Trains, Planes and Automobiles (this blog contains no planes)

Fat Tuesday Edinburgh previews start tonight. This is good for several reasons. The biggest and most selfish reason however, is that if there are two acts doing an hour each, I don’t really have to do anything and can just sit and watch them. Brilliant. Its like a lazy promoter/booker/compere’s job. I don’t think I could handle doing much in the ways of entertainment today. Yesterday seemed to overload it and now its become somewhat lethargic and unhelpful. I have fed it two breakfasts of eggs on toast followed by a bowl of Shreddies, which should be enough energy to give it enough brainpower to do nuclear physics. Instead it rewarded me by making my put a teaspoon in the dustbin and a teabag in the dishwasher. Thats not playing nice. The more observant of you may have noticed I used the term ‘dishwasher’ there. No, we don’t have someone that we employ to wash dishes and get teabagged, instead we have joined the rest of the future and got a dishwasher. Now I have even less responsible things to do during the day and this does not help further my brain’s ability. I’m scared that the rest of day will contain other stupid mishaps such as putting the cat in the laundry basket and all our clothes out of the catflap.

Yesterday was a day of madness. I don’t usually mind Mondays. People often complain that Monday is the worst day, but then they have clearly forgotten about Doomsday. My afternoon consisted of working on stuff I can’t talk about yet. Needless to say it involved a lot of children shouting at me, and this is definitely part of the cause of brain damage. Kids have an unnatural ability to make sounds of such loud and high frequencies that I think it causes blood vessells in the ears and head to burst leaving you feeling fazed all day long. God knows how parents do it, although it would explain why some appear to have that zombified dead look about them all the time. When I have children I am going to wear earplugs all the time to stop this from happening to me. Yes it does mean I wont hear anything my kids will say at all and perhaps they wont ever get fed, but in the long term its for the best.

After kidmania I raced and caught the train to Brighton. I rarely get trains due to having a car and I was quite looking forward to the change in transport for the day. It was quickly proven that I should have trekked home just to get my car as getting the train there was as comfortable as doing a long distance journey in a slowly roasting tin can full of other people’s body odours. The Gatwick Express train (which was my preferred train of choice) boasts of its speediness in getting to said airport, and because of this charges more for ticket price. What it makes up for in speed it completely lacks in any kind of air conditioning or ventilation and while the Gatwick bound passengers arrived at there in super quick time they also looked and smelt as though they had sprinted the entire distance. I sat through it and arrived in Brighton a less than cleanly man. the journey was only made better by the incident involving the man sitting in front of me. The ticket inspector arrived and asked to see his ticket. When he produced it, the ticket lady realised it was the wrong ticket entirely. He decided to feign confusement and pretend it was the right ticket when it really wasnt. I admired his bare faced ability to lie, despite having hard evidence against him. The ticket inspector remained very calm and just kept telling him how wrong he was, but he wouldnt back down and refused to pay. She said she was calling the train police, but there weren’t any onboard so she gave up and the man legged it at Gatwick. Champion of the system.

To develop my rather unsavoury state I searched high and low among Brighton’s lovely eateries and opted instead for a Subway sandwich. Until Subway arrived I did not realise it was possible to make a sandwich trashy, but there is something I like about knowing that while eating merely bread, salad and cheese I am probably lowering my life expectancy. The Veggie Delight is an odd option as well. It costs only 40p less than some of the various meat options, but only contains all the stuff you get in the meat options for free. That’s not really to the delight of a veggie. What would be a delight would be if it only cost about 60p or possibly even better, if they charged all the other customers £5 for each bit of lettuce. I scoffed my sandwich while walking to the venue successfully covering my face in mayonnaise and spilling tiny bits of greenery on the floors of clean Brighton. By the time I arrived at the gig I looked as though I had been running from an angry deli owner and he’d caught me and hurt with selected homemade items from his shop.

The gig, as always was great. It was my 5th preview and its nearly in my head now. Once again there are still bits that needed work, and I talked through some of it far too speedily. The ending is still a mish-mosh too, which is a shame, as thats the bit thats important. Its a shame that unlike some music tracks I can’t just fade the ending of the show out. That would make it a lot easier. I tried out one new bit which was asking the audience to write their best achievement so far and what they would like to achieve on a bit of paper. This was for me to then talk about a bit and work into the show. It wasn’t all there, but it seemed to go well. One woman in particular had two things she wanted to achieve in her life which were to 1) get her own bed and 2) to have a long relationship. The second one was a little bit sad but I managed to make a joke about the 2nd one being very much related to the 1st.

After the show Alison (fellow comedian and for last night, token audience member) very kindly drove me to Brighton station and my second leg of understanding why automobiles are better, began. Firstly I waited 25 minutes for the last train into London. This last train conveniently didn’t get into London in time for the tubes, or go to Victoria, the station that I had travelled to Brighton from. It seemed to run on its own late night rules that meant it didn’t adhere to any train pattern from earlier that day and stopped at hundreds of tiny insignificant stops that no one got on or off at. Pointless, really bloody pointless. It went on and on, taking well over an hour before we even entered the outskirts of London. A young tourist man came up to me at one point and asked why the train had still not go to its destination and why it was not stopping very often. I replied rather dryly with ‘because its going to hell.’ His very scared face reminded me that the foreign language barrier probably didn’t allow him to understand my sarcasm so I quickly pretended I hadn’t said any such thing and just told him English trains were shit and that was the generally accepted view of everyone in England. He still looked scared and walked all the way to another carriage. An hour and a half later, we arrived at London Bridge where using a combination of iPhone maps and people’s help on Twitter, I found the right bus to get back to near-ish where I live. It only arrived at 25 minutes past the hour which meant a 15 minute wait. You know what time my car arrives past the hour? At ‘allthetime’ o clock. God I missed my car. Its little happy four wheels, its lack of other people, and its polluting of the world. I started to have images of it roaring around the corner like a shit Knight Rider, or better Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, beeping away with joy at seeing me. Of course it would have got fined for using the horn after 10pm but it wouldn’t have mattered. Sadly my illusions where punctured when a man asked me for a light. I said I didn’t have one and told him that despite what he thought lighting a cigarette would not make the bus arrive quicker. He gave me odd looks and moved away. I had become the nighttime transport weirdo.

One long bus journey, one scary walk through Holloway dodging an overturned open tin of baked beans and sausages and a final scary walk past the scary park bit, and the scary estate bit and I was finally home. When I was 18 I wouldn’t have thought twice about that journey. I would have strolled along like nobody’s business and ignored all manner of night time nasty. Not that there were any nighttime nasties out last night, but my brain imagined loads. As far as I was concerned it was like that scene in HItchcock’s ‘The Birds’ just with hoodies on top of every building, car and telephone pole. They wouldn’t have balanced on the telephone poles very well and had they tried to leap off them to attack me, they’d have broken something but imagination does not care for logic. Still I made it home in the end and I didn’t die, which are two of my favourite outcomes. Fat Tuesday tonight is only nearby but I may drive. I can’t take the risk.