So, the shows at Covent Garden Jongleurs are good and odd at the same time, nice room but comprised of a big bunch of people who were surprised that comedy was on, despite the fact they came to a comedy show. Life is like that sometimes.
I spent the weekend in London, and am a bit tired.
I feel as though I have been round the world on a bus and not a good bus either. My usual apartments that I rent in London were busy so I stayed at The Groucho club rooms, the bed was AWESOME…seriously good bed and wonderful linen. You wouldn’t know you were in Soho, it was really quiet and serene, and mind you I did have a back bedroom.
Sunday I headed home on the train from Kings Cross to Glasgow, as British Airways were on strike again. I enjoy the train actually.
As it’s a Sunday- I decided to upgrade to first class as it’s cheap on a weekends.
I got a cracking seat, and was surrounded by lovely old people all getting settled in. You need to check your ticket to see if you can get it upgraded, so I searched out the train ticket bloke and showed him my ticket.
“You only have the one ticket here, you need the reservations part of the tickets” he smugly said and waited for me to find another ticket.
“I have the part that says I should be on the Kings Cross to Glasgow train today…look” I answered and pointed at my ticket.
The train line people give you at least 6 tickets for a return journey and God know I must have lost one ticket, the ticket that gives my seat number and train time on it.
“Go look for it and I will come back to you” he snapped and walked away.
I searched my bag and I knew I didn’t have it, I waited patiently for him to come back, but I couldn’t relax as I didn’t know what was happening.
Meanwhile there was a really old lady with her husband sitting at one of the table seats near me. She got up to go to the loo and the train was trundling hard, so I offered to help her get to the toilet.
She was pretty infirm, and it was easy to help support her and walk her slowly and surely, she was shaky on her feet and her husband was happy to let me help. The lady was very posh, and at first she was pretty quiet yet politely thanking me.
After the third loo visit, I had her laughing by saying that we would soon be doing a double act dance show by the time we got to Scotland.
She said “My mother’s housekeeper was a dancer before she went into service” Then she held her arms out for me to guide her back, I realised she was used to working class women helping her about, not that she was off with me, but just her attitude that she wasn’t surprised that I would tend to her. Her very tall posh husband stood up to the side to let me get her out and into the seat, not thanking or giving me a smile. That sounds like I was expecting some kind of hero worship, but I wasn’t – but it just felt as though it was somehow expected of me in a weird way.
I sat down and then the lady’s husband, who was dressed in beige linen suit with a pale blue shirt and a fedora hat, leaned over to me and said “Could you please go see what’s keeping the lunch trolley”
At that moment, a wee Scottish couple in their 70s who were at the table beside me looked in my direction, the wee man had a big Korean War tattoo on his arm that he chatted to me about earlier, he rolled his eyes and gave me a mock salute, as if to say “Aye Aye sir” and I sniggered but got up and duly did my working class duty.
The trolley for first class was being slow and the fedora hat man gave me the list of complaints about the service, I finally stopped him and said “I know but I don’t work here and I don’t even have an upgraded ticket to be in first class”. He smiled and carried on moaning about the state of first class service. I went off, found the lunch trolley, came back and gave him an update on its movements.
Finally the ticket man came back, he stared at my tickets again, gave a huge exasperated sigh, shifted about on his feet and said “You don’t have the right ticket; you need the OTHER ticket that states which train you are meant to be on”
I quietly held it together and said “Well technically I do have A ticket but part of it is missing but I do have a ticket which states I paid to be on the Kings Cross to Glasgow train today, I am just missing the reservations part, but on my IPhone I have the confirmation email that corresponds with that reference number on the ticket sir”
He rolled his eyes, let out a big huffy breath and said “I don’t take emails or phone texts as a ticket, now you need to buy a new ticket now or you will have to get off this train” He leaned back on his heels and stared down at me, fingering his ticket machine.
The old people around me all stared and waited to see what I would do.
I didn’t lose my temper; I quietly said “I am not buying a new ticket”
“Don’t you have money or credit cards on you” he sniggered.
“Yes, I have credit cards coming out of my wazoo and wads of cash in my bag but I’m still not buying a ticket, especially when you can clearly see I have a ticket for this journey and I have confirmation on my IPhone to prove I should be on this train, now what we are going to do is you are going to get the police to remove me from this train and when they get on and wonder why you called them out on a Bank Holiday Sunday, I will show them my PART ticket and my confirmed email, you will have to explain to them why you went to such lengths to screw me for cash, now lets do that. Go and call the cops and I will wait patiently for that to happen, as you have been so lovely to me, I would rather they removed me, I don’t want us falling out”
He immediately shouted “I am not falling out with anyone” he lost his cool and got annoyed at himself.
“Please don’t shout sir, you are scaring the elderly people sitting in here” I spoke firmly but quietly.
“I am not shouting, I am trying to make myself clear” he flustered his words. I got him now, he was panicking and wondering why he shouted and now needed to face getting the cops and standing his ground, he knew my explanation would allow me to stay on the train and he would look like a dick.
“I am just telling you the rules, I don’t make them” He added.
“I know that sir, I accept you have rules, I am just saying that if the police come on they can debate the rules and over rule you then you wont be held responsible for me being on this train with a part of the ticket missing” I smiled “I don’t want you getting into trouble with the rules do I?” I added. The wee old man with the tattoo thumbed up to me behind the ticket man’s back and mock saluted me.
I spoke slowly, quietly and clearly throughout the debate. Ticket man stared at me. He fiddled with his ticket machine and tapped on it with his pen. He then breathed out.
He said “Ok, I will let you off this time, but in future you need to look after your tickets, when you get your tickets from the machine, you should keep them safe…”
I put my hand up and forcibly spoke “Stop right there, I will graciously accept your kindness for letting on stay on but I am NOT going to stand here and get a big telling off and a lecture about losing tickets, I made ONE mistake, I lost ONE ticket in fifteen years of travel and that is not bad going, but we are done here”
He turned on his heel and left me in my first class seat, which incidentally I didn’t have to pay the upgrade for either, he just left me alone._