criminal damage, which is always fun.

So instead I was terribly British and paced back and forth, muttering under my breath, and shaking my head in a misguided belief that it would somehow flush out the culprit…which it didn’t.

Instead I was left feeling more helpless and frustrated than a handcuffed pervert watching porn.

I was also angry that my four minute drive to the train station was going to result in a thirty minute uphill walk on a very, VERY cold October morning.

All I could do was take a photo (to send to my boss showing that my reason for being late is in fact genuine – not that I’m a cynic!), close my garage, lift their wiper blade up in defiance and begin my tedious walk to the station. 

I would’ve left a note under their wiper blades but annoyingly I didn’t have time to go back in the house to write it.  If I left immediately and walked at the blistering pace of an angry woman, I might just be able to make the later train.

I did, however, do the one thing that I thought might make me feel better; the one thing that may help ease my suffering and give me a sense of comfort.  I posted it on Facebook.

Within seconds I got the affirmation and acknowledgement I was so clearly craving, with lots of advice on a variety of vindictive things I could’ve done to teach this parking penis a lesson.  My favourite comment was this small poem…

 

Dear driver of the black car

Who do you think you are?

Don’t you find it bizarre…

You park but wander somewhere far?

Now my mate can’t access his car

Better this note, than my fucking crowbar!

 

Brilliant.