"Can't you just MEND it? Like, get the toolbox out and fix it?" The man in the red England shirt had his voice volume turned to 11. His chest was puffed out in indignation and he drew himself to his full 5ft 6-and-a-half inches height 5ft girth as he shouted at the staff again in his irritating Cockney twang.
"How hard can it BE?"
Rewind two hours, our train had left London ten minutes previously, I'd already got the laptop hooked up to the free wifi and was enjoying the quiet coach, not havingn to endure the frequent conversations starting, "I'm on the TRAIN!!!" though maybe missing out on catching up with the latest ringtones. Still, as we say in Yorkshire, you can't have the cake and the ha'penny, eh?
My surfing was disturbed by a bang and shattering of glass as we entered a tunnel. The train juddered to a halt, the air conditioning packed up and the mobile signal died, sadly they hadn't run our of the brown sludge they call coffee. Something or someone had hit us, we were going nowhere for the next two-and-a-half hours or so. People were getting desperate, they needed to phone home. Then the rumour started, First Class were in the daylight. First Class had phone signals. First Class were sipping champagne and proper coffee. First Class had been de-coupled, picked up by jets and deposited at Doncaster, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh. We rushed to the back of the train, the rumours were mostly true.
After an eternity we were shoved into a very small station with a short platform and no chocolate machines. It was here that Small England Shirt Man started to get stroppy.
Couldn't they fix the train?
No, the windscreen was smashed and there was a huge dint in the side
Can't you just MEND it? Aren't you lot PAID to do this sort of thing?
To my shame, I didn't tell him to shut the f@**££ up, I did what everyone else did and sent bad vibes in his direction hoping he'd spontaneously combust. He very nearly did, I think his blood pressure was high – though that could just have been the England shirt and the performance of the national team in the World Cup.
As we poured on to the platform, the technical term was 'de-trained', Small England Shirt Man turned his ranting to 12, spontaneous combustion was seconds away as he was jolly rude to every member of staff. I'd like to say he spontaneously combusted, as there was a puff of smoke and he disappeared to a loud cheer. The rest of the journey went without incident and without Small England Shirt Man. Though I did finish off the day with a record-breaking 100metre sprint-with-laptop-case-jiggling-on-my-back down the platform to catch my connection. I think there was applause, or laughter. One or the other.