This morning at the train station I saw a young guy with a tattoo on his forearm that read “Live Free”.
He was also on his way to work.
Some people make this too easy.
This morning at the train station there was a large concentration of feathers halfway along the platform.
Either there had been a pillow fight over the weekend (which, in my typical male mind, was between two giggling girls wearing next to nothing), or an unsuspecting pigeon received a massive faceful of train.
With no sign of a body, or a pillowcase, we’ll never know which type of bird got a battering.
The London Underground is a busy place at rush hour; crammed full of people from every walk of life and in every shape, size and colour.
A few days ago I was on the platform at London Victoria underground station awaiting the next sardine tin to arrive and whisk us away. It was the usual scenario of pushing and squashing to get prime position on the platform for the opening doors. The train pulled alongside the platform, the doors opened and we all started to habitually scowl at the people getting off the train.
A scowl that basically says, ‘hurry the fuck up’.
Once the dead weight had alighted the train, the slow motion pushing and shoving began, only to be met with the one fucking twat who still hasn’t disembarked the train.
Why does this happen? Who the fuck forgets to get off the train?
It’s likely they suddenly realised this was their stop (at the last minute) because they were too caught up playing Candy (fucking) Crush.
They are, in fact, complete idiots.
This late, sloth-like exodus by these morons usually reignites the scowl, with a subtle hint of eye rolling and a lot of quiet sighing as we’re forced to slowly move back onto the platform from the much coveted metal flooring of the train. Today was no exception.
Ok, are they out?
Are we sure?
The slow motion mosh pit resumed and bodies were crushed together like a man’s junk in 80s jeans. It was nuts to butts as we managed to squeeze the last person on, leaving no room to slide a credit card between us. There were armpits in the face and lumps and bumps pressed against lumps and bumps.
But frankly, I didn’t care. I was on the train. So fuck the rest of you. Ha!
I freed one of my hands and reached up to grab a rail in anticipation of the train moving.
At this moment a guy managed to somehow shoehorn himself onto the train before the doors closed, causing a domino effect of squashing that resulted in a woman pressing right up against me.
Now, this isn’t unusual on the underground by any means, but on this occasion she’d managed to effortlessly wedge my other hand against my thigh……with her bum.
It’s worth mentioning that I hadn’t actually noticed at first; fighting to keep my footing and stay upright as the train pulled away. To be honest, if I’d let go of the rail I still wouldn’t have fallen over as there wasn’t space to move. I reckon I could’ve lifted both feet off the ground and still stayed in place, although I may have sunk down like I was in quicksand and I would’ve had a face full of bum.
The train had started to shake and jerk around like it usually does, which is when I realised that I had a bum rubbing left and right against the back of my hand. This would’ve been tolerable if she’d been a 21 year old model, but not if she was a 55 year old geography teacher.
But i’m a happily married man, so I use the word ‘tolerable’ loosely.
Anyway, I could clearly make out the bum cleft on each pass of her buttocks across my hand. I could make out the shape and density of each cheek as it swayed left, then right, then left; over and over again like she was Miley Cyrus and I was Robin Thicke.
The certainty I had of being able to pick out the subtle distinctions in the shape of her bum left me realising the cold, unnerving truth; this granny was either wearing a thong…or nothing.
I was also very aware that my hand was so wedged in that I would’ve had to pull really hard to remove it, alerting her to the fact that it was my hand and not some random bag or something. Also, considering it had been wedged in there at least 45 seconds at this point, I would’ve been considered a bit of a pervert for not moving it sooner.
That would’ve resulted in an entirely different type of scowl.
So I could do nothing but stand there for the next two minutes, copping a feel against my will, with very distinguishable buttocks rubbing seductively against me by an unattractive old woman who had no idea she was doing it.
I washed my hands a lot when I got to work.
Regular readers of my blog will remember I once ranted about automated doors and their ability to hinder the actual act of opening a door.
For those new to my blog, or those with the memory of a man under investigation for allegedly having sex with a goat, you’ll find the entry here.
Following on from this, I had another choice encounter.
Last night as I left the office, I paused for a moment as I could feel that slight tickle in my bladder suggesting there was a piss in my very near future. I was running late and, as it only takes about 20 minutes to get to Victoria station, I decided against draining the main vein until I was on the train home.
I could wait 20 minutes.
