I've been pretty lucky this year, gig-wise. I'm working in London a lot more so that has cut down my travelling a lot which is great because the worst part of being a stand-up comedian is being away from home so much. But working in London has it's draw backs too. Late night trains are the natural homes for wankers.
This weekend I played in Cambridge and St. Albans. They're not in London, I know, but at least I was able to get home each night. After Cambridge I was given a lift to my house by Brett Goldstein, an excellent comedian and extremely good company too. The Cambridge night was easy. Gig over. Get in car. Drive home. Easy. Last night in St. Albans wasn't so straight forward. I had to get the train to London, the tube to London Bridge and another train to Lewisham. All three were rammed solid with cunts of the highest order.
The train to London was delayed due to the train company knowing fully well that that would annoy me. Then when it arrived it was delayed further. We sat there for 5 minutes while a man was dragged out of the carriage I was sitting in. He had pissed in the carriage. He kept protesting that it was an accident but how you accidentally get your cock out and piss is beyond me and the staff of First Capital Connect were pretty sceptical too. Perhaps the heavily tattooed man wanted to jot down a little reminder for himself but he didn't have any paper so, as his arms and hands already had little pictures on them, he did what anyone would do; he got his cock out to write on it. Perhaps the note was "Must fix that running tap by the waterfall"? That would be enough to set anyone off. He eventually got off the train but only after a lot of people started shouting at him. The train doors closed and we were finally on our way. Strangely, a woman seated near me said to her friend "They didn't need to kick him off. So what if he pissed?" What an open-minded, forgiving and horrible woman she is.
I've started reading The Damned United. It's a fantastic book that the entire world doesn't want me to read. Every time I open it someone decides that they want to talk to me. This train journey was no exception. I sat next to a man who was reading a book with a dragon and a sword on the cover. He looked like a half-melted ice cream cone and his teeth were all the colours of a very depressed rainbow. He asked how my book was. My first instinct was to kill him but I managed a very stern "It's good" and continued reading. That interested him, he fucking told me, because he had read that fella's book about the old Miner's Strike and it was rotten. This was of no interest to me whatsoever. Who the fuck interrupts someone reading a book to tell them that they don't like the author? Blobby Greyteeth, that's who. I immediately returned to reading and he sarcastically said "Oh. Well. I'll let you get back to your book then" as if I had been the rude, interrupting cunt. I said "Thanks. And let me know how it all works out for the dragon". Prick.
Luckily, the train journey was brief. I was in London in 20 minutes and I ran to the tube. The tube is going to be very crowded and very, very drunk. It'll be horrible. I'll miss Blobby Breyteeth once I get on here. The tube train pulled up and I couldn't believe my luck. There was a practically empty tube carriage. FUCKING BRILLIANT. There were only about 20 people on there and they looked like they were all getting off. FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC. I was so happy and excited. For the first time in my life something nearly good had happened. I'll be in a nice, quiet tube carriage late at night and I'll be able to read my book. Bliss. I stood to one side to let the people off. I was happy to do so. I'm getting a seat on a late night tube. I'm happy to do anything. The people exited and I entered my very own tube train carriage. Not a person on it. No-one. Brilliant. Brilliant but odd. I mean, why wouldn't anyone want to....and that's when the smell of vomit said "HIYA!".
I just managed to avoid standing in puke ocean and continued my journey in another carriage. This was much more traditional. Absolutely full of cunts who couldn't talk, they could only shout or sing. There was no point in getting my book out. I find it hard to concentrate on text when 20 men are falling over and singing "That's Not My Name" at the same time.
Then I was off the tube and on to the final part of my journey. London Bridge to Lewisham. Thank God it's nearly over. It wasn't the last train I was getting so there was still a chance that it wouldn't be full. I might get a seat and if I get a seat then I can read and pretend that none of this train shit is happening to me. The train pulled up and my hopes went down. It was rammed. I was "lucky" to get on. Still, it wasn't all bad. At least some enterprising youths, sitting near where I was squashed up against a window, had come up with the bright idea of lifting out the bins, emptying them on the floor and drumming loudly with them. It was like all my childhood 12th of July's had come back to scream at me. It was a joy to listen to for half a fucking hour.
This is what happens in the world of the stand-up comedian. A funny thing happens on our way to the theatre but this is the shit we put up with on the way back. Ironically, I'm about to leave to spend the day in St. Albans. Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo looking forward to the train home.