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Blog: Diverting The Train

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Rehearsals for me and Steve's new show 'Hey Hey 16K' reached a MILESTONE last week as we made our first RECORDING of the whole show. Steve likes to have this done so that he can LEARN it and so we spent an enjoyable hour or so rollicking through and, especially, DELIGHTING in the segues. Man, there are a whole lot of dialogue into song SEGUES in this show, and we LIKE them!

After we'd finished THAT we spent 20 minutes or so doing DANCING - there's going to be DANCING in the show too - which was a whole heap of a) fun b) DIZZINESS. Despite all this we still ended up finishing ahead of schedlule so I had high hopes of getting an earlier train home. There's only two trains an hour direct from Tottenham Hale to Stratford but, after the travel disasters trying to get home from our last rehearsal, I thought I'd wait for the next one of THESE rather than try anything CLEVER.

When I got to the station I was alarmed to find that there'd been all SORTS of problems, and that pretty much every train was delayed. My service was only a few minutes behind, however, so I settled in to watch train after train go through to Liverpool Street until, ten minutes before expected, an announcement came over the PA saying that the next train was for Stratford. I was SURPRISED but PLEASED and prepared to head home even earlier than expected.

The board said "Stratford", the announcement said "Stratford" again but when the train came in IT said "LIverpool Street" on the front. I got on and all the signs inside said "Liverpool Street" too so, after my previous experiences, I WORRIED. Other people getting in were unsure so I dashed down the train and found an On Train Assistance Facilitator. "No sir, Liverpool Street" he said, pointing at the internal sign. "Yes, but the announcement said Stratford and that's what it says on the board outside" I replied and, after going round this a couple of times, eventually he looked out of the door and realised I wasn't making it up.

He promised to check and I suggested MAYBE he could make an announcement so that all the other people who'd got on didn't go to the wrong place. People who work in trains always seemed ASTOUNDED when you suggest this sort of thing, and he was no exception, but at least he did seem to be calling someone.

At this point a pompous prat with a lanyard stalked past, and deigned to glance at what was happening. The first chap I'd spoken to WHISPERED something to him and pointed at me so I said "Is this train going to Stratford or Liverpool Street?" and the prat SCOFFED at my IDIOCY. "Liverpool Street!" he said, pointing at the internal signs. I explained about the signs and the announcement and he looked at me as if I'd suggested the plane might FLY. I explained THREE MORE TIMES until eventually he too looked out of the window and saw the sign and then heard an actual announcement on the platform. He insisted it was for Liverpool Street so, again, I suggested he make an announcement himself, you know, for the passengers, and he looked at me as if I'd asked him to stir complimentary tea and coffees with his genitals.

He INSISTED once more that the train was for Liverpool Street so I, and the other nearby passengers, got off and waited once more on the platform. Two minutes later, with the train still there, I heard a prattish voice shout "STRATFORD TRAIN". Looking round I saw our be-lanyarded friend leaning out of a door, looking MIGHTY PEEVED, waving an arm. He might have been gesturing at the train OR at another platform, so I called "Is this the train for Stratford now?" and he replied with a) no eye contact b) a vague gesture c) "STRATFORD TRAIN." He did not look pleased.

I got on AGANE to hear an apology to anyone who was hoping to go to Liverpool Street and final confirmation that we were going to Stratford, then off we headed home. You might be expecting this story to end with the train supervisor AT LEAST coming along to shake me by the hand, more likely making an announcement that I had been awarded Passenger Of The Year for stopping them making a TERRIBLE ERROR but amazingly NOT. Instead I got off and wandered home, where I eventually realised that I may have HIJACKED A TRAIN for my own personal convenience. Who needs PLAUDITS when you can do THAT?

posted 15/12/2014 by MJ Hibbett

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This would make an ace short screenplay.
posted 15/12/2014 by Gareth Williams

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