High on caffeine and as slow as hell

I want to take a moment to look at the word ‘Entitled’.

It’s a common word of which I’m sure you’re familiar.  If you’re not, here’s a dictionary  definition:

verb (used with object), entitled, entitling.
– to give (a person or thing) a title, right, or claim to something; furnish with grounds for laying  claim.

Well, in America, this ‘right’ or ‘claim’ seems to extend to all those walking Bags Of Pus Filled Shit we called pedestrians (or BOPFS for short). 

Now, I’m being very specific here; I’m not referring to people in general – of which I have varying levels of tolerance – but I am instead talking about people when they’re in the role of ‘inconsiderate prick’.

As a human being (barely) I have been a pedestrian many times in my life, and there are certain unwritten rules of pedestrianism (is that a word?) that should be adhered to.  These aren’t complicated rules taught in schools or training courses, they’re just common sense rules laced with decency, common sense and manners.

It’s also inevitable that these rules vary slightly in the US than they do in the UK, but surely not enough to send this calm(ish) Brit into a seething rage on a daily basis?

Oh yes, they do.

You see, there’s something that BOPFS do here that really pisses me off.  It’s something so fucking infuriating it makes me want to smash the bonnet [hood] of my car into their soft fleshy bodies at high speeds; sending their stupid twatty faces (and Starbucks) up in the air whilst I let out a maniacal laugh that sounds like a donkey with its cock stuck in a milking machine.

What is this thing?

Entitlement.

In America, a BOPFS will just walk out in front of you without looking.  Now, I can forgive a  momentary lapse of concentration when crossing in front of a car (maybe you’re reading some awesome blog on your phone), but this happens everywhere, all the time.

In America, like the rest of the world, pedestrians always have the right of way, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a festering dick about it.

In the UK if someone is crossing the street at a non-allocated crossing[1], they will do it quickly so as to not disrupt the flow of traffic.  In a car park [parking lot] they will move even quicker, often smiling and raising a hand to say ‘thank-you’.

Courteous.

Well mannered.

Awesome.

In America you’re lucky if the person acknowledges you at all.  They simple walk – no, I’m not going  to use the word ‘walk; that implies speed – they AMBLE out in front of you.

They KNOW you’re there but still they walk out like they own the fucking road and often proceed to slow down.

tht snail

What makes it worse is that some of them walk at an angle so they’re walking in the same direction as you like a Funeral Conductor walking in front of my car.

My car isn’t a Hearse.

Although soon it might be.

Plus, my car is white, with the potential for a lot of sudden red.

And brown.

Don’t forget the Starbucks.

I can’t believe people here have the nerve to abuse their ‘right of way’ entitlement to this extent.  It makes me want to abuse my ‘go to jail for murder’ entitlement.

Fuckers.

These people shouldn’t mess with large and dangerous killing machines, especially when they’re behind the wheel of a car.

I should drive around them and then stop in their path, and then when they attempt to walk around me I should keep blocking them.

Not Touching

My father in law said a woman once stopped in front of his car and proceeded to adjust her toddler’s clothing while he just sat there, unable to proceed.  Apparently she couldn’t walk the last few feet and do it to one side.

All this in a nation that allows guns.

And this got me thinking about Red Bull.

(“Eh?” says the reader).

There seems to be an epidemic of energy drinks in the USA.  People are seriously hooked on them.  The standard can of Red Bull is basically sugar and caffeine.  Add to this that a lot of people drink these back to back throughout the day. That’s a lot of caffeine.

11806581

By rights, people should be walking  around like an old black and white silent movie!

So taking this into consideration, why are they all walking so fucking slow in front of my car?

I hear Red Bull gives you wings.

So will I.

angels

[1] ‘jay walking’ isn’t a thing in the UK.  If you want to get to the other side of the road, you just cross…the…road.  You don’t have to walk 3 miles to an allocated crossing so you can cross the road and walk the 3 miles back to the place where you wanted to be.

“London Bridge is failing Dan, failing Dan, failing Dan….”

London Victoria underground station was closed tonight due to ‘someone being taken ill’.

Bollocks.

There’s no way someone said “I think I’ve got the flu coming on” and they shouted “Stop everything!”

I suspect it’s a more subtle version of “someone being liquidated by a train”.

