Thursday, February 28, 2008
Train of thoughtlessness
14.00 -"Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Paddington station. Unfortunately all trains are cancelled due to an unforeseen fatality at Southall. "
I sit and wait, and listen to announcements and mobile conversations....
"No, tell Ann that some twat has thrown herself on the line. Yeah, I know, bloody inconsiderate, I'll be there late. Pie? Yeah great."
15.45 - "Ladies and gentlemen, the 14.05 to Penzance is ready to board. Even if you run like hell you don't stand a chance of a seat as we are going for the Guiness World record of packing as many of you into a confined place as we can. Please be patient and ignore the guy who stabs you with his umbrella because the only seat he's going to get is in the loo. "
16.00 - "This is the 14.05 and 15.05 bound for Penzance. For those of you squatting on the floor could you please make sure that you wrap up warm. We pride ourselves in not losing anyone to hypothermia."
"Mark? Yes, it's me, oh for fuck's sake! Yes, me. The train is late. Suicide, mm hmm. Well, listen then, it's not my fault you can't hear. I've got the wrong train, you'll have to pick me up at Taunton. Don't shout, if you leave now...."
16.45 - "This is the train manager speaking. The buffet car is now open but please don't think you are going to get anywhere near it as there are bodies everywhere. If you drum up a bit of Brit spirit you could get some sort of system going. Oh, and the coffee machine has packed up and the only sandwich left is cheese and something."
It is like trying sleep on the underground through the Blitz. Now all I need is for this lot to start singing - oh dear, spoke to soon.
"Shell? Shell? Aw, don't be like that. It was only one pint. I love you Shell, I love, aww don't put the phone down..."
"Shell? Yeah, s'mee, aww, don't say that, nah, don't say that, I love you."
"Ladies and Gentlemen, the next station is Exeter. As most of you humans prefer to live on this side of the bridge those travelling to the depths of Cornwall may be lucky enough to find a seat, although don't hold out any hope as there are at least two hundred souls waiting to get on. Move!"
"Don't be ridiculous, I am squatting on the floor with some witch and her bag of shoes. I think she is trying to sleep on me. There is nowhere to plug the laptop in. Yes, I know, suicide, blocked all the lines out, too right I'll complain. At least get some money back."
"Ladies and gentlemen, I don't know about you but I will be bloody glad to get home tonight. The unforeseen circumstance appears to have thrown us all into confusion and I have missed my home cooked ham and eggs. Oh, and British Rail apologises for the slight delay."
To the fatality at Southall - I hope you find the peace you were looking for.......