Monday, 27 April 2009

Galumphing Donkeys (by the way I'm not a misanthrope)

In case you're kicking your little legs about with excitement, desperate to read the next chapter in the incomparable saga "battle for the rear-facing seat", there'll be more of that soon. But in the meantime...

The train was packed. To be fair the train is always packed. But this time it was heaving. I was in the twelfth (and rear) carriage. I always sit in that carriage on the way home. Not because of some obsessive-compulsive tick, but because for no apparent reason it tends to have the most free seats (yes I have slowly tested each and every of the twelve carriages, and no I'm not a monomaniac on the subject of personal space).

Anyway, the train has twelve carriages, and I was in the one at the back. Some of the stations on route have tiny platforms which are only long enough for four carriages. Each evening on the way home the following happens:

1) Every 2 minutes an automated announcement is broadcast. It says "Passengers for stations X,Y and Z need to be in the front four carriages as these stations have very short platforms."

2) A bunch of half-wits in the twelfth carriage completely ignore the two-minutely broadcast for their entire journey. Just as the train pulls in to their short-platformed station they curse, panic, and attempt to run through eight crowded carriages in the remaining twenty seconds before the train stops.

3) The motley group of commuters in the twelfth carriage enjoy a sweet piece of camaraderie, snickering, laughing and deriding. Not that we take any joy from the misfortune of half-wits. None whatsoever.

On this particular occasion a smooching couple were in the same seating area as myself and four others. Every two minutes the broadcast came over the intercom.

"Passengers for stations X,Y and Z need to be in the front four carriages as these stations have very short platforms."

After about half an hour the train pulled into station X. The smooching couple jumped with a start, swore so violently that even a chav would have covered his ears, grabbed their bags and stampeded down the aisle.

The girl next to me snickered. "They've not a chance in Hell," said the man opposite. I didn't say anything, I was too busy tapping away on my Blackberry trying to catch up on ol' blogroll. It's a tough life being a blogger.

As we watched them charge into the distance, galumphing down the aisle like a pair of crazy donkeys, the man tripped and went sprawling to the ground. We could see him on the floor, writhing and kicking, tangled in bags, struggling to get free and apparently still believing he could get up and run through eight more carriages.

Carriage twelve erupted in laughter. Full, raucous, hearty laughter. It was a precious, precious moment. I, of course, took no joy from his misfortune.


P.S.
In my defence, and to preempt any accusations of misanthropy, I would have been the first to help him if he had been hurt!


P.P.S. Many thanks to Comedy Goddess and Sassy Britches who both gave me this award. I'm going to give it to two bloggers whom I have only recently discovered. To be fair, they discovered me.

1) Girl Interrupted, a brilliant writer who always makes me laugh. The first post I read of hers was "The True Version" of Snow White
, a post so classy that I had to read it twice. Make sure you pay her a visit.

2) Harmony, another talented writer who has also done me the honour of slowly (well, quite quickly really) working through my back-catalogue. Her recent "had to be there" post is absolutely sublime.

42 comments:

blognut said...

Of course you're not a misanthrope, no one was even thinking that.

Of course, since you're so concerned about it, I am considering it now.

Congrats on your award!

blognut said...

Look at me all FIRST and crazy in your comments! I'm a wild woman! I'm off to buy a lottery ticket!

Kristine said...

You so calmly delivered this little story that I almost believe you didn't even chuckle. Almost.

Anna Russell said...

You're not a misanthrope, you're a schadenfeudeist. It may not be a real word, but you are one. And I respect that.

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

What's a misanthrope? I feel so stoopid.

I would have laughed at that guy too. Someone's got to be the butt of everyone else's jokes.

Usually it's me.

Scope said...

My heart breaks for you.

Either your BlackBerry doesn't have a camera on it, or it takes too long to switch to it.

Those are the only reasons I can think of as to why there are no photos of him lying in the aisle, "yardsale" if you will.

Girl Interrupted said...

Aww, thank you Mo!!! :) Coming from such a great blogger as yourself that means a lot!

Having had to commute and suffered all the entailing hardships and annoyances I get such gratuitous pleasure from the stories you write about

Evil, but true :P

Comedy Goddess said...

Critic with a penchant for proper train ettiquette, yes.

Misanthrope?, too harsh a self criticism.

Comedy Goddess said...

And you are welcome for the award.

Sass said...

Hilarious.

I would never assume you would have even so much as snickered at those people. Never. ;)

jpooh said...

Of course you didn't laugh, and of course you'd have rushed to his side had he truly been hurt.

I, on the other hand, would have howled and pointed at him, as I yelled, "That's what you get for playing tonsil hockey in public!!" But we already knew I'm not necessarily a nice person.

