Sometimes, when one is off indulging in a noxious beverage at some far-flung public house one loses all track of time. One becomes utterly consumed by the nonsense speak flowing freely from one’s mouth-hole, so entirely captivated by the bizarre facts pouring forth from the mouth-holes of our companions. And then it happens. The moment of reckoning.
We look at our watches. “Good GOD!” We exclaim, leaping to our feet, spraying the beer-sodden carpet in peanuts as we gesticulate wildly at our wrists. “We are going to miss the last TUBE!”
Immediately our companions are aware of the seriousness of the situation. Their faces drop; they are crestfallen. They know what troubles we face. They’ll enjoy themselves no longer tonight.
If we had brought athletic attire we’d don it at this point; we are about to embark on some Mo Farah shit.
Within moments we are in despair, blindly dashing in the general direction of some sort of station, sweat pouring forth from our drunken faces as we half-heartedly attempt to avoid the crowds that are insensitively BLOCKING OUR PATH.
Some time later we arrive. Now we are hurling ourselves down staircases with wild abandon. In our heads we are looking like stunt doubles, perfectly recreating scenes from Hollywood blockbusters as we fly down empty escalators with appalling disregard for ALL OUR BONES. Alas, in real life we are looking more like this guy.
Sometimes the ordeal stops here. Sometimes the train is gone, leaving naught but an empty, mocking platform to comfort us. But sometimes we succeed! The train is still here!
We are hysterical with delight.
The doors close. We realise we’ve made a mistake.
We are surrounded by all manner of lunatics and nitwits. In one corner a vomit-soaked man clings to the door, muttering incoherently as he battles to stay upright.
A look to the left reveals a couple getting amorous in full view of our innocent eyeballs. We try not to notice, but the damage is done. We cannot un-see.
And then we accidentally make eye contact with a drunken suit; he is lounging on the seats like he owns this train, his tie reluctantly clinging onto his damp, stubbly neck.
“It’s my BURRFFDAY!” He squawks at us.
We try to ignore it. We hope it will go away. Sadly this only encourages suit. Before we know it we are engaged in conversation. Shit.
SUDDENLY an odour. A hideous odour, erupting in the carriage, declaring its arrival. What can this be, we wonder, miserably looking about to establish the cause of the latest assault on our senses.
Oh good. Someone’s eating what looks like deep-fried chicken skulls.
We stare a bit more. Grubby mitts are desperately clawing at a lard-soaked paper bag. Handfuls of breaded corpse are being flung into an inebriated gob. Munching noises.
We are going to be sick.
Was it all worth it, this last tube home? The answer, I think you’ll agree, is…