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.
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.
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.