Fortunately, having walked for about 3 minutes towards the underground station, my tickle turned into a dull ache. Having consumed a litre and a half of squash in the last 45 minutes of the day I knew my bladder was not going to be filling up slowly.
I‘m now not sure I could wait 20 minutes.
I negotiated the shuffling morons, ticket barriers, escalators, platforms, trains and countless cases, bags and bell-ends to make it to Victoria station; by which time my bladder was really starting to hurt.
I walked as fast as I could to the platform where my 12 carriage toilet would be waiting. Unfortunately, ‘as fast as I could’ wasn’t very fast at all considering my bladder felt like it had swelled to the size of a small baby screaming for its mummy. If the station hadn’t been so noisy I would’ve been reported to Child Services.
I made it to the last set of barriers and was held up by some dickhead with a suitcase who couldn’t activate the barrier with his ticket AND walk forward with his suitcase at the same time. These skills appeared to be interchangeable, but not combinable. Interestingly it was the opposite with my foot and his arse.
My bladder shouted at me to use a different barrier and we were through. I walked to my platform like a wounded soldier on the battlefield and there in front of me was my train; my beautiful, beautiful train. What a magnificent sight. Tears were welling up in my eyes…at least I think they were tears. Are tears yellow?
I was starting to feel a little nervous at this point because a single knock from an arm swinger or one of the countless idiots I commute with and I would’ve basically unleashed yellow hell in my trousers.
I desperately scanned each carriage as I ‘walked’ down the platform; slaloming the directionless cretins who had just vacated the very train I was boarding.
There! A carriage with a toilet!
It was one of those automated toilets with the big curved door, but it would have to do. I frantically pressed the ‘open door’ button as I was beginning to tremble and sweat urine. The door started to rumble open at the speed of a tired sloth walking uphill through treacle whilst carrying a piano and wearing flippers.
As soon as the door had opened wide enough for me to fit through, I slipped inside. For the uninitiated, there are three buttons inside the cubicle that read ‘open door’, ‘close door’ and ‘lock door’. I pressed the button to close the door but it seemed the automated system hadn’t finished opening it and therefore I had to wait.
It’s a big ol’ door.
Finally the door finished opening and I pressed the button again to close it. Well, I say ‘pressed’; it was more like ‘jabbed it 74 times in about 6 seconds’. The door then started to trundle slowly shut. It was slow. I mean REALLY slow.
It’s a big ol’ door.
Who fucking designed this? In fact, who fucking decided we needed an automated door on a toilet in the first place? It only serves to slow us down at a time when we’re probably in a hurry, like running away from zombies, hiding from the ticket inspector or….dare I say….needing the fucking toilet! Plus, being automated, we’re always left a little nervous that the door will suddenly and unexpectedly open of its own accord. Not what any of us want to experience, or see.
Also, these automated cubicles are massive. You could easily fit two normal cubicles in the same space. Two normal cubicles with two normal doors that open and close normally; and quickly.
Eventually the door came to rest and I pressed the ‘lock’ button whilst unsuccessfully attempting to open my fly. I was shaking so much from the pain that I resembled a person with Parkinson’s disease trying to thread a needle.
Finally I managed to free the beast and I did indeed unleash yellow hell.
Without going into too much detail, it felt like I was pissing out my soul. I could literally feel my body temperature drop and I believe I may have let out an “Oh yeah” at some point, but it’s unconfirmed.
It was emotional.
As I’ve said before, I bet Captain Kirk didn’t have to put up with this shit whenever he wanted to use the toilet.
(Insert Captain’s Log joke here)
An announcement just came over the speakers at Watford station to say that train doors may close up to 30 seconds before the train is due to depart. As a result it is advisable to be on the platform in plenty of time for your train.
These speakers are ON the platform.
I’ve just seen a guy miss his train.
Was he running late, or dashing like a madman? No, he was actually early.
He was stood on the platform, headphones in his ears and reading the morning paper; positioned right at the very end of the platform, presumably to get on at the front of the train.
The train pulled in, everyone got on and the train pulled out. The thing is, the train had pulled in about 20 feet short of where he was standing, so he hadn’t seen or heard it.
He was about to.
As the train started to leave it trundled slowly past him. It was at this point he put the newspaper under his arm and prepared himself to board. It had then dawned on him this train wasn’t slowing down, it was speeding up.
He looked around, checking the boards, glaring at his watch and strutting around frantically as if it was somehow someone else’s fault.
No mate, you really did just stand there like a twat and watch it leave all by yourself.
