Every day I go down to my local station and catch myself a C2C train, in order to get to work, and my fellow passengers and I travel in style! We know precisely to the second how late the train’s going to be, because a big electronic departure board tells us. We have air conditioning so efficient that entering the train in summer requires ski boots and a hat but, not content with these superior advantages, C2C also has swish, electronic doors to prevent anybody from leaping off while the train’s still moving – and catching that bus that’s just pulling away.
Instead, the driver controls the doors and opens them only when it’s absolutely safe to do so: that is, when the train has stopped completely, he’s pulled on a safety brake, he’s taken out his newspaper, picked a bit of lint off his trousers, and looked to see what sandwiches he’s got today. THEN he opens the doors.
Or – if you understand me, he doesn’t. Well, to be strictly accurate, the other day he opened them all right – but then he shut them again. That sort of timing is probably fine for WonderWoman, but then WonderWoman wouldn’t need to catch the train, would she? She’d be running alongside it, offering the driver alternative sandwich options. I, however, was halfway through the doors when they closed, pinning me in place. Now, call me picky, but personally I prefer to be completely inside the train when he pulls out. I realize the driver’s a busy man – he’s trying to get the lid off his thermos – he can’t concentrate on everything.
So if the train pulls into Fenchurch Street and the cleaners report that there’s a middle-aged woman welded to the outside of the train and they can’t get the marks off — think of me.
I’ll be thinking of you.