If it’s not I can assure you that I, and about a thousand people frantically redirecting to other stations to escape the city like a frantic piss out of a pair of leaky rubber pants, will be hoping they feel better long enough to fall under the next train that’s “not stopping at Victoria”

It was utter bedlam tonight with agitated commuters strutting around directionless looking for an alternative way of getting home, and failing.

I made my way to London Bridge station as I knew I could get home from there and stood waiting for my platform to be announced.

It’s always been platform 5 whenever I’ve travelled from this station so I went through the barrier into the station, up the escalator and waited patiently by the platform entrance.

And waited.

And waited.

It was 6 minutes until my train was due to leave and the platform still hadn’t been announced.

And then….

‘Platform 9’

What??

Where the fuck is platform 9?? There’s only platforms 1 to 6!

Cock!!

I ran down the escalator, back through the barriers, out of the station and saw there was another entrance which had platforms 7 and up.

Grrr!

There is nothing more infuriating than the possibility I was going to miss my train despite having been there for ages!

And, true to form, all the commuters had been switched to ‘slow, ambling, zombie fuckwad mode’; making my run that much more varied with slaloming, hurdles, chicanes, twists, turns and twats at every step.

I bolted through the masses, up the escalator, through the barriers to the platforms and ran (a concept unfamiliar to the cretins around me) down the platform alongside the train.

Ideally I wanted to be at the front of the train, but it was about to leave so I boarded halfway down and continued my journey inside.

It was at this point that some suited prick boarded the train at the next doorway and cut in front of me, only to then stand still.

Oops, my mistake, he WAS walking but at a speed which I could be forgiven for mistaking as ‘stationary’.

In fact, ‘Mr Stop’ here was so piss-achingly slow, I got off the train, walked down the platform and boarded ahead of him (on the same carriage) so I could continue at a pace that actually involved putting one foot in front of the other.

No sooner had I traversed another carriage than a woman did the exact same thing and cut in front of me; moving at sloth-like speed while she decided where to sit on this virtually empty train.

It amazes me how these people function day to day.

I sat down and took out my phone to begin writing this blog entry.

It took around 40 minutes to write (as autocorrect can be a bitch) and, as I sat thinking about how I could end it, I looked up and saw Mr Stop finally taking his seat.

Perfect.

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Piss de resistance

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.

And 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)

i need to pee dog

A quick shout out…

To all you commuters who like to change direction on a whim right in front of me, often two or three times, causing me to either bash into you, do a Matrix style maneuver around you or change direction entirely, often two or three times, thus perpetuating your retarded inability to fucking walk in a fucking straight fucking line….

To all you pricks who stop right at the top of the stairs in a station to decide your next life choice, causing me and the hundreds of unstopping masses to practically fall over you; resulting in us almost making the fucking choice for you….

To all you tedious twats who are simply stood still until the moment I’m literally about to walk past you, at which point you decide to walk out directly in my path resulting in me virtually FUCKING YOU UP with a full on body slam….

To all you meandering rimlickers who get on the train and then stop in the aisle to put away your train ticket, or change the track on your iPod or locate your disappointing genitals, unaware that the rest of us are stuck behind you,followed by not rushing to move or apologising when you do….

To all you shitbiting fuckers who sensibly stop in a doorway to sort out your luggage because it somehow seems the least obstructive place to be, despite the fact everyone uses doors to get into and out of places…

And to all you festering cockwarts who desperately try to get In front of me whilst walking and then, once you’ve succeeded, choose to either slow down to the speed of fuck all or stop altogether, making me wonder why you so desperately had the need to push in front of me, or breathe in and out for that matter…

To ALL of you absolute fucking bastards on my daily commute, may I just take this opportunity to say….

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Fire at the end of the tunnel

This morning’s train journey into work has been a cavalcade of events.

The first annoyance was some tracksuited rudeboy who looked a lot like Akon boarded the train and sat there with headphones on talking into his phone like it was a walkie talkie.

I hate when people do that (see https://headinablender.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/hello-is-anyone-actually-there/)

His voice was a combination of Jamaica and African with a hint of stoner and a large splash of penis. He spoke incredibly loudly and nobody seemed to want to sit near him for some reason.

As the train decided to crawl at fuck all miles per hour, constantly being stopped at red signals and awaiting platforms at various stations, the monotony of the journey was broken by two guards who were checking tickets in tandem.  At first I thought they were doing half a carriage each to save time, but no…we had to provide evidence we’d paid for this embarrassment of public transport a second time.

