Thursday, 2 April 2009

The Dirty Tissue That Broke My Spirit

I know you are fed up of the same old same old. One grumpy twenty-something-going-on-ninety-something tirelessly recounting commuting stories. One long drawn out moan. Well tough. The things I have to put up with.

When I got on my train home today there was only one seating area unoccupied. Following protocol (of course) I chose not to invade the space of others and commandeered the free area, despite the fact that the table was covered with trash. It was as if the entire Von Trapp family had been there, with an enormous entourage, and scoffed a feast of cheap travel food before leaving the remains in one collective act of (G20?) defiance.

I was knackered. A week of crazy long days at work. Getting home late then working in the evenings. Busted my back playing football. Creme egg prices going through the roof. And now the aftermath of a Von Trapp family scoff-up.

An old man burst onto the train. He was one of those people that, when they get on the train, you shudder inside and think no, not here, not opposite me, pleeeeeeeeeeeease. He was out of breath and crashing about with a huge rucksack, one of those spatially unaware people that simply should not be allowed to carry bags of any form.

He stumbled into the seat opposite me and knocked half the trash onto my lap.

"Thanks for that," I said politely. I wasn't in the mood for some random miscreant to knock half-eaten Von Trapp chicken legs onto my lap. Maybe that was overly harsh of me, I felt a little awkward when he apologised. I chose to ignore him, the trash and my now skanky trousers, and quietly read my paper.

A few minutes later the old man took off his coat. A grubby, well-used tissue dropped out of the sleeve and landed on my lap. It was the straw that broke the camel's back. It was the dirty tissue that broke my spirit. I got up and scurried away, thinking of the hot bath and beer that I would have when I got home.

Hot baths and beer, just a few of my favourite things.

55 comments:

Anna Russell said...

Space invaders just should be allowed on public transport (the people, not the crisps - the crisps are lovely).
And I'm glad you noticed the ridiculous price of Creme Eggs too. It's a bloody disgrace.

lizspin said...

How do you solve a problem like a miscreant?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you keep make the guy into something-he-ain't???
A flibbity-gibit, a will-of-a-wisp, a clown????


Oh, I tried, didn't I??? You gotta give me something for that!!!

Mr London Street said...

Quality! I love the crazies on public transport but I take it rarely. A daily commute would probably turn me into Michael Douglas from "Falling Down".

C.B. Jones said...

Just take a deep breath and let the hatred consume you. It's really the only way to make it through most days.

Ms. Florida Transplant said...

Ehhh, it's hard not to appear rude in this situation.

"I was knackered" made me laugh. Americans don't have fun phrases like that.

Dr Zibbs said...

I hate seeing people's used snot rags.

Ms. Florida Transplant said...

Oh, did I tell you I moved my blog? I put up a "hiatus" note on my old blog & tried to notify everyone. Then bossy featured me & extended my stay. Anyway, my new place is here:

http://struckbyserendipity.wordpress.com/

-The blogger formerly known as Ms. Florida Transplant

PS - please delete this comment. I'm trying to avoid real-life people following my tracks to the new place.

blognut said...

The dirty tissue would have done it for me, too. I'm just not that into people's snot and such.

Did you ever wonder if you have some strange magnetism about you that draws in all of the protocol violating commuters? You must.

Harmony said...

Is one ever in the mood for some random miscreant to knock half-eaten Von Trapp chicken legs into their lap?

Hopefully that hot bath and beer made it ALL better. Here's to drowning away your sorrows! *raises beer*

Sassy Britches said...

I like that despite all that crap, you still had the spirit enough to sing. :)

And, the Easter Bunny AND Santa Claus brought me creme eggs IN BULK two years ago--they freeze well, and they came before the price hike. Just thought I'd share. :)

Sassy Britches said...

And just another smiley face for good measure. :)

Diane said...

You're only 20-something?! Man, I totally thought you were older. Like, a LOT older.

Dirty tissues... ick.

Frogs in my formula said...

Dammit, lizspin took my comment idea!

I like baths and beer too, especially at the same time.

Sarah Lulu said...

I don't even like it if someone stands too close to me in a queue.

I'm not sure I could do crowded public transport.

Living in rural Australia the only choice is to drive.

I drive upwards of 300 kms a day just getting to the office and back.

The dirty tissue would have had me screaming!

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

The rucksack mucker is very fortunate indeed that his used tissue landed on your lap and not mine. If it had landed on mine, he would have been rewarded with an explosive spew of vomit. Used tissues make me gag. And that's if they're MINE. SOmebody else's? HE wouldn't have had a fighting chance.

I take showers. I haven't had a bath in 20 years.

Maybe I could stand the boredom of sitting in a warm soup of my own sloughed skin and soap if I had a beer.

In fact, I think right now ...

Call Me Cate said...

I really hope your spirit has mended by now. Next time, find some hygienic way to push all that crap onto the seat across from you. Two problems solved! Maybe not...

The Mister said...

I think you should take the Motörhead route here. (You know, if the band moved in next door your lawn would die? Those guys)

You could cruise to work in a Motörhead shirt and greasy jeans to keep "undesirables" away on the train and have the whole thing rigged tear-away so you walk into the office crisp and collected

Minka said...

