Picture the scene: it is early evening and I am returning to the big smoke after a lovely weekend in the countryside. There I enjoyed a long walk across fields and hills with my dog-over turnstiles and muddy patches we jumped. I managed to get actual fresh air into my polluted lungs. When I blew my nose there was no darkness, no traces of smog to be found in my Kleenex. I hopped off the train at Marylebone, feeling refreshed and full of joy and happiness.
This delirium lasted for around ten minutes: until I descended into the evil arms of London’s underground hell. I deal with rush hour every single weekday. On a Sunday evening, I do not expect nor do I want to encounter anything even close to the same volume of people. Why, oh why did no one warn me that Manchester United and someone else (white jersey? Who cares?) were to be playing their ghastly game of football.
There were so many people, there were hundreds of tourists, a ton of drunk tourists, a mass of loud, aggressive, drunk tourists. My poor little Delsey suitcase and I weaved our way through the masses. Obviously things natural to us Londoners (walk the right way up the stairs, don’t stand on the left hand side of an escalator like a fucking idiot) are totally foreign to folk like this. We vaulted over a pile of (I’ll hazard a guess here) alcohol-induced puke and onto Platform 5-the platform that was to transport us to the (relative) safety of Kings Cross. Alas, our plan was to be foiled: too many football supporters. Back to Platform 3 we went, the loudspeaker telling us that a train was eagerly awaiting our arrival, again to take us where we needed to go. What the tinny voice didn’t mention was that this train was also full to bursting with moronic drunkards. Noooo. Oh was there leering? Were there cat calls? Yes, yes, yes there were plenty. A policeman chuckled with amusement at my frustrated Viking-style battle cry.
Ironically, in an area of London filled with possibly the highest concentration of men I have ever seen (except for certain parts of Soho), not one single oaf offered to help me carry Delsey up the stairs (any one of the five times would have been a massive help)-they were far too busy staring at/trying to grope my poor aching backside. Too busy gloating to each other. Also, while we are on the subject, it is not ‘your’ team that won. No. You do not own it, nor (clearly) do you play for it so do not have the audacity to claim that your fat, unhelpful, lazy, beer-soaked arse did anything whatsoever to aid in the goals scored, the game won for I assure you it did not. The whacking great amount of money you paid for a season ticket might have been enough to buy a footballer’s wife a new pair of Choos. Feel good about it. And please don’t feel the need to hurry back.