Tag Archives: train

How to make people not sit next to you

I am currently on a train, hence writing a load of blogs in quick succession (WWE TLC is on to the left of this window, of course). To the right of me, on one of the few unreserved seats in the train is sat… NOBODY. I am quite good at making it so people don’t actually want to sit next to me, so I have decided to write a quick guide you can refer to (quickly) to make sure the scum (“other people”) stay well away from you.

Look like me
If you can’t yet buy Ian Masks in shops around the world (you should be able to, and if you can’t, it’s a load of shit), you’re going to have to hope you have my face. If you don’t have my face, you can try and adopt the Ian face. It’s simple: just never smile, look like you’re about to kill everyone in the local area, sneer derisively in the direction of everyone else alive and generally just be Full Of Hate.

Use the table next to you
Right now I have some apple juice and Wine Gums on the little table next to me, as I have no room on my own little table. This isn’t too in the way, nor is it really taking the piss in any way, or something. Anyway, people see it there then think there’s someone sat there THERE ISN’T HA HA THE FOOLS.

Look even more like me
See above, then times it by two.

Smell like me
Pretty self explanatory.

Be a tramp
It helps, I’ll be honest.

And there’s your top tips for the day.

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Planes, trains, automobiles, John Candy, sleep.

I used to be brilliant at falling asleep everywhere. I remember, ish, a time when I was a tiny wee child (that’s as in ‘tiny and covered in wee’) – we were at some holiday camp thing in a loud family club. I was tired and reacting in the way I still do when I get tired, which is by being a massive twat about it.

I decided I would crawl under the chair I was sat on and curl up into a ball – remember this was in a family club, where it was loud music, idiotic talking people, dancing, banging (not like that), whatever else. But I still managed to fall asleep.

I always used to be able to fall asleep wherever I needed to. Planes, trains, automobiles, John Candy – wherever. But these days it just isn’t the same. I can sleep if I’m on the verge of dying, as evidenced when flying back from New York in January, and I can sleep if I’m literally so tired I pass out.

But generally speaking I can’t do it. It means I end up being awake for far, far longer than I have any need to be. Trains are uncomfortable and move too much, cars make me feel sick if I close my eyes too long, planes are too fear-inducing for me to take my eyes off them (as well as uncomfortable and lacking room)… I just can’t do it.

I might try sleeping on a moped, actually. That’ll probably (definitely) work.

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Raise the spirits. Live with hope. Fear nothing.

I was without internet yesterday. Blame the foreigns, or something.


I now know what the once-trapped, now-free Chilean miners feel like. I too have shared their pain, their suffering and their feelings of utter powerlessness that dominated their lives for so long. At the same time, I know the power that others hold over you – how they can keep your spirits up, lift you out of the darkness and instil your very soul with the belief that you can get through something.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.

Picture the scene: it’s yesterday, you’ve finished work and have to catch a train to London. The train is set to arrive at 8.50pm, meaning you’ll get to your destination around 9.20pm. This is mildly annoying, but otherwise absolutely fine. But then, something goes wrong. Something horrible. Something life-changing.

This is what happened to me yesterday. Just over an hour into my journey, our train pulled to a halt. A short time elapsed before the guard activated the speaker system to inform us there would be an ‘unspecified’ delay, as a freight train ahead had been forced to stop as it had faulty brakes*. This ‘unspecified’ time turned into half an hour. Which turned into ‘another 45 minutes’. Which eventually ended up being just shy of three hours. Sitting there. Not moving. A still vessel in an ever-moving world. I just vomited a bit in my mouth for writing that.

I was annoyed. My compatriots were annoyed. But we made it through. The power of the human spirit knows no bounds, and the empowerment, togetherness and lift that one can feel through the simple act of chanting in unison is something I will never underestimate ever again.

True, it got a bit annoying when we had to wait another hour at Basingstoke, but the power of laughing at a bloke with a funny voice pulled us through that. Then the combination of remembering the man’s voice, continuing variations on the original chant and drawing cocks on newspapers pulled us through what I can assure you was a traumatic and difficult time for us all.

But we survived. We prevailed. And in snatching hope from the jaws of tragedy, we will thrive.

*I know, I know.

