Thursday, 11 October 2007

I don't exaggerate...


The London Victoria service to Ramsgate and Dover Priory...

A toad-like woman sits opposite me on a train to Canterbury, staring at Page Three of the Sun Newspaper. Her equally elderly, but ogre-like husband adjusts his hearing aid beside her.

'Getta load of those!' she shrieks, jabbing a sausage-like finger at the topless model's nipple.

'WHAT?' her husband bellows.

'Never mind. Turn your hearing aid up!'

'Ok,' he says, and does.

The man with the trolley stops beside them. 'Refreshments?'

'A small coffee, please,' the inflated crone belches beside me. She's clearly struggling to hold off from her usual order of six slices of Victoria sponge drenched in coffee creamer and butter, chased with a family-sized bucket of KFC.

'Coming right up! And how are you this morning?'

'Very well, thank you!'

The attendant looks at the elderly couple's suitcases. 'Going on a long trip, I see!'

'Oh no,' the woman replies, taking out a packet of raw bacon from her bag and sliding it down her gullet, rasher by rasher, 'we're just coming home from one, actually. We've been in Spain!'

'Spain! Ah, yes, Espana! Espana-Banana! Ah ha ha!'

'It was lovely.'

'I'll bet it was. That's £1.69 for the coffee, thank you.'

'Here you are,' and the woman hands over a five pound note, translucent with pork fat and Neutrogena hand cream.

'Your change, madam.'

'Just drop it in my bag,' she replies. Her hands are busy, you see, scooping out giant globules of full-fat mayonnaise from an economy-sized jar and stuffing into her gaping maw.

'Thank you, and you have a wonderful journey!'

And he goes. 'What a pleasant fellow,' says the bloated wife, spewing crumbs all over her husband's face, 'very cheerful.'

'Oh yes,' he replies, hearing aid now turned up.

'At least he speaks English. That's a plus.'

I look over.

Her husband is adjusting her hearing aid. 'WHAT?'

'I said, AT LEAST HE SPEAKS ENGLISH!'

I tut at them. They look over, then away. I'm trying to decide if they are wondering if I speak English or not.

I'm reading the Guardian.

Maybe I can read English but not speak it.

In my imagination, in my dreams of bravery, I am Beowulf. I ride on my Arabian Stallion to confront the enormous sea-hag, knock the family sized Toblerone from her hands and declaim like Richard Burton: 'Hear you, you racist, xenophobic, elephantine pile of carbuncular crap! Economic migrants contribute much to your fair society! Who do you think puts the mayonnaise in your jar, and the bacon in your fingers!? I demand you apologize to all of England, for thou art a tremendous knob-jockey!'

Obviously, she'd refuse to apologize, and I'd use my superpowers, which are similar to X-Man Jean Grey's, to shake apart her molecular structure, telepathically. She'd explode into dust. Beside her, her husband, looking out the window, would say, 'WHAT?'

But that doesn't happen. Instead, I raise my newspaper higher so they can't see my face. I decide that a spite-flecked written invective is a far more productive use of my time than learning telepathy. My mind starts wandering, questioning why my vision of my brave self began as Beowulf by way of Henry V, and turned into Jean Grey.

The toad-like woman opens her suitcase, pulls out a large cake with the words 'Happy Birthday Billy,' and a '5' frosted upon it, and smashes her face into it in an orgy of vacuum noises. I start giggling, and plot my written revenge.

No comments: