Here at last! Bloody 3:45 is always late. Freezing it was on that platform and me with this horrible cold coming on, and now it looks like there’s no seat. Hang on, there’s one over there down the carriage, better get there quick…
Bugger. There’s a bloody refugee-type by the window and he’s put a packet of tissues on the seat next to him – My seat: the one I want to sit on. I know your game, sunshine – touch the tissues and you’ll expect me to give you money. Oh, and to try and make me feel guilty, you’ll hand me a laminated card that says you’re hungry, got no money to feed your wife and children except for what you can earn selling tissues.
What to do? The Brit in me wants to give you the money- the refugee crisis is so awful and maybe you really have escaped tyranny and have starving kids cramped in a cold, dark room in this cramped, cold and dark country. Then at least you’re trying to do something more than begging, I suppose. But the radio said that you tissue sellers were part of organised criminal gangs, and getting more and more common on trains because it was so lucrative as some suckers were paying up to £10 for a pack of tissues thinking they were doing good.
To be honest I could do with the tissues, what with this cold building up, but don’t want to condone this ‘tissues under duress’ activity. Let me think, how much have I got on me? Hmm, a fiver in my wallet and say, 25p in change. You’re certainly not getting the fiver mate, and the 25p might insult you so much that if you are in a gang you might pull a knife on me. You just don’t know. I can’t pick them up in case you think I want to buy the bloody things, but I’m certainly not going to let anyone else sit here if they come in, so I’m just going to stand in the aisle by the seat, try and make you feel uncomfortable and hope you will pick the bloody tissues up and piss off or something at the next stop.
Look at you there. Your trainers are Lacoste and your jacket’s Superdry. I know you can pick them up at charity shops but even so, shouldn’t that money have gone on your bloody kids – if they exist? Rather than pity, I’m starting to feel anger. Bloody hell mate, your garms are better than mine – why should I be buying your bloody tissues! If I furrow my brow and glare, perhaps you will get the message. Oh, and where do you get to use a laminating machine if it’s not at the local counterfeiting factory or something. You must get the message soon. But…ah…I’m going to sneeze,… it’s going to be a big one….ah…ah…
God, that came from nowhere. Oh bugger, I’ve sneezed all over the bloody empty seat and the pissing tissues. The man doesn’t look happy. No idea what he’s saying, but it isn’t going to be good. I’ve gotta wipe my nose – quick. My pockets – bugger. Nothing. Just my train ticket. I can’t use that, I’ve got to get it through the machine at Newbury. Gotta find something -there’s more than a sleeve wipe up there. Sod it – I need those tissues. You’ll have to lump the 25p, mate. Now, quickly get this buggering packet open… and blow…..
Ahh, what a relief!
I’d better hand you that money now. Oh, it’s only 12p after all.
He’s getting up. Looking angry. Alright mate, if you don’t want the money you don’t have to knock it out of my hand. Looks like he’s off to wait at the exit, maybe it’s just as well I can’t understand what he’s growling at me. At least I can wipe the chair down a bit and sit down. Here goes…hey, who’s tapping me on the back? Bugger! – Some other refugee, I didn’t see him across the aisle. What th… He’s passing me a laminated card. Piss! – they must have been his tissues after all. I’d better call out after that guy I sneezed on:
“I’m sorry mate; I thought the tissues were yours”.
Bugger, I don’t think he can hear me. Oh well, nothing more I can do. Just sit down and give this other bloke his card back. And I’d better give him my fiver.
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