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I am incapable of working on trains

I have just spent another productive double-figured set of hours on trains up and down the country, getting on with work, writing entries for this blog and generally using this time that would be otherwise wasted doing all the things a responsible adult should be doiOHNOWAIT.

No, I spent five hours on Friday afternoon watching How I Met Your Mother (more on that another time) and Edge Of Darkness (shit, bollocks Ray Winston and cockarse ending: 7/10). I spent around six-and-a-bit hours (thanks for re-routing through Guildford, trains!) watching more How I Met Your Mother. Much as it helped to pass the time and much as I enjoy watching things and being made to laugh (seriously – more on how HIMYM actually makes me laugh another time), I do think it’s a bit of waste to veg in such a way on these long journeys.

But then, it’s exactly what I would do if I were at home for those hours. Friday afternoon when I’m not playing football, I have no money and Anna’s not coming down/I’m not going up to Manchester? I will sit and do nothing, watching some crap I’ve downloaded “legally”. Why should it be any different on the train?

It also doesn’t help that you get the legions of foul-smelling mouth-breathers who all seem curiously attracted to sitting next to me and not understanding that I’m fucking big, hence they have to make a small sacrifice of a bit of their god damned space to let me be that little bit less uncomfortable than normal. Those gawking plebs staring at my screen as I try to concentrate and be – shudder as much as I do when I say this – creative do not contribute to a healthy or productive working environment.

I’ve managed to write a couple of blogs on the train, but both times I resorted to making the font size so small nobody could read it. My typing is good enough that I don’t need to see what I’m doing to know I’m generally getting it right, naturally. But it doesn’t help. Turns out trains just aren’t the perfect working environment for me I always hoped they would be.

I never hoped they would be, that was a lie brought on by the dementia that explodes from within your skull after having been cooped up in a meat wagon for a third of a day. And knowing that when you get back you have about five hours of sleep before you’re up and back on one to that awful London place.

Still, at least I’m not dead.

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Stop looking over my shoulder, goits

Seems this didn’t publish earlier when I pressed ‘publish’. Soz.

A five hour train ride isn’t a great deal of fun, surprisingly because it takes five hours. But I’ve found there is one great way in which you can make the journey just fly by. Step one is to take some form of device that can play movies on it, so you can watch a selection of movies, or TV shows or whatever else you want to watch. This means there will be a screen on which you are watching moving images – a key point of the plan.

Step two is to make sure there’s somebody sat within your peripheral vision – but this can’t just be anyone, it has to be a particular kind of person. The kind of person I’m talking about, of course, is the kind who will insist on watching things over your shoulder. It just makes the journey FLY BY when you have some gormless oaf who can’t do anything but stare, mouth agape at the fact you have a colourful screen projecting the moving images of famous people you might know of.

While it does make the journey FLLLLYYYY BYYYY, I would still like to punch every single one of these nosey morons in the face. Except for the ones who are bigger than me, or ones who look stabby. I find it intensely annoying, and it’s made all the worse when they comment on what’s on the screen either to their friends or to me. TO ME.

Arseholes. Stop it.

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Kids on a Train (like Snakes on a Plane, only worse)

Apple-loogies: I wrote this on the train yesterday but forgot to post it here and instead went and drank beers.

Kids these days, they don’t know they’re born, they all swear and wear hoodies and knife crime elderly people in the face and all these kind of things. Well, alright, they’re not actually that bad. Apart from the shit ones. The good ones are a lot better than us in many ways. The shit ones not. But it is the shit ones we pay the most attention to, as they are often the loudest on trains.

This isn’t intended to be a simple rant about kids on trains needing to shut the fuck up, but, well – that’s what it’s going to be. As a child I knew my place, and thanks to the fear of a severe, drink-fuelled beating from my father I never put a foot out of line. Ah, lying – something I was encouraged against in my childhood. My Dad never beat me, nor was he a raging alcho. He was just fairly strict. Anyway, point being I was polite, scared of older people and generally shut the hell up in public places.

If I’m beginning to sound like a Tory then fuck you. You’ve not been on a train for the last five hours listening to these screeching, baying morons harping on about drawings and chairs squeaking at ridiculous volume. Let me have my moment. The simple fact of the matter is their parents need to tell them to shut the fuck up and stop being irritating little shits before I snap them.

A good, alcohol-fuelled beating would be about right. That is all.

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