Have you ever considered carrying moist tissues with you - Monk style? Reading your posts,it seems to me you could well use them sometimes. And while you're at that, a not too big trash bag would come hajdy, too...

Can't change other people... can you?

Minka said...

handy, sorry...

cactus petunia said...

Do you customarily wear a sign around your neck that directs all Protocol Violators directly to you?

Seriously, maybe you should try a different aftershave or something!

The Gnu said...

when the tissue dropped on you you should have just done some crazy butt-whooping. i love that the von trapp family also do your commute, i guess trekking over the mountains each day just to get to work could be tiring for the little ones.

bernthis said...

My darling, have thought about perhaps driving to work? Even a bike maybe?

Jay said...

Oh, you are saint for not drop kicking him.

Kat said...

He is just lucky that fire arms are not allowed in the UK ;)

Girl Interrupted said...

Poor you ... I always attract the crazy people on trains; I thought having to endure 50 minutes of drooling and shouting was bad enough ... but used tissues is just bad form!

Definitely calls for a creme egg, maybe two ... maybe even a creme egg McFlurry!

Cool blog btw :)

Cora said...

UGH!! No, I'm sorry, that is just unforgivable!! Dropping a USED tissue on you? Oh GOD! It's almost as bad as the Creme Egg prices! (shudder)

Cowguy said...

Egads. Did the bonehead ask you to dig around in his nose for him as well?

Gahh.

Phat Mama said...

I would have vomited on him to return the favor.

I'm a giver like that though.

Lisa said...

uck- yuck- i can not handle the dirty rolled up tissues........not one of my favourite things !

jpooh said...

I'm rather with Phat Mama on this one - it sounds like a really viable solution.

I'm always grateful, after reading your "guess what happened on the train today" posts, that public transportation is a thing of my past.

Nikki said...

Sounds as bad as the traffic I fought going home. Traffic = bad commuters in the world of shitty things.

Soda and Candy said...

Eeeeuuuwwww.

Mo, are you really in your twenties??? Why did I think you were older?

It's probably your charming curmudgeonly ways.

Stacie's Madness said...

how could we ever TIRE of this...

sorry it has to happen to you!

Nej said...

I read that the tissue was the straw that broke the camel's back, and I thought to myself "fight, fight".

Then I read that you got up and left the area...no fighting.

I was going to live vicariously through you and your "dirty tissue provoked" beating. (sigh)

:-)

Peggy said...

At least you have a reason for having a crap week...mine's just a random visit from old man funk. Old man just sounded better than old woman funk but I'd put money on the fact that she's a woman.

Here's to hoping we both have a great weekend!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

eeww. However, I never get tired of your train stories.

the mama bird diaries said...

I really enjoyed this Sound of Music inspired piece. I commuted for years so you will always have my compassion.

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

Enjoy your beer and hot bath. Sounds like you deserve it.

Andrea's Sweet Life said...

Too bad there wasn't a half-eaten Creme Egg sitting there, or you'd have been in higher spirits!

Nikki-ann said...

Eww!

Comedy Goddess said...

Well you only have about 40 more years to deal with commuting. Think of all the blog fodder.

Captain Dumbass said...

Cattle prod.

Sass said...

I don't blame you for saying something about the trash. It was NOT overly harsh, I assure you.

I understand completely how it just takes one. little. thing. to completely break a person.

For me? It's the ridiculous f*cking legos I stepped on last night.

I give up, mo. I give up.

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

You poor poor thing.

I would have beaten that guy to a melting pulp of miscreance.

That's because that's the kind of day I was having.

Vodka Mom said...

you wouldn't last a minute in kindergarten.

now pass me a pint and quit your whining.....

Vodka Mom said...

xoxox

Snarky A. said...

I find "Excuse you" to be almost irresistible to use in those instances. But I guess you are far more patient than I am. Kudos.

I hope you got a fabulous bath and plenty of tasty beer to make up for that shit. Seriously.

And, "Hi".

San Diego Momma said...

I'm thinking you need to start riding to work in a big plastic bubble. I'm pretty sure hospital supply stores would sell them.

Good luck with that!

Hit 40 said...

OH GROSS! I am glad that I do not commute. But, I bet it does make for some great blog posts. I also saw a taxi driver has a blogspot. Nice. I think you were definitely nice to the guy. Knocking food on you! Again GROSS

Tooj said...

Ewww. You poor thing. Did you happen to give him back his tissue before you walked away? I can't imagine dealing with all this everyday. No siree.

Marinka said...

I'm laughing at the post and at Liz's comment. OMG, as soon as I see an unappealing person enter the subway, I know that it's their destiny to sit next to me. Hysterical description of the Von Trapps!

The Rambler said...

Oh dear lord....I would have gagged. In front of the man. And plugged my ears with my fingers, rocking back and forth muttering..."Go to my happy place, go my place, go to my happy place."

Kylie w Warszawie said...

I agree about the spatially unaware. There seem to be many of them around here.

Maria Roth said...

Well, you're ignoring me on Facebook, so I thought I'd better come on over and get caught up on your blogs. I do wish the Von Trapp family would visit me, dirty Kleenexes and all.

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