Welcome my son….welcome… to… the routine.
- Wake up
- Freak Box
Every day the same. Soul destroying. Humans as Robots. I try to snap myself out of this horror by watching…. Always watching….however…
“Quis custodiet ipsos custodies?”
This is my favourite, poncey, latin quote. It loosely translates as “Who Watches the Watchmen”. It works on many levels in my life unlike this quote which I once saw on the wall of an Irish themed pub:
“Strangers are just friends you don’t know yet”
Fuck that. Strangers are merely targets for a twisted bloke’s blog…
It’s a chilly morning but refreshingly sunny. No one likes rain on a walk to a sweat box so I’m happy enough to feel the chill. Every day I pass my old primary school. It’s been 35 years since I walked out of the doors but it still makes me smile. I have lasting memories of this place. Reading ‘The Hobbit’ for the first time, Kiss chase, doing the Hornpipe and pissing myself during a school play as I was too scared of the music teacher to ask if I could use the toilet… My God she was evil… Glory days tinged with fear. I think I’d be right in saying I only know one ex pupil of this school and I’m glad I do know still know her… It’s been a journey..
In the car park I notice a piece of PE ‘Apparatus’ that was used when I attended the school. It’s effectively an ‘A’ frame that was used to connect walking beams together. I used to think it was a massive jump from the top but in reality it’s no taller than my kitchen bin.
‘Apparatus’..when did people stop using that word? No matter, it’s a nice nostalgic distraction from walking the Green Mile to the train to work.
I reach the station. No sign of the God Squadder. Not seen him for a while now so he could either be sitting with his deity or weeping in solitary confinement following a dawn raid for his computer. I’m hoping for the later..
The train is banged out as I’m later than usual but I manage to slip into a seat before the larger horde pile on at the next, more popular stop. Sitting down on a packed tube is slightly disturbing as you are at a subservient crotch level which is rarely a good thing.
We trundle along and I minding my own business when I notice that the bloke standing in front of me has his fly agape. What do you do? I’m at crotch level and he is swaying from side to side with the trouser cave inches from me. I feel like Billy Hayes in ‘Midnight Express’ staring up at a hulking fellow prisoner on his knees in the shower waiting for a tasty treat to be violently administered. To make things worse the owner of the Turkish Prison trousers is smirking in a cross eyed post coital way. …I’m uncomfortable…. I’m staring into his abyss and there’s a hint of a greater horror within the folds, lurking, lolling, craving freedom.
I seize the opportunity to give up my seat to a more willing participant in, what I reckon is, the inevitable crotch to face interaction following a heavy RMT ‘jumped a red’ based shunt. If the new seat dweller happens to be yawning it could be distressing for us all.
I rarely give up my seat. The last time I did was by mistake. I was sitting quietly listening to some music and I noticed some bloke mouthing words and poking at the seat next to me. He was a Frenchman. I looked up and dramatically pulled out the earphones to find he wants me to move up a seat so he could sit with his girlfriend. Inexplicably I did as requested. My normal reaction would have been to replace the ‘phones and flash scathing contempt at him but I simply moved sideways like a paid off bouncer at the back door. I let myself down and I know it… I’ve also let this magnificent city down. Because of my actions we now have a Frenchman running amok telling people that the English, and particularly Londoners are polite and can be pushed about. No Frenchman should think that.
Historically I would only give up my seat to pregnant women and the disabled. I’ve eliminated the old as, in my view, if you are on a train without a stick then it’s a matter for you… you made your choice, you are in the arena, you fight like the rest of us… this ain’t no Titanic lifeboat turnout.
Old people were essentially the reason I sit tight. Many years ago I was minding my own business on the lower deck of a bus when a brute of an old lady barrelled on. She was the type of old woman that you are not quite sure is a woman. She’s wearing trousers has short hair, minimal make up (caked on) and a haggard face through sucking on a thousand Lambert and Butler king-size. The only sign of femininity was the ‘basketballs in a parcel sack’ chest bobbing towards me like dogs watching a random ping pong ball bouncing across a kitchen floor.
It was a busy bus and although seats were limited they were available. The old girl walks up to me, grabs me quite firmly by the arm and in a gruff ‘Queen of the Council estate’ way says:
“..You!! …Out!!…I’m sitting there… These seats are for people older than you…MOVE!!..”
She then attempts to drag me off the seat. I resisted and ask her what ‘the fuck’ she thinks she’s doing. She hesitates and is clearly ruffled that I just haven’t rolled over like a timid neighbour confronted by a travellers BBQ. I point to an empty seat that she has walked past and tell her to sit there but she wants my seat as she ‘always sits here’. I inform her that she doesn’t know me from a bar of soap and so needs to be careful as randomly grabbing people on buses, with force, may result in a similar reaction.
She stands firm thinking I’m moving…. I’m not.
When I choose to do something I see it through. I’m a professional stubborn prick…I was made this way. Let me give you an example…When you’ve held a stag weekend drinking whip for 72 hours straight, an old lady on a bus should causes no significant issues.
I decide to stay on the bus past my stop just to annoy her and stop her getting this specific seat.