What I did revel in slightly was the fact that Akon didn’t have a valid ticket. I think he was hoping that the guard, being a black guy, would somehow cut him some slack as a fellow ‘brother’. I’m not being racist; he leaned towards the guard and said “come on brother”.  That was my first clue.

It wasn’t working.

This was evident the second time the guard pointed out that his train pass was in fact a staff pass for London transport and not vaild on trains outside London. Akon feigned ignorance saying he didn’t know and that no one at his company told him.  He was fooling no one and got charged his penalty fare.

It was at this point I decided to have a snooze. After all, the speed this train was going I had at least 6 hours until we reached London.

The train started to get busier and busier. Every time I opened my eyes I was was surrounded by more and more people, all of whom were coveting my seat like a hyena to a feasting pride of lions.

At one point I was woken by a guy loudly offering his seat to a pregnant woman.  The tone of his voice suggested he was pissed off no one else had done it.  The reason I sensed this was because he said “it’s ok fellahs, I’ll make sure she gets a seat”.  I’m sure the woman didn’t feel guilty at all after that.

Soon enough we stopped about 3 stations outside London. The guard’s voice blared over the tannoy in his best broken English to announce that although we had stopped in a station they were not opening the doors as it wasn’t a scheduled stop.  This was despite the fact that the train was crammed solid and there were people collecting outside the doors like children around an ice cream van.

We sat there. We sat there some more. We sat there a bit longer and other passengers I noticed were starting to get restless. The huffing had begun.

The guard’s voice came over the speaker system again to point out that there had been someone taken ill on another train at the next station and we couldn’t move until the ambulance had sorted them out. My fellow commuters had that ‘i’ll give them a reason for an ambulance’ look on their faces and the huffing had evolved into sly comments and moans; desperate for someone to acknowledge them so they could enter into a mutual bitch about the rail service and how late they were going to be for work. The guy opposite me tried, but I was having none of it.

I texted my partner in crime and fellow manager at work, Sarah, to tell her I was running late. She then promptly rang me.

It’s at this stage that I feel it important to point out that the carriage was deathly silent, despite being wall to wall with people.  All that could be heard aside from the huffing and puffing was the click of phones and keyboards, no doubt moaning digitally to the world about the inconvenience they were having to endure on the nice, warm, comfy train.

Sarah told me she had made it into London, but Victoria underground station was closed due to a fire. When I replied “Victoria is closed?” you can only imagine the reaction of my sardined brethren. I took this opportunity to smile and reply with, “I think you’ve just made me the most unpopular person on this train!” .  This earned me a couple of grins but mostly a mass ‘for fuck’s sake’ groan rose from everyone.  They were all staring at me like I’d just laid my manhood across the table and asked anyone if they wanted to plug in my dongle.

Sarah told me she’d decided to attempt getting a bus to work and we ended our call so I could begin fielding questions from my new ‘friends’. They were so happy to hear that the stress was going to continue when they reached London.

The guard came over the tannoy a couple more times to tell us we weren’t moving, which we’d figured out considering the scenery had stopped going past the window.

The guy opposite me stopped huffing and puffing long enough to jokingly ask the pregnant woman if she was planning to go into labour.  Personally I thought she should start looking at good schools because we may be here a very, very long time.

Eventually we started to move and there was an inaudible, but definite, sigh of relief.

Three minutes into our breakneck journey of 1mph the guard then announced there was a fire at Victoria and the underground was closed.

Cue a massive groan.

Everyone looked at me and half smiled. I held my hands up, smiled back and gave my best ‘see I told you…don’t shoot the messenger’ face. Suddenly I felt cool and current with my finger on the pulse of shit going down. Mostly I was just thankful that I was no longer the misguided focus of their blame.

So after 3.5hrs commuting into work and subsequently turning up late, there was nothing I loved more than “so glad you could join us” and “good afternoon” quips from my lovely colleagues.

I need a coffee.  Now.

Cuba stard! Pt. 3

This is a follow on from the last two entries.

It just gets better and better.

We land in Nassau 25 minutes late and taxi to the gate. So far so good(ish); I can probably still make my flight.

Then, stop.

There’s an issue with getting the walkway up to the plane door, so we stand there and we wait for another 15 minutes. I’m getting worried now; my connecting flight leaves in 45 minutes!

We finally get off the plane and I power walk towards the baggage claim area like a man possessed, through the newly built wing of the airport.

Then, stop.

