Week 77: I’m A Rat Part 2

Friday, 21 June 2019

Reading time 03 minutes 16 seconds 

Part 2 – Continued from week 76

“What Makes You Angry Jack?”, “People, all sorts of people” – Jack, a guy I once knew

Early morning is my favourite part of the day as the endless possibilities of life await. I would say I’m always at my happiest and this day was no different as I sat on the 6:20am from York to London in my favoured quiet carriage.

Next to, and opposite, me were two female nurses. Every third minute they would discuss work for 90 seconds, stop talking and carry on with their tasks. 
As they were senior nurses their work was clearly important because they kept telling each other so. Whilst I should have nipped their chattering in the bud I reasoned I’ve a lot of time for nurses as I’ve always been amazed by their compassion and kindness when I’ve been hospitalized so it was only fair to pay the kindness forward and bite my tongue. If the talking got too bad, then at least two medical professionals were on hand who could offer advice on a damaged tongue.

At the next stop a red corduroy trouser wearing man boarded. No further description is required.

He sat down and immediately started a chat with a man who had previously been glaring at the Nurses for their own chattering. He was loud, and liked the sound of his own voice, and I was expecting him to be put back in his box but much to my utter disgust it was a reciprocal conversation. The British sense of politeness is evidently different in the North of England and I’m confident this encounter would not have taken place in London particularly with rude Londoners like me.

They were loudly discussing the merits of protein versus carbohydrates which in turn set the nurses off again. Anarchy started to reign and my happiness was like steam evaporating from a kettle of hate. Whilst I was mad at them I was angrier at myself as I promised I’d say something if this happened again. I didn’t. Maturity had the better of me, so I had a word with myself to stop being so ridiculous. I only had two more hours to put up with this infuriating nonsense and I could handle that. If this was the worst thing that happened then today was going to be a good day.

I calmly breathed in, and then out, with serenity washing over me.

I tuned into their conversation and Red Corduroy was enlightening us all about his trip to London where he was to speak at a conference on mental health and wellbeing.

Serenity Now!

His new blathering friend announced to the entire carriage that he was on his way to court to be an expert witness. 

Serenity Now!

The expert witness annoyed me not only because he disobeyed the rules of the quiet carriage but also because he thought it OK to start talking about the trial. This would not stand. Some rules need to be enforced and my inner African man started to work out an eloquent quip to shut this person up before they caused a mistrial.

I then heard a shout. 


When I looked to see the loud sounds origin I was not that surprised to find it was me. I continued in a very loud voice.

“Excuse me! I booked this carriage, so I could get some work done and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet but since you have got on you have not shut up. There is a sticker on the window that clearly states it’s a quiet coach.”

I paused for effect and with as much melodrama as I could muster pointed to the sticker just above the nurse’s heads.

Red Corduroy looked at me
The expert witness stared at the floor
The nurses looked dumbfounded
My inner Africa man looked on with pride and doffed his cap

I’ve been told that when I lose my temper I look scary. Luckily, I hadn’t lost my temper as I’d moved straight from temper to rage and everyone’s mouth was hanging down. 

I hadn’t delivered my speech calmly I had let 48 years of aggression spill out into the quiet coach. 

I then leaned back in the seat that I hadn’t remembered leaning out of. Red Corduroy looked up, and foolishly decided to speak.

“You know what you are absolutely right.”

I let him have it.

“I know I’m bloody right, now shut it and obey the rules!” I realised I was Eskimo kissing him, so once again I sat back into my seat. 

All other talking had ceased, and heads were bowed.

I sat there fuming. I tried to find serenity, but it had jumped out of the window a few miles back. I wanted a round of applause, but I’d made it abundantly clear that noise was not an option. Would it be asking too much to expect a sign language jazz hands applause?

There is no happy or funny ending here. I just sat there shaking with fury on what had become the longest and most awkward 2 hours I’d ever spent on a train. My fellow passengers hated me, and I hated them. 

My inner African man however gave me a hug and told me it was the happiest day of his life.

Picture: Me After a Skydive. Check out the Cats on the suit and the pink Piping on my rig. I had it going on!