So, anyway, there I was on the tube minding my own business, playing Monopoly on my iPod and listening to The Trap Sodcast. iPod's are great when travelling around the UK. You can just almost hide inside yourself so that screaming children, loud fucks on their phones and girls in wheelchairs listening to their awful taste in music can be pushed out and never penetrate your little Me Dome. At least, that's my theory. It never works of course. You can still see these shits on the train, even if it's just out of the corner of your eye, and you can still smell them. People normally smell bad.
I was very much enjoying the game and the podcast (if you don't subscribe to The Trap Sodcast then you are an awful twat, if you don't subscribe to The Trap Sodcast but subscribe to Sick & Wrong then you are a stupid cunt. Those are the rules) but soon someone's smell would ruin everything. If there's one thing I hate (and there isn't) it's the smell of nail varnish. It's sharp and petrolly and just fills your head with a nauseous funk. People who regularly use nail varnish know this. They must do. But that doesn't stop the pig ignorant fuckwits from painting their nails on trains and sharing their stench with us.
As always, I sat patiently ignoring what was going on. I'm sure she hasn't realised what she's doing and she'll finish soon. It's no big deal anyway.
Oh, no. Hang on. That didn't happen. No. I sat there boiling my blood in fiery fury figuring out how to drag her heart out of her right eye socket without any of the other passengers seeing me murdering her.
The thoughtless bastard then took a break from her nails to hold the little bottle of varnish out of the way of her nose and closer to mine. Thanks, cunt. It was then that I discovered it wasn't nail varnish but nail varnish remover. Did she really need to remove her old, chipped nail varnish right now? She couldn't wait until, I don't know, she got fucking home? I then noticed a man opposite me looking at the thoughtless woman beside me. He looked disgusted. I'm glad it's not just me that finds that smell horrible. It is horrible. It was time to do something. If I speak to her it will be my fourth fight with a stranger in about two weeks. My luck is running out. I'm getting closer and closer to being stabbed all the time. But....it's still the RIGHT thing to do. She is rude. It should be pointed out and I can do that in a mature, rational and reasonable way.
I thought for a second and rehearsed my opening gambit to her. "Excuse me. Would you mind very much not using your nail varnish remover just now, please? The smells a bit strong. That OK?". She would realise her error, apologise and smile. After she put the lid back on her little bottle I would smile back to show that no harm was done and all was well. We are adults after all. Yes, that's exactly how it would pan out. I turned to her and almost started my opening gambit.
It was then that I saw that she wasn't removing her nail varnish with nail varnish remover. She was sniffing nail varnish remover. My opening gambit changed.
"What are you doing?", I said. Terrified.
"Fuck off" was the reply.
Ah, the old fuck off, is it? Yes, well, it's certainly got me out of a scrape or two myself, you know. No matter. I'll try again.
"Sorry but do you have to do that here?", I pathetically reasoned.
"It's none of your business"
That's not strictly true, of course. If someone's smell is making you feel like puking up your blood then it is definitely YOUR business. But....well...I was scared now. I didn't really know what to do. She's fine sniffing something that can surely only get you a little bit high while on a train full of people watching. What morals can I give her that will make her see that she's overstepped a mark in society? Oh, yes, I can have a go at kids, cripples and loud people generally on trains, but someone who just doesn't give a fuck? That's tough.
I once asked a woman to stop smoking while on the DLR about four years ago. No-one else spoke to her or pointed out how rude she had been so again it was my job (you fucking cowards) and when I pointed out that the DLR is a non-smoking train she just stared at me and continued to smoke. When the train came to her stop she stood at the door right beside me, blew smoke in my face and got off. I quickly pulled out my foot, she tripped and landed flat on her face. People, cowardly people, on the train laughed. I realise that I had just assaulted a woman but what I felt most horrible about was the fact that people just don't give a fuck about what is going on around them and rely on other people to sort it out. You don't smoke on trains but someone is. Well, I'm not going to say anything, it's none of my business. Then we all sit there and do fuck all. We end up not giving a fuck about people who don't give a fuck.
Makes you happy to be alive, eh?
I looked over at the man opposite me and he gave me a "Whattaya gonna do?" look. I'm doing nothing. No-one else seems to care and she was beyond giving a fuck about herself. Back to Monopoly and The Trap and pretending there's no bad smell on the train.
She got up to leave at the same time the man opposite me did. They were standing together at the doors waiting for the train to stop. Surely he would say something. He saw what she was doing, it obviously upset him, he'll say something. Someone who GIVES A FUCK will say something, right?
He said that her boots were amazing. They even started laughing together. I switched off my iPod to check what was going on but by this time they had stepped off the train. All I heard was him saying "I'm going to a bar near here...."
He's right, of course. If you have a complaint with someone's behaviour on a train, telling them that will almost certainly get you nowhere. But you can at least try to fuck them.
I hope we've all learned something from this.