The security doors are locked and neither of the security staff can open them with their electronic flashy beepy key card passes. Shit! We stand there for another 10 minutes while someone goes and gets what’s called a ‘key’, and hey presto, the door opens! Magical!

With only 35 minutes until my flight, I hit a full sprint…which is great considering we were at the furthest gate from ANYWHERE!

The good news is that my bag is already there waiting for me at baggage claim, with an “oh there you are!” look on its face. Hooray! I grab it and run, with my case hopping from left wheel to right wheel in a manner threatening to capsize at any moment!

Then, stop.

A queue for customs. I bite the bullet and, whilst panting heavily and sweating like a whore in church, I ask the line of people if I can jump in front of them as I have a flight in 10 minutes. The woman at the front made it clear she was not happy by looking me up and down and scowling, but the customs lady heard me and beckoned me to go next. Ha! In your face scowling woman! The customs lady asked if I had any alcohol or cigarettes and then sent me on my way. I picked up the sprint where I left off and bolted through arrivals and out into the Bahamian air.

Whew! That is HOT!

No time to stop and catch some rays; I run into departures and straight up to the BahamasAir check-in desk, panting and wheezing like a priest on a whore.

Then, stop.

The flight is now closed.

Aaaaaaarrrrrgh!!!!!!

I pull out the big guns; giving the ultimate puppydog eyes, pleading and (which is what I think swung it for me), pointing out that it was THEIR flight that caused me to be late.

It worked and I got my boarding pass! She smiled and said, “now go to gate C51” like they do in the movies when they say “now go get her and tell her you love her!”. I ran my fastest run, knowing my beloved was waiting with wings open wide.

Interestingly, US customs and immigration was a breeze….and unexpected as I thought I would get it at the other end, not in Nassau. Oh well, less hassle in Florida I guess.

I then continued to run; my lungs bursting with the fast pumping of oxygen passing through them.

I can see the Departures board. It’s just up ahead! I’m nearly there! It’s gonna happen! This journey from Satan is almost at an end!

Flight delayed for 45 minutes.

I stood there, looking up at the screen, dripping with sweat, panting so hard that nearby kids were passing out from oxygen deficiency, and I could only do one thing.

I laughed.

I mean I really laughed out loud.

The family next to me were shielding their children from the strange laughing man, but I didn’t care. I just stood there and let out a big hearty laugh.

Brilliant. I couldn’t have ended this story any better. Irony had handed me the perfect conclusion to this episode of my journey.

Looking around me I suddenly realised I was technically in the States; there was a Wendy’s, a Quiznos, a Dunkin’ Donuts and more. But best of all, I was just happy that everything was clean, shiny and air-conditioned. I ventured into the toilet and there weren’t shit spattered bowls, piss covered floors and water-free taps.

Heaven.

I can wait 45 minutes. After all, I’ve got to get my breath back.

Fate? Or futile?

This morning my journey into work started with a delayed bus that got me to the station later than I’d hoped. I still managed to catch my intended train, but I had to run…which in work attire first thing in the morning, when my limbs are creaky and cold, tends to resemble a newborn deer; gangly and awkward.

Having made my train and rewarding myself with a mental high five I settled down into an empty seat and looked forward to my nap. This morning’s nap would be exceptionally enjoyable as I was on an earlier train today and I knew I didn’t have a mentally insane power walk the other end.

Half way into the journey the driver announced, whilst sat at a station, that there was a technical difficulty with the doors and we wouldn’t be going anywhere for at least 20 minutes.

Great.

So I settled into a nice deep sleep, which resulted in snorting myself awake when the driver’s voice came over the tannoy again (see previous blog entry: ‘Wakey Wakey’)

I finally made it into London, 2 minutes before I need to be at work; 20 minutes away.

Time to be Bambi again.

And the delays didn’t stop there.

I got stopped by two people whose Oyster cards wouldn’t let them through the barrier, a woman who kept stopping with her suitcase without warning, a train that was held in the station for 3 minutes (which equates to 3hrs overground) due to a stop signal, a guy on the escalator who was more preoccupied with his kindle than walking up the escalator (he got a sharp jab in the ribs for his efforts), and an elevator that finally moved after the doors opened and closed 6 times.

What is it with doors today??

So all in all, quite a prolonged commute into work. Perfect for a Monday.

I can only hope that fate had a plan and, by delaying me, ensured I avoided being hit by a car, mugged, shot, blown up or (worst of all) being stopped by charity people with dreadlocks and clipboards.