Before I begin…here’s a short letter;
Dear fellow train-goers:
Headphones are the universal ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign. Please observe accordingly. Or I’ll punch you in the eye.
Old people ALWAYS bring sandwiches on trains no matter what time they go on trains…it could be the 5.35am service to Limerick Junction and they’ll have a stack of Brennan’s finest White filled with some sort of compressed meat product ready to be devoured.
They will also ask the first person they see on the carriage if this train is going to their chosen destination. Because, as we all know, every passenger is telepathically linked both to the national rail service and each individual who uses it.
I’d happily spend the day on a train. It’s the only mode of travel where you feel you can even slightly interact with your surroundings. You see the countryside, cities and towns in all their glory, you can pass through unnoticed but still be a voyeur and watch life go on outside a window. You have the freedom to get up and walk about a bit, and even better, you can buy a sandwich and pretend you’re an old person!
One of the best advantages for me is the fact that I never get travel sick on trains. It’s not a nice feeling when the Pukey Monster comes to visit.
There’s a small sub-section of the population who will empathise with me here. A lot of you won’t. And I hate you for it. You will never know the panic of being trapped in a confined space made of tons of metal that’s being driven / flown by unnamed assailants, who care not a jot for you. The rising panic when you realise that the sickly feeling is starting and they’ve only just shut the doors. The scramble for anything that will bring any kind of brief respite – some cold water, maybe some chewing gum, a hard blow to the back of the head – but you forgot to buy the first two; and no matter how much you beg the nice old lady next to you, she refuses to put you in a sleeper hold. Selfish cow.
But I digress. On with my ‘train’ of thought – see what I did there?(I’ll see myself out, thanks.)There’s a drunk guy sitting across from me and he’s got that thing where he dresses really young but his face doesn’t match?? You know what I mean…like a bad artists’ impression for a court case. This guy is a peach among the many mad eejits that I have come to attract in seating arrangements over the years. His question to me? “Can you sort phones?” But in a really strong Scottish accent so more like “Can yee saaarrrt fonez???” He sounded (and looked) like an extra out of Taggart. So of course, I decided ‘what the hell’ and told him to hand it over. He wanted to change the wallpaper on his Nokia. Hilarious. I asked him what picture he wanted. He replied “The one of Paul Gascoigne when he played for Rangers.” Of course it was. Silly of me to ask. He said all this while sipping regularly from a boozy-smelling Irn-Bru bottle. I’m not making this up. So I got to look through a drunken Scotsman’s phone. Who DOESN’T have that on their Bucket List in all fairness?
Unfortunately all I saw were two very blurry pictures of what I hope were of his HAND or an accidental click of a button. I gave it back having been unsuccessful in my attempt at his handset enquiry. Then he passed it on to his friends. Couldn’t have done that earlier?? And got it sorted. It was in ‘received files’, apparently. So glad he told me. I wouldn’t have slept well that night at all otherwise.
I honestly wonder if I have the aura of a psychiatric nurse about my person? Is that why The Crazies are drawn to me? Maybe I’m channelling the wrong nurse. Less Kate Beckinsale in Pearl Harbour and more Louise Fletcher in Cuckoo’s nest. I’ll know better next time.