Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Heathrow Sexpress

OK, so this entry isn't actually about sex, but while I have your attention, you may as well go ahead and read it... it's very interesting... go on, read it, will you? Thanks.

So... a couple of days ago I extended an invitation to TYD to come and visit me over one night and the following day. Just a usual visitation - even somewhat longer than what we've been used to recently, so I was looking forward to it. Due to annoying gamily-related mix-ups we had to meet a little later than planned, ergo: I was headed towards London Paddington with the aim to relax avec a cup of Joe while waiting for my other half. Not exactly taxing. However, while heading down the stairs towards the main station, my bladder got the better of me, and I decided that I really needed to go to the toilet.

I resent paying 30p for the toilet (ta Boris). "Easy," I thought, "I'll just hop on a train and use one. Free." I've done that a few times beforehand, anyway. I saw that the platform next to me had a train leaving in 30 minutes, so I thought that was enough time. Well, you can see where this is going, can't you?

Got onto the train, and went to exploit the toilets, then after I'd finished, I stepped out of the toilet... and my heart stopped. The train had started moving.

I'd got on the wrong train.

I wasn't even supposed to be on a train.

I asked the shocked-looking couple with a baby where the train was going. Heathrow Airport, they assured me. This was the Heathrow Express. Fine, that's the train I was going to use in any case... but it had started going and, according to the couple, it was going all the way there without stopping.

"NO! NO! NO!" I yelled, hammering my fist against the door. I powered down the carriages, hoping to meet a conductor or something, maybe someone able to stop the train while we were still at the station. "DAMN, DAMN, DAMN, DAMN!" I ran all the way to the driver's door and even hammered on it before I noticed that it was an alarmed door and therefore probably led not to the driver but to another section of the train or the engine room or something.

I'm not very good in panic situations. Well, not my own. Other people's, yes.

OK, by this time I knew I wasn't going to be at Paddington to pick up TD, and that was what I feared most right then and there. The kindly passenger who picked me up asked if my problem was with trains - and that couldn't be further from the truth, I love travelling... just not travelling which takes me far away from where I was meant to be. I was in no mood to enjoy the view and I didn't want to call TD because it would be unlikely to make her laugh much.

Eventually a conductor came 'round, at which point three passengers told her simultaneously about my predicament (it was clear that I was in a predicament, as I was white and shaking. As if I wasn't pale enough.) - I'd neglected to tell them that I wanted to use the Heathrow Express' toilets; I told them that I'd got on the wrong train, which was true enough. I certainly wasn't where I wanted to be, anyway.

15 minutes passed and we pulled into a futuristic tunnel miles away from where I was supposed to be. The kindly passengers and politely baffled conductor actually showed me the way to the platform from where the next train to Paddington was departing from. This was the point TD called to tell me that she was there, and I had to admit that I wasn't.
"It's a funny story really," I stammered.
I resigned myself to the fact that I'd be relating the shole tale whenever (if) I ever got back into London, and was ushered back onto the trains - 'no charge' according to the guards - and ready for another 15 minutes in the company of the free BBC News broadcast and weather. Predicting hot, but dull.

I eventually got back to Paddington, and ran around trying to find TD, fearing that she'd got pissed off waiting and had gone back to Oxford (I have irrational fears). She wasn't anywhere to be seen, so I panicked there, too. Eventually, after about three times ringing her, she rang me, and we convened in front of the entrance to the Underground. But I was still a little shaky.

Nevertheless, it'll be an interesting thing to tell my grandchildren. And the pasta bake that I'd made was a nice thing to come home to after all that...


Lisa ann D. said...

Oh, very nice. Glad to see you can handle these things so well! At least you distracted me from the hunger for a bit.

Isabella Snow said...

LOL, poor you!

Anonymous said...

Awww, poor muppet! I know what you mean, it's not nice when you get on the wrong train. I once got on the train from Manchester to Crewe by accident, when what I wanted was the Birmingham train. At least you were still in London though.

Molly Ren said...

Lol! Instead of saying you went to pee on a train, I thought you would say that you would simply pee in an alleyway somewhere, like a real man. But I think the British are too gentlemanly for that. ;)

Innocent Loverboy said...

I've done the alleyway thing once or twice. But when you're in a large train station, there aren't really any of those anywhere...