The Bog Standard Of Rail Travel.

This weekend I used some public transport.  I have absolutely no problem with the idea of public transport.  In principle and in theory it is a wonderful thing.  I regularly use a bus to get to work, sitting with the other stoney faced commuters, dreamily gazing out of the window while we all contemplate where it went so wrong.  To sit among other, similar failures of a morning, to cast ones eyes about the despondent blankness of it all and to find a face – just one – more crushed by the weight of their averageness than your own can really elevate the spirit.  Sometimes the bus is a bit late and sometimes I have to stand, but the journey is usually short, and the price reasonable.  As I say, in theory, public transport is a good thing.  However, communism seems nice in theory, and trains are proper shit.
all the time of course, occasionally they run as intended, almost like there was some sort of plan – a timetable, if you will – that they were supposed to stick to.  Sadly, it has become apparent that the rare punctual arrival and departure with seats available for all, serves simply to lull you into a false sense of security, so that next time, or even later on that same optimism inspiring jaunt, a donkey punch of piss poor organisation sends you tumbling to the ground.  Probably just outside the slide door toilet.  Yes, that is where I found myself yet again, sandwiched between the angry, sweaty and angry and sweaty, my nostrils millimetres away from the individual bouquet of the futuristic (but not very well functioning) human waste chamber.  But I wasn’t there for the whole journey.  Oh no.  For the first forty minutes I was sat in Coach H, a seat all to myself, my mind replaying the better bits of a universally excellent weekend.  Then the ping-pong of the intercom system crackled through my stream of consciousness so that an irritatingly jolly and nasal sounding man could tell me things.  Bloody annoying things.
The train was to be split at the next station and the cans nearer the back were being jettisoned, necessitating that everyone wanting to go further than that stop squeeze into but four coaches.  There were a lot of us.  Now, I don’t claim to have a complete understanding of train and railway management, but it seems fairly sodding obvious that if the train is quite full and you leave over half of it behind and tell everyone to move to what remains, it’s going to get what I shall generously refer to as ‘cosy’.  ‘Cosy’, in this instance, means ‘squashed arse to face with many cross, tired, smelly people, quite probably accompanied by the constant smell of human shit’.  Just so we’re clear.
This would be inconvenient enough, without the hilariously expensive ticket price.  In my case that was £70.  For two hours. One way.  A cost that can only have been conjured by the most elite and highly trained of the Cunt Wizards on a particularly bad day at The Bastard Face Academy for the exceptionally arseholey.  There is no universe in which anybody should have to part with £70 in order to be uncomfortable.  Now, obviously, I’m English, as were most of the other passengers, so rather than voice our discontent we opted for the infinitely more cowardly approach of rolling our eyes at each other whenever someone used the loo.  Take that oppressive train overlords.  We probably knew that any complaint, justified though it was, would fall on deaf ears, and besides, swallowing down a ball of impotent rage and squishing it into a private bitter pill to be vented toward someone completely undeserving at a later date is sorta part of our national heritage.  So we did that.  I’m thinking of taking it out on either my child or one of my close friends, but as yet am undecided.
That’s it to be honest.  There’s no message, no underlying social commentary.  No substance.  No surprises, that’s for sure.  What I’m saying is that, y’know those trains that everyone knows are awful?  You know how it’s dreadful and awful, like it always used to be, only more expensive and with toilet doors that slide cos of electricity but don’t because they don’t work, but they use them anyway instead of those old fashioned ones with old hinges and locks that were boring due to their reliability relating to their purpose as fucking doors?  You know how you pay an amount of money that could take you somewhere warm and sunny on a plane but instead go somewhere grey and not all that far away and have to stand when really you feel like you’ve actually paid to take the chair home really so should at least get to sit on it?  You know that?  Well it’s awful.  Still.  It’s still awful.

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