Tuesday, 22 May 2018


The train was almost steamy in its approach. In that it had more chug than usual. Despite this unexpected Thomas the Tank Enginesque arrival, I briefly felt like a commuter, as I clambered on. A real commuter. The kind that begins at leafy town and ends in Euston. Except that I'm not. Two mini train rides and a bus hop does not make it so. It just sort of hints at it, slightly.

Once on board, I wandered past a ‘fellow’ commuter. Except that he was a real one. I could tell. He had all the kit. This man does not wander, even on his day off. The commuter aka Pinstripe (on account of his sharply lined shirt) was hunched expertly over a laptop. Very few of us can hunch expertly. He was one of the elite or so he'd probably tell you during a protein shake power lunch.

Much like Pinstripe, I sat down, and curled myself around some important apparatus. Unlike Pinstripe, my focus was a faded, grocery filled shopper. I reached in and pulled out the chocolate buttons. Unfortunately, half the pack had gone before I'd finished a Marian Keyes short story. To clarify, short is not an exaggeration. I've tweeted longer prose. Fortunately, if you eat fast enough, your body doesn't spot the calories. Ahem.

Anyway, twentyish buttons later, I'd lost myself in an imaginary world of first class travel, on board massages and freebies. Magically adrift I was, until the loudest sneeze in the world pulled me back to reality. The train shook, well pretty much, and it was parked at the time. I tried, uselessly, to locate the previous owner of the sneeze. Then, my ears clambered into the fetal position, as sneeze two erupted. A moment later I located the sneezer. It was Pinstripe.  

Upon leaving the train, I checked his face for Bang and Olufsen. Zero amplification. Pinstripe, you may be a serious commuter but you lose on sneeze points. We're marking on the silence. My sneeze might not reflect the gentle mating call of the woodland faery but they're definitely unassuming. Thus, I'm calling it a draw.

The RGF xxx

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