Saturday, November 06, 2010

This life of mine

My train journey’s are becoming legendary, on Thursday I caught the train to Manchester as I was off to stay overnight courtesy of BBC so I could get up early Friday and do a slot on Woman’s Hour BBC radio 4.

The train down to Preston was chugging about a bit; I didn’t feel good and soon felt sick. I have never had travel sickness in my life. There is nothing worse than going into a train loo, lifting the lid with a patina of sweat on your torso, a heaving vomit in your throat and staring a shit stained loo. I gagged up as much as I could and staggered back to my seat. What the fuck was wrong with me? Sick? Was I pregnant? I think am pregnant at least six times a year, don’t ask me why, I have never had an unplanned pregnancy but in a past life I must have had seventeen abortions and at least ten babies and that’s blighted my soul forever.
Ok back to real life….I think the engine was dodgy as I felt like I was on a dodgy boat.

Then the train stopped, the engine broke…of course it did, I was on the train wasn’t I?

I had to get off that train, me covered in sweat and vomit heaving luggage and onto another train heading to Manchester. That train was overbooked and packed like trains you see in India with people hanging off the side and sitting on the roof. Ok, am joking not that busy, but there were no seats to be had.

So I had to stand, in a crowded train, feeling sick and with a slow realisation that I wasn’t pregnant because that twisted pain in my womb indicated I was about to have a period. Then the full on womb cramps kicked in. I jerked forward; almost head butting a toddler in a buggy, as I clutched my lower body. Then I felt sick again.

I realised something on that busy train, nobody likes a vomitter and nobody cares about your luggage they couldn’t give a flying fuck if you are harbouring a bomb, just don’t vomit on them. That train crowd basically stood on, kicked and pushed my wee suitcase about as I staggered to and from the loo through the overcrowded carriages.

I felt like dying, but am sure people go through worse than period pains, vomiting and standing for two hours on a crowded train. Things did get worse as four big giant faced Scottish posh students got drunk on three cans of shandy and started swearing loudly and discussing Slipknot.

The swearing I could barely handle but the Slipknot talk had to stop. I tolerated it as best I could.

There were some elderly people near them and small kids behind them, yet big faced Stewart, Alistair or the Alis-star-man as this dick called himself continued swearing in their over privileged accents. There is something horrific in hearing a middle class pony trekking wanker shout
“Fraser, stop trying to commandeer the conversation you awful cunt” ok…say that last sentence aloud but in a very posh accent, imagine you have a big giant head with bushy hair and look like inbred minor Royalty as you say it and you can see why I attacked them.

“Ok, you need to all keep your voices down, there are other people that don’t want to hear your irritating middle class voice trying to sound ‘street’ and if you mention Slipknot one more time, I am going to beat your horsey face to death with my shoe, am sick, I have a period, I am trying to stop smoking and am really tired, I will actually kill you with the handle off my case, are we clear?” I shouted at them.

They all stared at me, one of them piped up “who are you the voice police?”

I leaned over and whispered “Listen up you wee cuntfaced knob, there are kids and elderly people who deserve respect, the fact you think shouting out swear words in that fucked up incestuous accent makes me think you believe you can do what you want and you cant. So shut it”

At that point a big burly older bloke pulled me out of the way and said “shut up using that language like this woman says- get up and give women these seats or I will throw you off the train as it moves”

Everyone went quiet- then the boys stood up sheepishly and we got four elderly ladies into the table of four seats. The Slipknot crew stood at the train doors all contrite and the crushed passengers breathed a sigh of relief.

Finally we got into Manchester in time to get slashed with sideways rain as we all ran through the dark streets, scattering looking for taxis, buses and various lifts away from the train station.

I got into the hotel the BBC had booked; it smelled funny is all I am saying. The shower had two setting burning napalm hot or burning acid hot, so I stood near the scalding water and had my first ‘steaming’ in my life. Not a shower but a ‘steam’ that came of the pounding water, my feet got scorched but I needed to feel clean.

I just ate some sandwiches and got into bed. I needed to be up early to go to the studio and do the Woman’s Hour interview, which was about the BBC3 Free Thinking festival about ‘comedy versus tragedy’ which is happening on Sunday in Newcastle. I of course was defending ‘comedy’ against tragedy and after that journey I was qualified for it.

I couldn’t sleep, I tried…but at 3am till 6am people stood beneath my hotel room in the city centre of Manchester and just SCREAMED for no good reason. I looked out to see if a rape was happening, but no…no rape just students and drunk people who had gotten on buses into the city centre to SCREAM beneath my window…wasn’t that nice of them? The screaming went on and off all night, I expected to get up, put on the news and hear that there was a crazy –on – the – loose knife slasher in Manchester chasing people and making them scream…but no…the only news was the BBC journalists were on strike and I was going to have to cross a picket line to talk inanely about comedy versus tragedy.

After a night of reliving a 50s B movie of screaming, I walked down to BBC Manchester and chatted to the picket official, I explained I was just a contributor to a radio show and that I really supported them. I gave out leaflets for them and wore the badge, then crossed the line and went to talk live on the radio. I felt like the dirty scab that I truly was.

You can listen to the radio clip here:

Am now home and feel better, isn’t the world better when you get clean pants and into your own bed? Comedy versus Tragedy? I suffered both!

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