“I just did” is, in my experience, a proportional response. This holds a special pleasure when directed at some pompous ass who truly believes every Englishman’s home is his castle. It’s almost charity work to disabuse them of the notion that house deeds rarely extend to the public road.
I had a similar experience today. Chiltern Railways cyclists charter” treats bike carrying in the same vein as murdering your fellow passengers with a blunt axe. Messy and bad for business, especially at peak times. Therefore I had little option but to haul cold, dark butt out of bed at 6am in the morning so as not to suffer the fate of a possible eviction at Amersham.
Wind back a bit here. Why was I doing this? So I could swap
From: (Long gone Photopic Link – was probably a bike)
To: (Another dead line, also probably a bike!)
And I hear you ask again Why the hell was I doing this; replacing one mountain bike with another? Long story which inevitably will be blog-food in due course.
As the 6:35 rolled out of Stoke Mandeville, I’d cunningly wedged the bike into the disabled area. The train was almost deserted and short of suffering some potential early bird wheelchair action, I was perfectly positioned for some quality snoozing.
What I’d failed to recognise was a. this is the slow train which stops at every station, siding and seemingly where people stick out an opportunistic hand and b. there is a critical mass of sad buggers travelling that early. Past Amersham, it’s standing room only and lustful glances are being cast at the foldable seats nailed shut by forceful insertion of a mountain bike.
As yet more time impoverished commuters spurned the chance to mutter feck it, I can’t be arsed, I’m going home instead” and instead shoved the already pre-shoved human cattle further into the carridge, someone snapped.
I’m calling him Mr. Ass, first name begins with P and it’s not Peter. You can recognise the type; daily mail hidden inside the financial times, huge overcoat for the glacial trek between platform and taxi and face pressed gently into the window due to the slight overcrowding you may be suffering this morning”.
Bloody bicycles, they shouldn’t be allowed to travel on the train. Taking up three seats as well. Bloody disgrace”. He’s looking round for friendly support but instead his gaze falls sneeringly on me recognisable as the bike owner with shorts, vibrant yellow jacket and amused expression.
Yours is it?”
Certainly is. New as well. Do you like it?”
No I bloody don’t. And it shouldn’t be on the train blocking up seats”
Yeah it should actually. Any time before 7:30am”
Well why don’t you bring it on at a more convenient time and stop being so selfish”
Well why don’t you stop being such an arse.” (not my finest response but I was barely awake, he rants on)
You should buy it a ticket
Oh really? It’s in wheel chair space and do you think a wheelchair user should buy three extra tickets as well
That’s not the point”
It’s exactly the point. If someone really needed the space, I do something about it but since it’s only your overfed fat arse we’re discussing here, I don’t think I’ll bother”
(He’s starting to go red, and trumpets a sound which I can only describe as the intestinal rumblings of a badly constipated elephant)
How Dare You? If I had my way you wouldn’t be able to park your bikes anywhere on the train at any time”
Yeah, well I could always park in up your arse which clearly has potential for quite a few wouldn’t you say” (I’m getting a bit concerned about my arse references. Maybe he thinks I’m an aging rent boy)
I’ll be taking it up with the station manager”
Fine, in the meantime, you’re standing up, my bike and I are sat down and you lost the argument. But hey if it makes you feel better, go for it”
(He goes to try and move my bike. God knows where as space is limited to the luggage racks and the roof, still I’m not happy)
Touch the bike Pal and I promise you that “ in front of a 100 passengers “ I really will shove it up your arse. And I’m pretty sure the station master would have something to say about that”
He harrumphs once more and mutters about the youth of today (although we’re probably a similar age, he has more hair, girth and self righteousness but loses out in the key area of a sense of humour)
Aside from a little giggling from those in receipt of unexpected street entertainment, nothing else really happens other than a little facial duelling. He’s giving me constipated elephant” which I think is meant to be threatening or he’s suffered an unexpected bowel movement and I’m responding with cheeky chappy “ a cross between Roger Moore’s eyebrows and Zippy off rainbow.
I hoping an upgrade to proper dualling will spill onto the platform where aluminium mountain bike beats Daily Mail crossword ever time. But no he storms off with what I’m assuming is his you’re not worth it” demeanour.
Being a true class warrior I can’t help but shout after him “Hey don’t go so fast, I need somewhere to park my bike”
I know. I’m going to hell.