Saturday, March 22, 2008

Madness & Mayhem

£48 to get me from Bristol to Guildford? There’s tomfoolery afoot.

I couldn’t help swearing. ‘Language,’ the ticket man warned. What a jobsworth. But I realised he might actually refuse to give me my stupidly overpriced ticket to ride on his stupid germ ridden train and that if I really wanted to meet my Mum for lunch I better hold my tongue.

So I did, but I made sure he received not one of my smiles and many of my frowns. Afterall, the ticket pricing system is all his fault.

With eight minutes to spare I had time for my favourite luxury – a chai. And there was no queue at the little AMT counter.

But just as I got there, a man dressed like a train spotter – trousers up to his neck, visible socks, bumbag, thin waterproof jacket tied around his high waist – pipped me to the post. When asked for his order he ummed and ahhed, strumming his bottom lip with his finger as he mulled over the menu. But I knew what I wanted and had seven minutes to go until my train. The injustice! I tapped my foot impatiently, hoping it would help him sense my urgency.

Alas. Six minutes, and he ordered a coffee and a danish. Then changed his mind, he wanted a muffin. Five minutes.

He waited until his coffee was ready before looking for his wallet in one of his many pockets. Inept fool. By this stage I was furious. I stared intently at the back of his head, thinking about how at times like this, there is only one person to call. I have a friend called Laurence and at angry-at-society times, he is the only man to call.

He gets so infuriated by the general public he makes me look like an angel. Whenever I get this angry I call him to check I am a) right and b) that there is someone out there more angry and less reasonable than I.

So bugalugs is still foraging for his coppers and I have three minutes to go. The minute his transaction is over I swiftly, in seconds, order and complete mine, chai please, sure, here you go. Job done.

I make my £48 train, thanks to the fact it is delayed. Well, for that price, I couldn’t have expected it to run on time now could I?


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