SNAP

I need to file and Health and Safety report from my trip this morning.

Location: Quiet Carriage located on a train travelling between Hereford and London
Time: 07:47

Situation: Two vacuous women of Black Country descent have spent the last 90 minutes variously discussing shoes, useless employees, how clever their children are, and are now debating the finer points of when it’s okay to lose your knickers in public.

Event: Kindly gent with upright aristocratic bearing seated opposite was riled beyond breaking point. Being English nothing more than raised eyebrows, almost imperceptible shaking of a well groomed head and the odd angry rustling of The Times had so far signalled his displeasure.

I think it was the knickers. A man of a certain age and standing probably has a genetic trigger that cannot be stayed when dippy women gush in not very hushed whispers, and indulge in verbal water torture. It’s been a while since I’ve seen someone mentally explode, so it’s worth reporting the full conversation.

Kindly Gent: “Madam, would you mind please keeping silent, as you have obviously failed to notice this is the quiet carriage. And you are not”
Vacuous Brummie: “Oooooh well it says Quiet, not silent and we’re speaking very quietly and I don’t think we’re disturbing anyone
(30 papers shake vigorously signalling the communal rustle of disagreement with that last statement)
KG: “Madam, you are. And you have been for over an hour”
VB: “Well I don’t know. You should have mentioned it earlier
KG: “I was hoping I wouldn’t have too”
(Beginners mistake here, those of us who live in the real world know that manners and politeness rarely break out on this train. That’s why I won’t sit in the cock’s carriage which does allow mobile phones and ego to ply their nefarious trade)
VB: “Well I suppose we can try and be a bit quieter”
KG: “Or you could move to another carriage where I’m sure others would enjoy your conversations as much as I haven’t
(not sure I got this quite right, but it was an rapier thin insult that punctured the air of the tense calm so far enveloping this conversation. Sharp intakes of breaths and supportive “Yes, Get in there” from the non-bloody-annoying side of the carriage)
VB: “Well there is no need to be insulting
(Oh I dunno, I think there is more than just cause but KG ignored the comment)
KG: “I hope I have got my point across, really your crass behaviour is totally unacceptable”

And then before the Midlands Super-Gob could respond or strike him down with her terrifying pointy handbag, he stood up, modestly acknowledged the almost silent – yet heartfelt – thanks from all of us, and de-trained* at Reading.

Leaving us with that kind of shocked silence that is gradually filled by people needing to examine some papers very closely and for a long time STARTING RIGHT NOW.

We’ve been here before. Thankfully it wasn’t me today. I was very, very tempted but had inadvertantly left the Heavy Shovel Of Righteousness at home. And obviously, if we’d been in America, someone would have been shot. Ying and Yang, struggling to see the downside of that one.

* Scorpion Pit Alert. Find the man who felt the urge to add this to the Train Manager’s script. Assume he’s the same bloke who talks about us being “re-platformed”. Dunno what this is, but sounds painful.

3 thoughts on “SNAP

  1. Julian

    For obvious reasons Al, I have no desire to enter into a regional dialect debate with you but I would say that your experience was nothing compared to the daily assault on my senses I have to endure.
    My employer has a policy which sees it recruiting tikka-tinged clones with inflated orange breasts and who speak in a raspy faux-Scouse accent with a limited vocabulary that accurately reflects Orwell’s prophesy of “New Speak”. It’s known locally as the language of “fukken”.
    Instead of something tasting delicious or interesting, it is described here as “Well fukken nice”. Notions of disapproval of some aspect which may occur during their day can be described thus: “That’s like well fukken bad”. Something which may occur that is quite beyond the pale would be expressed as “Well proper fukken bad”.
    Entire conversations can be constructed with just 10 words but will invariably include words such as “well”, “like”, “fukken”, “bad”, “good”, “nice”, “nasty”, “vodka”, “ciggie” and “K8Y Price”.
    Topics vary wildly and an example of today’s subjects include why you cannot have more than 100{45ac9c3234d371044e23e276755ef3a4dde8f1068375defba7d385ca3cd4deb2} (Linzi), why the fuck do I like have to go to Charles de Gaulle Airport when I like wanna go to Paris (Ami), I want a well good tattoo that’s not like well skanky (Kati), Jayden’s like well proper fucked-off ‘cos the fukken boat’s like not sailing ‘cos of the rain and shit and can’t go to Primark tomoz (Mandi) and the fact that the local nail emporium was shuttered-up today and my nails are like well fukken nasty (Jenni). On the upside, the team leader (Capt. Tango), is like well fukken sure there’s a new mobile technician on the island who is well proper good like and she’ll ask one of her m8s on Facebook.

    Anyway, they’ve come to work in their best New Look threads ‘cos they’re going out on the lash tonight and are going to get well proper fukken nasty on voddy and shots. Celebrity Jungle, Dancing and the X-Factory will just have to wait for another night but Sky+ is like well fukken ace for stuff like.

    Oh and Capt. Tango has just rasped out very loudly that she’s well-up for taking it the aaaass. She loves it apparently.

  2. I once had the misfortune of sharing a carriage from Manchester to Preston with a bunch of pissed up and noisy Manchester United supporters. Scottish chaps all of them, naturally.

    As I left the carriage I spoke directly to the noisiest one and asked him who’d let him drink on an empty head. Before his neathderthal thought processes could grasp what I’d just said I stepped smartly off the carriage and disappeared into the melee on the platform.

    I was most satisfied as I traversed the bridge over the tracks to see that the numpty had decided he wasn’t going to take a bit of lip and had himself disembarked*, probably in order to give me “a good kicking”.

    Oh how I laughed as the train then left the station without him.

    * a much better word than ‘de-trained’

  3. Alex

    Somedays I think I must have seen it all. Then I read these comments, and realise I know nothing. Or possibly “nuffin”

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