After two fast taken corners by the driver and considerable wobbling on the part of her massive norks, she decides that my idea is the best for option on this occasion. She wobbles off and sits, all the while eyeing my seat…… I wait and get further from my house but I sit firm… like a belligerent twat…
Eventually a younger woman gets on and I offer her my seat before getting off a mile from my own house. Victory is mine…pathetic I know. Since then I’ve remained seated until I see a ‘baby on board’ badge, a pushchair or a walking stick.
I squeeze my way to the area by the doors and finally stop next to an overly nourished builder who is hanging on to the overhead hand rail. I’m a bit too close to him but I have little choice as we are all sardined in. I start to feel a bit woozy… It’s not the heat but the blast zone of this fucker’s alcoholic armpit which is pumping out high levels of Stella Artois smog. He’s sweating. It’s that boozy, still pissed sweat… a cold sweat. He’s concentrating deeply on the floor. I ease back as I’m not keen on the potential splash back should he unload a digested keg of froth and kebab remnants all over the floor.
I’m having a ‘mare here….I’m trapped between a crotch nuzzle and chunder splat…..
I distract myself looking around for oddities…
Sitting down I see an Italian. He might not be Italian but he strikes me as Italian. Bald yet well groomed with a goatee and expensive sports casual attire. He’s engrossed in an iPad but his other hand seems permanently lodged up his nose. He drilling deep, and he couldn’t care less if we can see him.
I watch him closely as I’m interested in where he might stick the debris. He’s well into his stride now and has managed to excavate his hooter through five Piccadilly Line stations. I’m surprised his head doesn’t cave in and some lost Chilean miners emerge from the wreckage… It’s worthy of a round of applause and some bubbles…..He’s a fuckin’ animal…
Next up, in my line of sight, I see a regular on a lot of tubes across London.
‘Superdry’ man. The t-shirt, and coat are liberally covered in Japanese writing embroidered from a Chelmsford factory… It’s rubbish of ‘Hollister’ standards tinged with Abercrombie and Fitch…
Superdry won’t fit me no matter how many zips you add to the coat. I’m the wrong shape. I’m more barrel bomb than precision missile. Superdry seems to be designed for the puny or the happy to wear clothes that don’t fit in the name of coolness brigade… I am not cool…I have never been cool.
Usually accompanying the Superdry ensemble is the miniature, blue (always blue) Adidas bag slung across the body. What is the purpose of a bag that merely carries a wallet and, potentially, an apple? To be fair, I carry a rucksack mostly out of habit. There have been times when the only thing in it is an umbrella so it’s mainly my stupidity that picks it up in the first place. The miniature bag on a bloke is ludicrous and smacks of low level drug dealer ‘stash’ rather than umbrella and bus pass…
Superdry man is having breakfast on the train. He’s troughing one of those health biscuits that ‘replace’ breakfast. Nothing replaces an egg and bacon bap no matter how tasty you claim it is. This bloke needs carbs quick rather than a dull, cardboard cereal bar. He looks like he barely has the power to fasten one, let alone a number of bespoke zips on his Essex based Japanese jacket. Hard times for the Cool….
I see a lot of eating on trains and it’s usually the same people doing it. I’m not certain I’ve ever eaten on a tube train when sober but I’m willing to accept that others have.
There’s a bloke who gets on my evening train, same stop, same seat, same time and he’s always gnawing on a cheese and onion sandwich. Over the years I’ve seen a builder eat a cold Sunday lunch (including congealed gravy) from a Tupperware box at six in the morning and a ratty haired hippy eat three Weetabix with milk from an oversized mug as well as numerous Polish builders shooting home made whisky in the rush hour at Christmas.
Perhaps it’s some kind of ‘dark web’ sub culture that I’m only just clocking on to, where the cheese and onion sandwich on the 16:43 to Cockfosters indicates a penchant for nailing ones cobblers to a plank. It’s could be the modern day Pampas grass depravity flag. I might bring a Tuna and sweetcorn sandwich tomorrow just to see if anyone gives me the nod.
I get off the train early as I had enough of the human soup and because my shoes are so comfortable that I enjoy walking in them. Yes…. I did write that. I’m old and therefore all about the comfort. These shoes are a dream.
My crazy feet I reluctantly deposit me at a door in an undisclosed location in Central London. I get the 70’s lift to the 9th floor. The usual suspects are in, sucking up the overtime in the name of ‘banged out busy’. This isn’t wholly true and is really an excuse to eliminate mortgages or purchase gadgets.
In the corner sits ‘Ben Nevis’. Like the mountain it’s a massive, ragged, non moving lump from North of the border where the base is littered with the rubbish of a thousand visitors… Coffee cups, water bottles and food packaging surround it and there is neither the will nor inclination to clear the area in the name of hygiene.
The mountain stirs and spews forth a mockney / scottish ‘Hello mate’ reminiscent of the diminutive, mouth on a stick and one time Bee Gee groupie Lulu. Like Lulu it’s hard to like this individual as there is a real feeling of falseness oozing from its pores.
I smile and return the greeting and am just glad that I have arrived too late to witness the mountain chow down on double cheese on toast with onion from the canteen as it’s a messy, smacking, noisy process which turns even the hardest stomach.
Hang on a minute … Cheese + onion + bread = cobblers + nails + plank….
..I put on the forensic gloves and reach for my claw hammer…. I am ready…..are you?