Commuting to work daily, I sardine myself against the slithering scales of fellow passengers, inhaling perfume, exhaling aftershave, sharing scented oxygenated particles of tomato sauce, continually recycling and reusing second-rate breath. I think the alveoli sacs inside my lungs will simply combust through overexertion and everyone would crane their necks backwards (like Nearly Headless Nick), except there would be hundreds of Nearly Headless Nicks trying to gulp the last few gasps of the invisible stuff that keeps us alive to say “Good day” but of course! Don’t be silly! This is not real, nobody conversates in London!
Most especially not at this ungodly hour of the morning. The educated little fish presently swallowing these precious silent bubbles are set to drown in a sea of conspicuous corpses aboard the Titanic of the Underground, little stick men heads bobbing up and down amongst a flailing of stick men arms in the blue felt-tipped line of the wavy sea.
Bababu, bababa, aa-aaiii, aa-aaiiiii. The piercing cry of a newborn baby wrenched me from my fishy reverie back into the reality of Sardineland for two very short irritable and highly audible seconds. I observed the culprit, rolled my eyes and instantly vortexed myself into another daydream before the Death Eater of a baby could do me any further harm. In the golden light of day, the baby was squawking on the outside of the train, I would jump up and down with glee and joy if it wasn’t for the fishy strait jacket currently pressed around me. I noticed the daydream-baby trying to sprout wings from its Burberry flannels flapping in the wind of the whooshing train. Its chubby Oompa Loompa arms were quite unfortunately making no headway with the air resistance and aa-aaiii, aa-aaiiiii he continued to squawk. Happily, the noise was fast becoming fainter and less perforating to my eardrums as the infant continued to winglessly diminish into the distance. The golden era of trains gone by when such acts of kindness could be executed on a whim through the window of a carriage door. I chuckled to myself and formed an image of the Chuckle Vision brothers in my mind, thinking about how strange I must seem to the other silent stony-faced fish, silently wishing them luck on those last few air bubbles.
It strikes me as somewhat bemusing that the Underground is too hot to trot but standard overground trains are reminiscent of an arctic glacier. There is no adequate heating on trains when it is required, the AC misaligns itself to the depth of winter and switches itself off at the height of Summer, perhaps this is something I will write to Network Rail about when I reach the office. Yes, a complaints letter, that will give me one more item on my To Do List. My solution is thus: a fire-breathing dragon should be enlisted on to the Payroll and I would see my viable investment in hiked fares successfully visualised before my very eyes. It could do a couple of tricks with screaming babies too…
Surely public transportation should provide warmth as well as shelter and Aha! Food. Upon the trolley of goodies, there used to lie an extortionate price to pay for hunger, however, the option of quieting the grumbling monster positioned at the foot of my oesophagus was at least available. Even food service has dissolved into the isle of yesteryear. (aa-aaiii, aa-aaiiiii it really is infuriating noise). None for one and one for one in this day and age, the Profiteers shall cease at nothing to serve nothing to the poorest and continue to produce £25,000 per week rented accommodation for the richest. The little stick man is being cheated out of higher fares for investment purposes – the blooms of which will not be seen until 3062 when I am buried in my grave. The clever Profiteers will continue to generate and consume my additionally 2.5% discounted capital taking full advantage of the Catch-22 passenger.
Joy amongst the foolhardy indeed, working to live yet living to work brainwashing us into thinking this is life. This is the only way life can be. Perhaps I should invest in a car and pay insurance and tax and MOT, it would probably amount to the same on a monthly basis and must match the small fortune used to purchase an annual season ticket. I wouldn’t have to endure The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! I stand in mutiny by myself, since these words are jabbering inside my head and not aloud to the Fish People squished into my personal space.
The parents (at least there’s two of them) have resorted to utilising the loudest squeakiest toy imaginable and the aiiiii aiiiiii baby is screaming even louder than previously if that is even humanly possible, it has smaller lungs than me and I couldn’t be that loud. Have I unwittingly volunteered my part in a social cognitive experiment, What To Do When There Is a Screaming Baby On The Train – Plug In Ipod, it’s not a helpful experiment since I accidentally left this cunning piece of technology at home. I have destroyed the Squeaker (toy not baby) with a semi-automatic shotgun as the baby continues todays lesson in speech therapy. And the banging of the toilet door intermittently (Bang!) is adding to the extreme eternity of my journey this morning. Nope, I’m not a happy bunny. Nope, it’s not a social experiment after all, I’ve walked into a chavvy sound effects studio, am I even on a train? I have lost the will to live. (Bang!)