I’m easy. That’s the best way to describe me. I’m easily confused, I’m easily riled, I’m easily pleased and I’m easily embarrassed. Sometimes all of these happen at the same time, like recently when I was on a train to Manchester and I saw a man clipping his nails. Why would he think that that was OK to do in public, the ignorant, disgusting idiot? Then I laughed out loud when he realised that bits of his fingernails had been landing in his houmous, which made me go red in the face when he gave me a dirty look.
Trains are embarrassing places anyway. I’m always going red on them and not always with anger. I missed my stop but pretend I haven’t, my phone going in and out of signal so I have to repeat “Hello?” over and over again, being 43 and reading Doctor Who Magazine. Yes, it’s very rare that I’m not embarrassed while on a train. I remember once being really hot in a stuffy carriage so I thought I‘d open my bottle of water. It felt really good. How clever of me to have bought it before getting on board. It tasted so cool and refreshing and I was halfway through the 1 litre bottle when I thought to myself “Hang on. I didn’t buy a bottle of water”. The man beside me was furious and I went red. Again.
I’m guaranteed to go beetroot when the ticket inspector comes round. I bought my ticket and I KNOW it’s in my wallet but as soon as I see the ticker inspector I immediately become convinced that my ticket is lost or invalid or I’m on the wrong train. “You want to go to Birmingham? But this is the train to Imaginaryland. You’re going in the opposite direction and the next stop is 17 hours away. You massive twat”. On my way back from Manchester, the ticket inspector appeared and I should have got more embarrassed than I’ve ever felt in my life but luckily something so weird happened at the same time that somehow it all seemed OK.
There I was in First Class, relaxing back with a good film and having a perfectly nice time. I watched The Killing of Sister George. I’d never seen it before. I’d always heard good things about it and I knew it was definitely one of those films that I had to see before I saw Bridesmaids (yes, I am still going on about that). I didn’t even know what it was about. Turns out, it’s about lesbians. Good old fashioned BRITISH lesbians from the 60’s. Women who were simply flatmates. Filthy, dirty, hated-by-God flatmates. Women who would drink beer and hang out with other women and maybe, I’M JUST SAYING MAYBE, dance with them. There was certainly none of that modern lesbianism going on. No touching, no talking about it and DEFINITELY no glamorous lesbian power-couples. It’s a pretty good film about, among other things, the lack of acceptance of homosexuals and Beryl Reid is utterly fantastic in it. It’s a two hour long film with no graphic sex scenes in it whatsoever. Well, not until the last 10 minutes. Guess when the ticket inspector turned up?
“Tickets, please” is what I heard when Coral Browne began touching Susannah York’s vagina. I quickly reached for my wallet. IT WASN’T THERE. The ticket inspector squinted as Susannah York started undressing. The wallet must be in my coat pocket. WHERE IS MY COAT POCKET?? Why did I put my coat in the overhead rack? I never do that. Susannah revealed her breasts while I stood up to get my coat and considered pressing pause. NO, MICHAEL! Don’t press pause. It’ll just pause on a shot of Susannah writhing. Just concentrate. Get the ticket and he’ll go away and you can get back to your porn. IT ISN’T PORN! It’s an arthouse film from the 60’s. Aw, shit. Does he think I’m watching porn? He does. He thinks that, because I’ve paid extra to sit in First Class, I feel it’s my right to masturbate as and when I feel like it. Why isn’t my wallet in my coat pocket? Try the inside pocket. Oh, for God’s sake. Coral is kissing Susannah’s breasts now and all that’s in my pocket are loads of Starburst wrappers. Just switch the laptop off. NO, MICHAEL! If you do that then he’ll KNOW you’re watching porn. The wallet must be in my bag. Coral’s hand moves all the way down Susannah’s body again. Susannah’s body rises and arches as Coral’s fingers slide inside her. I FOUND IT! It was in my bag! Susannah is starting to come. The ticket isn’t in here! What? I always keep my ticket in my wallet. Coral touches Susannah more firmly while Susannah’s moans get louder. Where is my ticket and where the hell is Beryl Reid? No one would think I was watching porn if Beryl Reid was in it. Come on, Beryl, you bastard. HELP ME! Susannah comes and Coral’s face looks turned on and powerful. HERE IT IS! Of course! I always keep my ticket under my laptop these days so that I don’t have that embarrassing where’s-my-ticket fumble when the ticket inspector turns up. Susannah holds on to Coral’s wrist firmly between her legs as she comes down from orgasm. There you go. There’s my ticket. Oh, and look. There’s Beryl Reid.
That lasted three long and awkward minutes. But I wasn’t really that embarrassed. The ticket inspector was but I wasn’t. How could I be? I mean the whole thing was completely weird. Not the lesbian sex scene playing publicly on a train carriage, that wasn’t weird at all. What was weird was the fact that, during all of this, Matthew Horne, the actor from Gavin and Stacey and Horne & Corden, was fast asleep at my feet. That’s why I pay the extra to go First Class. You can watch Susannah York coming while a TV celebrity is curled up at your feet like a dog. I don’t know how you poor people do it.
I’m back, baby. I haven’t blogged in about 7 weeks but expect more. Isn’t it good to know that stupid things still happen to me on trains? I’ve missed you.