Traders of the Lost Ark…

Autumnal…. a slight chill in the air and the sun streams down, creating a morning haze.

Perfect. It’s my favourite time of year as it reminds me of roaring fires, bad weather crashing on the window and wearing a fleece…I’m only really happy when I’m in a fleece as I’m a winter person.

I’m striding along listening to some tunes when I see him.  The human embodiment of Canary Wharf, all rosy cheeked with too much product in his hair as it’s essential you look the part on the trading floor when you’re on the phone…

He’s solid…. Lunchtime gym solid….Boxercise solid…. Clearly he’s a man fully capable of the ‘Maximuscle shake’… He’s moving quickly which is quite a feat in brown brogue winkle pickers and a skinny sliver grey suit.  He looks sharp… no tie but he’s travelling so I’ll let it go. I’m thankful that the tie isn’t loosely hanging round the neck in the ‘just left the casino’ way.  At least he hasn’t gone the v-necked jumper, shirt and scarf route which is classic city boy and wholly impractical…

This whole images decays before my very eyes when I spot the big headphones…. why do they exist?  They rarely look good and require a separate bag for transportation purposes.

I work with a bloke who can pull the big headphone look off…I work with others who can’t.  When you wear them with a bald head you look like the bloke in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ who controls Cloud City for Lando Calrissian. When you wear them with hair you just look like you can’t afford decent smaller headphones. I’m sure they sound great but why do they have to be so big?  They draw the eye like a low cut top on an old lady.

As if to take the dairy of the ludicrous ‘phones I then notice his man-bag.  Naturally it’s brown antique leather and he has it strapped across the body like Indiana Jones….I wonder what antiquities lie within? The Golden idol of the Hovito?  The headpiece to the Staff of Ra?  No. Most likely an Iphone 6 and a copy of Men’s Health… any month will do as It’s the same magazine every month.  He’s off at speed, round a corner and gone… we’ll never meet again… it’s a tragedy..

I get to the station and see the all the normal freaks in position.

At the side entrance is the simpering God Squadder.  He’s grasping the hand of an unwilling victim and he seems reluctant to release his grip. He sickens me.  He inflicts himself on people which is unnecessary. If you want religion you will find it without his or anyone’s assistance…it’s a personal choice.  I take the thrusting of God on people quite badly.  I like early Van Halen but if you don’t that’s you’re problem not mine… you’re missing out …It’s a matter for you…

This is a weird station. It seems to be controlled by a whoop (to be fair I’m guessing at the collective noun) of 1970’s rock fans who hang around the ticket office in underground uniform.  Like most worshippers of The late Crow they serve little purpose but ooze self importance, roll ups and Carling Black Label.  They sport mullets and lank pony tails and large dark framed glasses.  It’s how I imagine Uriah Heap looking after the glory days had ended and they needed work, or that ‘League of Gentleman’ character who was in the rock band ‘Crème Brulee’.  A motley band of saddo’s longingly waiting for a return to the good old days….It’s a shit business guys….

I get on the train which is deader than a dead thing…

0738 Hours….. The Freak Box…..

A few waifs appear in the carriage and we prepare for take off…

Two stops in and I find my self sitting opposite a student type girl wearing a pair of leggings and a silver biker jacket. In its self this is not wholly unusual, she’s a student intent on making her mark on this train and I’m always pleased to see the unusual….It’s a happy arrangement…everyone smiles internally…

The jacket appears to be spray painted silver. This reminds me of a story my Bruv told me once of his fashion faux pas in the 70’s when he purchased some Doc Martens to spray silver a’la ‘Space Rock Rebel’.  He buys the boots, gets home, unpacks the boots…removes the laces and sprays them silver.  He re-laces them and puts them on….. Ahhhh…. Two left feet…. Flat spin panic takes over… What would you do?  He knows what to do…He was trained by the best.  He drops them in some white spirit to remove the paint and then sheepishly tries to return them.  At the shop he gets all ‘I’d like a refund…I’ve changed my mind’ and nearly gets away with it until the assistant notices the famous Doc Marten stitching is silver…. Rumbled..

There are no such issues with the jacket before me… it’s a professional job. The leggings she’s wearing are freaking me out though as they are designed to look like leg bones with attached pelvis. It’s disturbing and really taking my attention away from her magnificent ‘Flock of Seagulls’ haircut.  She looks different which is what it’s all about when you are young.

Before her sits me…. Mr North Face…bland and uninteresting but warm and ready for any weather that may come my way on a tube train.  In the event of a new ice age starting at street level I’ll be ready… Who’ll be laughing then?

Mrs Mothballs gets on and sits next to me….The classic smell of your Nan’s house. Surely she can smell herself? It’s a bit like Damp Clothes guy, Garlic man and Musty Crotch Tramp… Deep down they all know and should apologise to their fellow travellers in writing….it’s unnecessary.

The train is nicely busy now and as we pull into a station I notice a man wearing two pairs of glasses reading a book. Not a pair on his head and another on his eyes, he’s wearing two pairs while reading a book.  This is a first for me. His eyes are so bad Specsavers were unable to fashion the necessary and so special measures were initiated.  I’m side on to him and so can see pair number one are close to the eye sockets, while pair number two are on the furthest possible part of the bridge of the nose… I’d love to see him head-on all wide eyed and mental…

I alight at my station and take a pamphlet and a nicely bound religious tome from the sensible shoed woman at the exit of my station. They must think that I’m well into their beliefs as I try to get one at lease twice a week… Little do they know that my actual plan is to put them out of business by hoarding the books under my desk at work… It could take a while but I’m in for the long haul, I’m a professional dismantler….

I do some stuff at work which breaks the monotony of drinking tea and moaning about the lack of biscuits and decide that after the requisite minimum hourage I can leave. No one stops me.  No one ever stops me. It’s too easy and I need a change of employer as this isn’t good for me or them.  Plans are afoot…

I sit on an empty train home. There are four people in my segment and we are all split by a spare seat signifying we want nothing to do with each other.  It’s the tube equivalent of Gentleman’s urinal etiquette.

A young woman gets on. She’s carrying a rucksack and starts to walk through the carriage.  As she gets closer I notice that she’s carrying something. It doesn’t appear to be a big red button marked ‘detonate’ so I relax, uncurl myself from the ball I have put myself in and carry on reading the paper.

She gets to our segment and deposits what she is holding on every empty seat available.  After this drop-off she stands at the end of the carriage and waits.  I look down to see what is on the seat next to me and see that it’s a packet of tissues covered with a typed note pleading for monetary assistance as she’s young mother in need of cash… there’s a mention of God in the narrative so I engage my disgusted face.

The note says she has a one year old child and would be grateful for a few pennies for the tissues to assist in her quest to become a tissue saleswoman… I don’t need tissues… I don’t need God.

It’s a sad scenario and indicative of the state of the nation but essentially it’s a load of cobblers… I mean, where is the kid? how much is she paying the babysitter? How did she buy the tissues? How much credit is on her Oyster card? How did she print out the note?  What computer did you use to type it on? How much was that North Face ‘Jester’ 20 litre rucksack?… It doesn’t wash with me… I toy with asking these questions but she realises that this carriage doesn’t need tissues and so she snaffles the parcels up and moves on,  she may have none of my loose change but she has nice tissues and a quality rucksack….

Yeah, I know…. I’m a cold hearted animal… unfortunately I was made that way by life and my employers.  Be thankful… I say this stuff so you don’t have to.  It’s my job.  It’s what I do.  I’m a idiot.

If it’s any consolation I now have a throat infection and a cold and so could really do with those tissues…maybe there is a God…

Carry on Citizens….


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