I think I may have seen one of the passengers waving at him.
The London Victoria tube station was a nightmare this morning.
It was packed solid with bodies all desperate to mash themselves against the stranger in front of them, just to get to a place that deprived them of a lovely lay in this morning; work.
As I watched each train come and go, taking with them various sized chucks of the masses, I was edging closer and closer to the front of the herd, and subsequently the edge of the platform.
“Stay behind the yellow line ladies and gentlemen!” came a man’s voice, barking over the tannoy.
I looked down, and sure enough there was a yellow line a few inches away from the concrete precipice of death that I was unnervingly close to. I tried to shuffle backwards but considering there was a wall of iPads, handbags, newspapers and groins behind me, I didn’t shuffle very far.
“Ladies and gentlemen, please continue to move down the platform!”, came the earsplitting tannoy again.
He was starting to sound annoyed. I suspect he wanted to bookmark his sentences with “For fuck’s sake” and “What is wrong with you people?”, but had decided against it for his love of a salary. I had read between the lines.
“Please continue to move down the platform! There is heavy congestion at the back of the platform and there’s more room at the front of the platform; please continue to move down the platform!”
There was a small pause before he continued; this time with an air of lighthearted sarcasm.
“You never know, you might actually be able to get on the train”.
I smirked. Good for him.
There was another short pause before his exasperated voice came back.
“Or alternatively you could just ignore what I’m saying and stay exactly where you are, getting nowhere!”
A few of us chuckled. None of us moved.
Standing on the platform waiting for the platform number to be announced for the train we’re all waiting for, despite the fact that we all know its the train in front of us on platform 19. So here we all stand, adamant we have the right train, but unmoving until its made official in bright orange letters on the black backed information board.
And we wait.
And we start shuffling around, checking the boards for other platforms in case we might’ve been wrong, even though we know its the one sitting at platform 19. It’s always platform 19.
It’s approaching 5 minutes late now and we’re all getting fidgety, especially as the train at platform 19 has just been vacated by a sea of people with expressions ranging from beaming smiles, to smacked arse.
And we continue to wait.
People are now starting to call friends and family to loudly announce how late they’re going to be, and to dramatically describe the inconvenience it’s causing them.
One guy in particular gets my attention, mostly because he’s stood right in front of me, but also due to the nature of the conversation I can hear at this end. He clearly has a suspicious and untrusting partner on the end of the line.
“Hi it’s me”
“Yeah I’m still here waiting for the 18:02 but its not here yet”
“Yeah I’m stood right in front of it, and it’s not here so I’m going to be late”
“Well I don’t know”
“How can I if there’s no train?”
“I’m telling you, I’m AT the station and there’s no train announced yet”
“Honestly, there really isn’t!”
“I don’t know (sighs), when I get there. I’ll text you when I leave”
“No idea, they haven’t told us anything”
“There’s no-one around to ask”
“I don’t know”
“I said I have no idea; we’re all waiting for the boards to say which platform”
“I AM on the platform, but we’re waiting for it to come up”
“I said I’m sorry”
He’s got a great Friday night to look forward to.
The train is finally announced.
This morning, as I made it onto the train platform, my train pulled in bereft of passengers and filled with row upon row of empty seats. It’s moments like this that make commuting tolerable; the joy felt when you know you’re about to get another hour of slumber.
And just as my 12 carriage bed came to a stop and the enterprise doors opened I heard a “hello stranger” from behind me. I turned around and there was one of my neighbours.
“Oh hello, how are you?” I replied, uninterested in her answer.
“I’m fine thanks; are you catching the train?”
– pause –
It’s at this point that you need to understand how my brain works. There is a scene in ‘The Terminator’ when Mr Schwarzenegger is sitting on a cheap hotel bed doing Terminatory stuff when the hotel manager starts bashing on the door shouting, “hey buddy, you got a dead cat in there or what?” through a chewed up cigar. We then see Arnie’s viewpoint and he is presented with a choice of the following replies:
Please come back later
Fuck you, asshole
As you’d expect, he chooses the penultimate (and best) response. It’s a hilarious and memorable scene. If you haven’t seen it then shame on you. Rent it, watch it, come back.
Anyway, my brain works in a similar way, especially when faced with a comment or question that is so ballsachingly retarded (right up there with “are you still reading that book?”, “did those tattoos hurt?” and “are you really going to eat that?”). Often I also go for the penultimate (and best) response. On this occasion I went for “I am indeed, where are you off to?”
(Please don’t say London, please don’t say London, please don’t say London)
Don’t get me wrong; she’s a nice enough woman, but I don’t really know her that well. Plus I really, REALLY wanted to sleep. Now, instead, we’re sat opposite each other at a table in a confined metal tube going 80mph towards our nation’s capital. I miss the old slam-door trains….I could’ve just jumped off.
The conversation was painful. I mean painful. It consisted mostly of “how’s work?”, “I see you’ve got a new fence”, “what are you up to at the weekend?”, “how’s work?”, “ah, the next stop is….”, “I saw your other half the other day”, “I’m off to London for a training course” and “how’s work?”.
It was exhausting….which isn’t ideal for someone already in desperate need of sleep.
I tried all the tactics in the book to initiate silence, including taking massive interest in the passing scenery, checking my phone for messages, playing with my penis, etc…but it was all fruitless in stopping her relentlessly inane chatter. We even got onto the subject of how boring my commute must be every day. If she only knew.
The whole situation worsened when other commuters started filling the carriage. The suit next to me opened a book, the suit opposite me opened a broadsheet and STILL she continued with awkwardly selected topics of conversation. The issue now was the fact that I was now becoming ‘those people’ who don’t shut up talking on trains when you want to read (or sleep!). It’s not like I was doing it on purpose! I wanted to stop, but I felt that no-one believed me despite the fact that I now had my face fully pushed up against the glass to demonstrate my total and utter interest in the passing scenery….which at this point was the inside of a tunnel.
We were starting to get ‘the look’ from those around us. I know ‘the look’ as I’ve perfected it myself, usually just before the blog that inevitably would follow.
I have, however, learned something new from this morning’s experience. The face I make when I’m willing someone to shut the fuck up appears to be exactly the same as the one I make when I’m totally and utterly interested in everything they have to say.
I really have to work on that.
Clip clop clip clop clip clop CLIP CLOP CLIP CLOP CLIPCLOPCLIPCLOP!
That’s the sound of ME running for the train like a deranged donkey; bag and brolly flailing in my wake as I slalom shuffling commuters like a survivor in a zombie apocalypse. I think I took out some kid with my bag, but its hard to tell…I mean this blood and snot could’ve come from anywhere, right? Right?? And whose tooth is this?
Why am I so late? Well let me tell you.
I drove to the station this morning in the realisation that my monthly travel card had expired and I needed another one. At least, I was hoping the police would believe that when I have to explain how I achieved the 13 minute drive in 7.
But that aside…
I then power minced from the car to the station. I can’t call it a power walk, because it was that kind of walk that’s a little faster than a power walk; it’s almost a run, but not. It’s what the professional walkers do. Hmm, maybe I’ll rewrite this paragraph.
I walked to the station like a toned Olympic athlete, and prided myself on getting there super early so I had time to get my ticket.
So I took my place at the back of this miserable and unmoving conga line. And as I’m stood there among the zombies, I could hear the requests from the shufflers at the front who had made it to the coveted ticket window. Amongst the genuine requests for tickets, I also heard this little gem; “Can I have a ticket for tomorrow please?”
What?? Are you effing KIDDING me?? You’re not even travelling today?
There was also this little delight; “How much is it to Croydon?”. Normal enough, except this penis wasn’t even buying a ticket…he just wanted to know the price!
Of course, none of this was done in stasis; the clock was still ticking and it was getting incredibly close to my train pulling in. One woman in front of me must’ve been in the same situation as she kept huffing, puffing and sighing heavily whilst constantly looking at her watch.
Reminds me of sex with my ex.
So I finally make it to the sacred fenestrated wall and I’m done in under 20 seconds. People behind me are clapping and cheering; one woman is crying; someone gives me their baby to kiss. It was emotional.
Ok, that didn’t actually happen, but we all thought it.
I turn on my heel and bolt for the platform barrier, which is where I began this tale.
I literally run all the way up the slope, onto the platform, straight onto the train (as the door closes right behind me) and into a seat. What a great feeling; made even better by seeing a woman do the same behind me, but she was too late; stopped by Mr Jobsworth on the platform.
I’m not great at lip reading, but I think she just said “you can’t! You’re far, king sheet and can’t!” Dunno what that means.
Her snot nosed kid didn’t look impressed. It might be because he had a nose bleed, and he seemed to be missing a tooth.