On the journey back from Blackburn (and a weekend with my parents) K. and I suffered at the hands of public transport. The journey itself wasn’t dreadful (no changes foisted upon us by the vagaries of the timetable that the trains seem to keep, but never publish) but unsere Hosts were queer fish to say the least.
We boarded the train at BNS with plenty of time to spare. This slack was taken up by the train manager, who told us several times that the entire train was reserved, practically anyway, and “if we didn’t want to be standing for [our] entire journey,” then we’d be better off leaving the train and waiting for the next service. Such warnings increased in wariness until the train finally pushed away. At every station afterwards, the train manager made sure that all newcomers were well aware of the full-bookedness of the train, causing bemusement as people saw the empty seats in the carriages. Every few minutes people’s conversation or sleep was interrupted by this moron telling us, as jolly as he could, to get off the train.
The reservation system—Virgin electronics—flickered briefly at BNS as the manager “uploaded” the data. Then all screens were blank for the rest of the journey.
Once we’d got to Oxford we went looking for a bus to get us home. Asking the driver whose bus was (we reckoned) clearly going to Headington, we received a shake of the head and a scowl. Moody bastard. He’s going to pull away now, and laugh about it to his bastard bus-driving mates later. But then he broke into a smile, pointed to the next stop and said “a couple of minutes” or something to that effect in grunt form.
… For Christmas, can I have the nice ones using whole syllables, and the nasty ones shutting up? Generally, I mean.