It is 1.25am.
Well, not where you are.
I mean it is 1.25am when I am writing this, please do not use this post as a timekeeping device, it is even less chance of being correct than a stopped clock.
The point is, it is 1.26am and I am not sitting in a waiting room at Watford Junction train station with an inebriated dribbling teen sleeping through the horrible rhythm of the music traveling from his headphones, and a tourist who has arrived 8 hours too early for the connecting train to the Harry Potter Studio tour.
This is a relief. Virgin Trains timed their lateness for my connection as perfectly as usual, the last few seconds of 12.58am. This usually means I can see the doors close on platform 4 and watch the suited drunks drift off to Leighton Buzzard, allowing me to let out the worst of expletives and nearly kick a solid metal thing before sharply arcing my foot to the right and turning it into a lazy ballet move or an outtake from Breakdance 2: Electric Boogaloo.
Sometimes the Virgin train sneakily nearly arrives on time, then stops 17 feet from the platform. This gives the added frisson of watching your train arrive and depart, while you scream at it through glass like the final frame of horror movie where you know the sole survivor will now be incarcerated in the mad scientist’s outback warehouse lair for the rest of eternity. But Branson, who I know has sent specific instructions to inconvenience me and only me (though this has had a knock on effect of inconveniencing everyone else everywhere on any Virgin train due to a poor business plan), didn’t count on London Midland running a tiny bit late. Ha ha, one in the eye to you Branson.
And the London Midland train had that entertaining sight of suited men making up alibis for clearly being very late home and all practising their illusion of sanity look. For some, it seems the illusion that Polo mints will magic away all traces of fags and booze will never go away.
So I am spending the entirety of this hour enjoying not being in a waiting room in Watford. Everything I do has the additional refrain of, “and I am not at Watford Junction watching drool ooze from the open mouth of the twitching teenager”. I just ate some Edam, and how delicious it tasted knowing that this was sating my hunger and whatsmore it was sating it not at Watford Junction.
In the background there is some programme about shopping or being drunk or what young people do on holiday, and I don’t mind, because I am not watching it at Watford Junction. Actually, I am not watching, it’s more a fleeting glance. (ah hah, and now I have found out that BBC4 is showing Ever Decreasing Circles, and so hurrah for Richard Briers). Tonight is a night I will always remember, because it is a night that had less time than I imagined in Watford Junction. Next time I am stuck at Watford Junction, I will fondly reminisce about that night, that very special night, when I wasn’t.
(As a footnote – thank you Birmingham audience. It might have been a lower number than I have played to for a while, but that means the showing off gets even more Shakespearian…or noisy.)
and so the tour goes on – Chorley, Maidenhead, Lowry Salford, Leeds City Varieties, London Bloomsbury, come along, I am having fun. Details HERE
plus regular club nights in London, Brighton and Northampton – Mark Steel is joining us at Comedy Cafe this tuesday.