I just had a fantastic train journey so I'm warning you now, this might be the cosiest, warmest, fluffiest blog I've ever written. I sat on my seat on the train, thinking how brilliant it was to have a table all to myself, and got my laptop out to watch what I like to think of as Breakfast Doctor Who. Then my entire life was completely ruined forever because some people decided to sit at my table and one of them was...A CHILD. I decided to ignore the evil bastards and get Doctor Who ready. Then the child decided that she wanted to see my computer. She got off her father's lap and sat on the empty seat beside me. Fucking balls, I whimsically pondered. She kept talking to me about the computer and after about a minute it was pretty obvious that I was going to have to make the best of the situation and give her some attention, then she'd get bored by my lack of people skills and fuck right off. But, like all the best buddy movies, we started having a laugh despite my initial want to throw her out the window. We then sat through four complete episodes of The Masque of Mandragora, a 1976 Tom Baker story, together sharing a pair of earphones. She asked questions the whole way through it and filled me in with all the details of the programme that I'd got wrong (apparently everything) and she was, it has to be said, adorably funny. She was utterly engrossed by the Doctor Who story. She got excited by all the running around in corridors, she got upset at the sight of Tim Piggott-Smith ending up in a dungeon, she was scared by the baddies' masks and she actually gasped at the TARDIS dematerialising. I was jealous of her because, as much as I love Doctor Who, it never really makes me do all that. It was pretty obvious that the two of us were entertaining most people around us (except her dad) with our conversation so I didn't mind that she talked the whole way through Doctor Who, or kept holding on to my arm, or wiped her nose on my sleeve (twice) or the fact the she was, I presume, Down's Syndrome. See? I told you this was a fluffy blog. After Doctor Who she still wanted to see more of the computer so I showed her all my pictures of Jerk. There are hundreds of pictures of Jerk on my laptop so I decided to tell her that they were actually all pictures of different dogs that I own, they just look alike. I made up names for the dogs and it became clear to her pretty quickly what I was doing and she started laughing very loudly which made everyone else laugh (except her dad). After a while my imagination ran dry so I started naming the Jerks after friends of mine. It made me giggle a lot to hear a four year old girl say "Can I see John Voce again?" Probably the only female ever to say that. She got hungry and asked her mum for some crisps. She was given a bag of Tayto Cheese & Onion. I went giddy at the sight of them, they're my favourite crisps, they're from Northern Ireland and they're pretty hard to find outside of Ulster. I told her how much I liked them and, although the greedy bitch didn't offer me any, I showed her a photo from my laptop of me and Mr. Tayto. She got really excited that I knew him and made sure that I promised to tell him that Ava really likes him. That's her name, by the way. She and her parents got off at Stevenage and when they were leaving it was all smiles, waves and even hugs from everyone (except her dad) and the train just felt all lovely and mushy from having this fun, funny and very outgoing child on it. Nice.
I'm a bit stupid when it comes to people with Down's Syndrome or any form of special needsness and, because I'm stupid, having a laugh for 2 hours and forty-five minutes on a train with Ava is probably still not going to change that. It's a shame that I'm an idiot because maybe I'd have more fun if I wasn't. Anyway, all the very best to Ava and her family, even her dad. Don't know why he was so grumpy the entire journey. Just because she kept calling me dad the whole time.
Just in case you think I'm all fluffy and lovely now you can rest assured that I'm not. I got back to London, walked to the tube, lemmings bumping into me constantly, people playing loud music on the tube, posters for the latest Peter Kay DVD up and no fucking trains to Ladywell for over an hour and I just thought, well, the worlds only 99.99999999999999999% full of complete and utter cuntshits.
I should have kept this blog until Christmas. Can you re-read this on Christmas day with James Stewart's voice in your head?