Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Nice Nipples

A man across the carriage from me is wearing the tightest white shirt I have ever seen. The material is pulled taught round every button and the man is clearly uncomfortable, in exquisite discomfort even, writhing with enough intensity to put Uriah Heep to shame. The shirt is so small that Frodo Baggins would have given it to Oxfam and Tom Thumb would have lost sleep worrying about nipple exposure.

Opposite me is my Nemesis, a man whose daily goal is to invade my space with his huge greatcoat and massive laptop. Every day without fail he seeks me out, plonks himself in front of me, or next to me, and tries to read my paper. I fight back by holding my paper at an impossible angle, which doesn't stop him but hopefully gives him a cricked neck and eyestrain. If he wants to read a paper he should buy one.

Across the aisle is the bike freak, a man who (every day) taps away on his laptop until we reach Gatwick, before getting up to unfold his travel bike. He unfolds it using a tape measure to achieve an exactitude that would put da Vinci to shame. In fact, it does put da Vinci to shame.

Note to self, send some boos and hisses da Vinci's way.

Further up the carriage is one of the two eccentrics. I've mentioned these before in another article, but they are so brilliant they deserve to feature again. Every day they wait together at exactly the same point on the platform. One of them always carries a giant golf umbrella, no matter what the weather, which has always irritated me. I'd rather get wet a couple of times a year than lug that monstrosity around 365 days a year. He reminds me of my wife's gran, who once spent several months refusing to go outside in case she got hit by a meteor.

Anyway these chaps stand there chatting away like old friends until the train pulls up. One of them gets on the adjacent carriage and the other walks a few yards up the platform and gets on the next carriage. An unfathomable mystery. If they are such good friends why not sit together? If they want some space to read then why not just agree to read? They're mad I tell you. Sagacity, oh sweet Sagacity, where are you?

The train conductor thinks he is Clint Eastwood, swaggering up and down the aisle as if he bruised his coccyx tripping over a cat, making gruff announcements...

"There are two kinds of men in this world...sorry, Ladies and Gentlemen, got a bit carried away there, this is the 7:24 service to London Victoria, calling at..."

Marshaling my thoughts I attempt to get back to my paper, which has been woefully neglected, but they drift back to White Shirt. What WAS he thinking as he admired himself in the mirror this morning, flexing his pecks and winking at his reflection?

Is it cold in here? Nice nips?

11 comments:

Diane said...

But it's still better than driving... right?

Rachel Cotterill said...

Ahh, the joy of commuting - great portraits, I'm particularly intrigued by the people who won't sit together! :)

Vodka Mom said...

I think he works in my building.

San Diego Momma said...

Was the white shirt lycra? Because then my mental image would be even more horrifying.

Kylie w Warszawie said...

Where I live the best people on the bus are drunks. All kinds of drunks.

Polish speaking drunks never sound friendly (of course, Polish does not lend itself to a friendly sound, but that's beside the point). They always sound as though you have wronged them in some way. Even when they are just talking about the weather.

Sass said...

How do you just keep Uriah Heep in your mental rolodex like that?

A skill I must hone.

thistlesandmapleleaves said...

Now, if you were really twisted (like me)you would totally do something to screw up these little rituals, like standing to close to the two guys who stand and talk before getting on the train, or holding your newspaper upside down...so many ways to lighten up the commute, i could send you a list if you like LOL

thistlesandmapleleaves said...

Also...love the flickr photos...that 2nd pic of the dals, very cool shot...

bernthis said...

beauty is painful. Welcome to the life of a woman

The Gnu said...

my nemesis is Daniel Gibson the weather man. i have a plan that before i die i am going to go into his office and slap him upside the head. then every time he comes on to do the weather i will loop the video so the head slapping shows. it might be more difficult to do that with your nemesis, mabe you should just throw him off the train?

Harmony said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this read, beginning to end. You continuously spout comedic gold, in a really artistic way. What Artistic Comedy? It could happen.

Anyway, I love the way you write..brilliant!

As I have quite a few new readers since I became a "Jelly Biter" I've put this up here again. To understand the context you must read this post!