What's new with Janey
09 July 2005

Trains and autism

Yesterday i got on the train to Manchester, the Glasgow station was full of police…and instead of making me feel safe they made me feel scared. I told my husband in the car that if I die he has to marry again and make sure he enjoys his life…. ( I am so fucking melodramatic in the mornings) he looked me in the eye and said ” If I have to enjoy life when you die, why do I need to get married again?”.

I smiled and headed for my train.

I found the best place to sit was the quiet zone. I had checked out first class but it was way too expensive to upgrade and I dont mind paying but Virgin are having a laugh…£80 extra to get into first class!

So the train got very busy and people spilled into the ‘Quiet Zone’ with no fucking intention of being ‘quiet’…this included seven attention seeking/mentally disturbed/autistic teenage boys.

I sat there and desperately tried to ignore their shouts and sexual comments at every woman who walked past. Three of the boys sat quietly, very deep in their own thoughts with a pack of cards that they flicked very quickly and almost obssesively….one boy who stood about six feet tall kept running up and down the carriage demanding attention and tried over and over to get me to talk to him. He made overt sexual comments to me, he leaned over and pulled on my IPOD ear phones, he slammed his hand on my table…all the while his ‘carer’ ( a girl of around 20 who clearly was out of her depth and getting anxious at the mounting tension) tried to placate him.

I answered my phone ( I know it was the quiet zone but fucking hell that rule had been abandoned ages ago) and as I spoke to the man from the BBC…attention seeking boy started laughing at my Scottish accent and shouted ‘HAGGIS HAGGIS’ over and over again….I could hardly hear my important call.

Now I am compassionate when it comes to dealing with mental problems…I have Attention defict problems myself…but this is MY JOB he is affecting now and the fat 20 year old could not control him..so with one hand on the phone at my ear, I took my shoe off with my other and whacked him on the head.

He was stunned and sat quietly till my call ended.

“You cannot keep shouting” I spoke quietly to him ” I have mental problems and if you upset me I am going to throw you off the train..when it’s still moving, my social workers will accept that I had to do it and the voices in my head are saying “Kill the boy” now if you run about anymore, you and I are going to have a situation, are we clear on this?” Then I screamed into the air like a wolf…I howled and banged the table and then went straight back to reading my book in complete silence.

The other passengers who had been traumatised by the boy now looked at me in amazement…the boy sat with his hands in his lap scared.

I had OUT-LOONEY-ED him…an old trick I learned years ago in the pub I used to run. Nutters hate anyone being NUTTIER than them…it scares them.

He gently smiled across at me and said very quietly “I am sorry”. I smiled right back at him and whispered “Thank you”.

The journey carried on in peace.

Manchester is a great city…the sun is shining and the gig went well…I was worried about how people would feel after the BIG LONDON 7/7 thing…I even thought up jokes about how the French took London getting the Olympic bid very badly…but then thought better of it and carried on my gig without reference to terrorism, I am not advertising the fuckers and letting them rule my life. I am a Glaswiegan, we are defiant in the face of death. I have had more friends die from heroin which is more than people who have had friends who died from terrorism. I will survive.

Life does go on and I am sitting here on a beautiful Saturday morning in Manchester.

Have a good day all and talk tomorrow._