Munching through a steak and mushroom pie, a pint in one hand and a pen on the other, it doesn't seem so bad now and I've calmed down a bit. Everything is right with the world when you have a pie and a pint as companions.
I'll set the scene for you. Crowded commuter train on its way out of London. Packed with disgruntled commuters who have once again had their days ruined by the worst public transport system in Europe. Someone farts, a silent, potent, corrosive cloud of poisonous gas fills the carriage, helped to no end by the air conditioning system.
Seriously, who farts on a crowded train? Ruling out kids and elderly folk as there were none on board, one commuter must have broken the most golden of golden rules. YOU JUST DON'T FART. The trains are bad enough as it is, the last thing we need is for someone to let rip with all the gusto of a greedy piglet that has gorged itself on its mother's milk, and is now rolling around polluting the farmyard, angering the chickens and upsetting the geese.
OK, I ran away with that one, my literary flow has clearly been stunted by the stench. Either that or I'm just as mad as a coot.
There is nothing worse than a killer fart on a crowded train. Actually, splash back from a urinal minutes before an important meeting is worse, but that's a tale for another day.
It really was potent, permeating my brain and corroding my synapses with the precision of a master surgeon performing keyhole surgery on a stick insect. Passengers throughout the carriage were fanning themselves, shaking their heads in disbelief. One gentleman had pulled his coat over his face in an attempt to block out the fumes. There was an overwhelming sense of collective annoyance.
You would normally attribute such a smell to a flock of flatulent sheep, or a tribe of guffing Visigoths. I could see neither on the train. It is entirely possible that the Visigoths were disguised as London bankers, or the flock of sheep were hidden in the luggage rack, but I was unable to spot either.
Chances are some poor soul just ate too many dried apricots.
A helping hand, ca. 1910s
3 hours ago