Friday, 20 February 2009

The Old Lady's Death Grip

When I got onto the train the old lady was yakking. She had cornered the ticket inspector and was subjecting him to the most deadly form of torture known to man. Verbiage. Arguably I am subjecting you to that now, but never mind.

The poor chap was supposed to be walking down the train checking tickets. Instead, the old lady had him in a death grip, and out of her mouth came a relentless barrage of yak. She wasn't angry at him, she wasn't really angry at anyone, she was just spilling out a continual stream verbiage at an astonishing rate and intensity. For twenty minutes she continued. The poor inspector had the look of a man that is caught in the death grip of a merciless old lady and longs for only one thing, a quiet beer down his local.

The facts are simple. On Tuesday there was a suicide on the railway in London. On Wednesday there were two more. On both days the South-East ground to a halt. You can hardly blame the train companies, what were they supposed to do, pretend it didn't happen and plough over the corpse?

The old lady was caught in one of those infinite mental loops. Who committed suicide? Why? Why did it disrupt the trains? Who committed suicide? Why? What about CCTV? Who committed...

You know the type. Some people just get stuck in a loop. Their brain fuses and the result is an unbreakable grind of destructive proportions. She was able to keep speaking without even the slightest pause for breath (just like this woman). The only way to escape such loops is to run. If there had been a herd of donkeys nearby all their legs would have dropped off (just the hind ones of course).

Every commuter in the carriage was rolling their eyes. I swear I saw several disembodied eyeballs cruise down the aisle. I swear. Some were waiting to buy tickets. Commuters, not the eyeballs.

Twenty minutes later, at my destination, the old lady was still looping, wherever you looked eyeballs were escaping, it was like a jailbreak in a zombie movie. In one bold movie the ticket inspector broke free.

"I'll love you and leave you," he said, and literally ran away. The old lady alighted on the platform, and as I walked away I saw her corner the nearest member of station staff and the verbiage continued.


Diane said...

Once again, I am glad I work from home and don't have to commute anywhere with anyone.

Oh, and I'm with you on the sweet tea. Blech. You know, though, that it's iced tea they're talking about, right? Here in the south, when you order tea, you have to SPECIFY (very clearly) that you want either UNSWEETENED or HOT... otherwise, you get a little tea with your sugar. It's disgusting. And it makes my teeth hurt, just thinking about it. I like 1 sugar in my hot tea but when it's cold, it's gotta be naked!

Diane said...

Oh, and thanks for leaving the birthday wishes for Big Al! :)

Anonymous said...

Okay, I followed you over here from Thistle's blog, although I've seen you comment at Pseudo and Goodfather's as well (and Irish Gumbo? If not, you REALLY should check him out).

Anyhoo, I thought I'd comment because the whole eyeball thing was simply hysterical, as was the post about farting on the train. And you're British.

You have a new reader.

Jan from the Sushi Bar
(This isn't a blatant advert for my blog. Really, it isn't. It's just that you've got that OpenID thing as my only option...Am I babbling?)

Marinka said...

wait, so what are you saying? she was chatty?

mo.stoneskin said...

Chatty is fine, but to cripple a herd of donkeys, that's just cruel.

Irish Gumbo said...

Well, they could have just moved the body off to the side at least.

What, that's what happens with car accidents on major highways, yeah?

Good stuff, man. I also did a spit take on the "Whao Farts Like That" post. Oh, good lord, that's just wrong...

Thank you for dropping in on Irish Gumbo!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Ack. You just described my mother. Salespeople, waitresses, random personage that light too closely, she never stops.

But her usual topic when she visits is me and my family. She tells random strangers exaggerated stories of all that is personal.

I cna't believe I don't go there on the blogg...

San Diego Momma said...

I swear, when you wrote "(just like this woman)," I HAD to click the link b/c I thought maybe, just maybe, you were referring to me.

Ego aside, I completely get stuck on the verbiage loop. much to a donkey herd's chagrin, and am quite annoying in my own right.

Really, it's good you don't know me in person.

BUT! Great vignette, as I've come to expect from you.

Kylie w Warszawie said...

Some times you have to feel sorry for the lonely old people. I'm sure I'll be one of them one day.

But in Poland, she'd be yelling about how you are not wearing enough clothes, or you wronged her in some way that had nothing to do with you, or your children are not wearing hats and don't you know they are going to die?

Or, like yesterday at church, about how the door should not be left open because it's flipping cold outside and all you foreigners are a bunch of jerkfaces, nevermind the fact that the door locks when it closes and then people are stuck outside.

Anonymous said...

I deal with people like this all the time...i call them 'clients' or worse, 'client's mothers'...ack...

Nej said...

She's Super to dismember innocent donkey and commuters in a single bound.

So...who committed suicide??

(just kidding)

No really, who?


Harmony said...

Broken I hate to admit it, but I can be the same way. Curious until the end I suppose...sometimes completely unable to find an answer/explanation that ends the misery. Then a day or so later, it will dawn on me....Oh, NOW I get it. Yes...I am THAT ass. Please forgive me.

Anonymous said...


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