Stacie's Madness said...

all of this makes me WANT to take a train just to watch all the happenings. LOL

Cora said...

People will insist on making things difficult for themselves, won't they?

But, as Scope said, WHERE'S THE PICTURE?!

(Although, to be fair, Scope didn't shout it at you like I just did.)

*hanging head in shame*

(Sorry I shouted at you, Mo.)

Nikki said...

Unlike CORA I'm not going to yell at you BUT I would like to know if you secretly tied his shoelaces together. I'm just saying that's what I would have done.

Call Me Cate said...

Sounds like a case of "thinning the herd" to me, that 12th carriage.

Harmony said...

LOL @ Call me Cate's "thinning the herd".

Oh, how I love to see people fall...not to their deaths mind you. But I can't help but get some sort of sick pleasure from witnessing falls (even my own). Like you, I would be the first to lend a helping hand too...but it's most likely that I will be laughing through all of my helping. It's sad really.

Thank you for the mention and the award..I am shocked. Also? I read Girl Interrupted's post...sheer brilliance..thanks for sending us her way.

Peggy said...

I like when people trip...not fall. Falling is scary, tripping is comedy gold!

It's ok, I'm a chronic tripper.

I love your train stories!

Eric said...

Mo, I don't know if I can ever ride England's transit systems now without worrying about the subtext of various situations and what the collective group will be thinking. Thanks for making me paranoid... Nice post

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Quite sure no one tripped him on purpose?

I've got an award for you at my blog. I think you will like this one...

Diane said...

I totally would have laughed. I laugh whenever anyone falls. THEN I check to see if they're hurt. Usually while I'm still laughing. It has a tendency to piss people off. But I can't help it.

Congrats on the award! Much deserved.

Minka said...

You can't help feeling sorry when something like this happens to someone (and you can imagine being in their shoes), but you can't really help feeling just a little tiny bit of "it serves them right" when it could have been prevented so easily... it doesn't take a misanthrope to feel that way.

♥ Braja said...

Damn. The misanthropy allegation sounded like it would be so intriguing to follow...oh go on, reconsider...

xx

♥ Braja said...

Damn. The misanthropy allegation sounded like it would be so intriguing to follow...oh go on, reconsider...

xx

Kat said...

You have to to start stealthly taking photos for us!

Captain Dumbass said...

Think anybody Youtubed it?

Nikki-ann said...

12 carriages? TWELVE?! Our local train has 2... 4 if you're lucky! When there's 4 they split into 2's at Machynlleth as 1 half goes to Aberystwyth and the other goes to Pwllelhi... I wonder how many end up on the wrong train then!

I love coming here and reading your communiting stories... Keep up the good work!

Fragrant Liar said...

You mean . . . you're really NOT a misanthrope?

peggy gatto said...

I found you on tristan's blog this am and had to tell you that was the best comment re the toilet restaurant!!!!!
Made me laugh!!!

Hit 40 said...

You need my cell phone jammer for your commute.

Hit 40 said...

Oh...and the school discourages us from taking their phones due to the cost if lost/broken/stolen from us.

But, a phone that is used during class is an automatic detention/ or saturday school.

Vodka Mom said...

do we have to be able to spell that for the test???

andy said...

all i can imagine are those scenes from movies where people are diving from one train car to the next.

seems kind of dangerous.

they should put the carriages closer together;)

Jeanne said...

Loved this post & also the URL you left on Comedy Goddess's blog -- Diversity is amazing!

lizspin said...

We all have a secret dislike of half-wits and those who indulge in public displays of affection. . . do we not????

Twenty Four At Heart said...

Oh I would have laughed. And laughed. And laughed some more. I also would have taken a picture! : )

Amy @ Milk Breath and Margaritas said...

Excellent! Violent cursing and too much PDA isn't terribly classy and never pays.

Karma. She's a bitch.

thistlesandmapleleaves said...

Must respect a man who displays pretty flowery pink awards without so much as a twinge of apology. And blogging is a tough job but you seem to be a natural...seeing potential blogging at every turn.

Now i would like to see a phonetic rendering of those names mentioned in Niki-Ann's comment and i shall be truly and completely awestruck ;)

Kylie w Warszawie said...

That's fabulous! I actually LOVE it when that happens. Poetic justice!

Currently Untitled said...

*subtly wipes laughter tears from eyes* of course you would never snicker at that!

don't worry, this is a safe environment. you can tell us that it was your misplaced foot that tripped the man over ;)

Nej said...

I'm with Scope...we need pictures next time!

Although, snickering is one thing, but taking photos might seem harsh and rude?????

Nah! We need pictures! :-)

Maria Roth said...

What's a misanthrope? Is it related to an antelope?

Tooj said...

Was it your left foot or right one that tripped them up? Be honest.

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!