Choo Choo

Betty’s first ever train ride.
Considering she’s ten months old, that sounds really bad, like we keep her in a sensory deprivation chamber under the stairs or somat. In fact come to think of it, she’s never been on a bus either. Or a tram. Today was her first ever opportunity to sample the delights of British public transport.Choo Choo

We boarded the Weirdo Express to Liverpool amid the atypical assortment of nutcases one would associate with rail travel at 10.30am on a weekday; the teenage lad wearing eyeliner who keeps singing, out loud and out of tune, to his Ipod while graffiti-ing the back of the seat in front of him with various words for male genitalia; the creosoted, mini skirted, leopard printed 46 year old who is clearly Huyton’s answer to Nancy Del’Olio; the middle aged fella carrying a 1992 Kwik Save bag who keeps digging in his ear with a pencil and then sniffing the end. You, know, just your stereotypical Wednesday morning freak show.
But then, the oddball-athon took a turn for the more interesting, upon the presentation of the Ticket Inspector. Looked harmless enough. Pretty standard. And then he spoke.

Well, I say spoke. He lisped, stuttered, mumbled and stammered his way through what I presume, spit flecks  liberally coating my cheeks aside, were intended to be social pleasantries. After presenting our tickets, said official pressed through the carriage treating every other patron to a token smattering of the residual breakfast lurking about his teeth.
So far, so disgusting.
It was this at this point that I decided The Poop could do with a greater level of security to shield her from nutters abounding from our carriage, so placed her between her Nanna and Auntie Christy.Betty's first ever train ride. Considering she's ten months old, that sounds really bad, like we keep her in a sensory deprivation chamber under the stairs or somat. In fact come to think of it, she's never been on a bus either. Or a tram. Today was her first ever opportunity to sample the delights of British public transport.  We boarded the Weirdo Express to Liverpool amid the atypical assortment of nutcases one would associate with rail travel at 10.30am on a weekday; the teenage lad wearing eyeliner who keeps singing, out loud and out of tune, to his Ipod while graffiti-ing the back of the seat in front of him with various words for male genitalia; the creosoted, mini skirted, leopard printed 46 year old who is clearly Huyton's answer to Nancy Del'Olio; the middle aged fella carrying a 1992 Kwik Save bag who keeps digging in his ear with a pencil and then sniffing the end. You, know, just your stereotypical Wednesday morning freak show. But then, the oddball-athon took a turn for the more interesting, upon the presentation of the Ticket Inspector. Looked harmless enough. Pretty standard. And then he spoke.  Well, I say spoke. He lisped, stuttered, mumbled and stammered his way through what I presume, spit flecks  liberally coating my cheeks aside, were intended to be social pleasantries. After presenting our tickets, said official pressed through the carriage treating every other patron to a token smattering of the residual breakfast lurking about his teeth. So far, so disgusting. It was this at this point that I decided The Poop could do with a greater level of security to shield her from nutters abounding from our carriage, so placed her between her Nanna and Auntie Christy.  After cruising through the pulsing metropolis of derelict property that is Roby, back came Gareth Gates to check our tickets again. After spitting more Morse Code in our direction, he scuttled away through a little door at the front of the train. As we began to slow into the next station, I felt a tap on my shoulder and I turned to find the ticket inspector leaning forward, half crouched, with a pained expression on his face. "Any chance you could do my job for me at this next station?" he stuttered incredibly slowly. "Erm....pardon?" I said, regretting my retort as soon as it left my lips. Three weeks later, after he had choked his way through a selection of squeaks, hums, beeps and murmurs, somewhere within his beat boxing, I heard the phrase, "I've just split my pants". With old Lispy looking me straight in the eye, so upset and nervous, I reluctantly obliged. I mopped my phlegm coated brow and hopped out onto the platform, not having a clue what I was actually supposed to be doing. I stood there outside the train, watching random people board at the various doors along the carriages. I then looked through the window, at my daughter waving at me and smiling at my stupidity, and thought...WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING? HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN TO ME? W-H-Y DOES THIS HAPPEN TO ME? I shrugged my shoulders and jumped back on the train, now safe in the knowledge that among the mentalists that board trains at 10:30am on weekday mornings, I should feel right at home.

After cruising through the pulsing metropolis of derelict property that is Roby, back came Gareth Gates to check our tickets again. After spitting more Morse Code in our direction, he scuttled away through a little door at the front of the train.
As we began to slow into the next station, I felt a tap on my shoulder and I turned to find the ticket inspector leaning forward, half crouched, with a pained expression on his face.
“Any chance you could do my job for me at this next station?” he stuttered incredibly slowly.
“Erm….pardon?” I said, regretting my retort as soon as it left my lips.
Three weeks later, after he had choked his way through a selection of squeaks, hums, beeps and murmurs, somewhere within his beat boxing, I heard the phrase, “I’ve just split my pants”.
With old Lispy looking me straight in the eye, so upset and nervous, I reluctantly obliged. I mopped my phlegm coated brow and hopped out onto the platform, not having a clue what I was actually supposed to be doing. I stood there outside the train, watching random people board at the various doors along the carriages. I then looked through the window, at my daughter waving at me and smiling at my stupidity, and thought…WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING?
HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN TO ME?
W-H-Y DOES THIS HAPPEN TO ME?
I shrugged my shoulders and jumped back on the train, now safe in the knowledge that among the mentalists that board trains at 10:30am on weekday mornings, I should feel right at home.