Monday, March 20, 2006

Sick Train

A few weeks ago I got drunk with a mate in London and we then caught the last train home at some time after midnight. The train was full of people in various stages of intoxication, including one man who felt the pressing need to vomit onto the floor causing most of the people in our carriage to rapidly move along to the next carriage, which presumably didn’t smell of puke.

read moreHaving recently had a really bad vomiting bug, I felt surprisingly indifferent to sitting in a carriage that smelt of sick. I suppose I’m still in that grace period after extreme illness where I feel that as long as I’m not the one throwing up, all is right in the world. My mate didn’t have a problem with it either. I don’t know why. I didn’t ask him.

So we were sitting there, my mate and I, in a carriage that stank of puke, when the train stopped at another station and a new fella got into our carriage, sitting opposite us. He frowned and sniffed as soon as he sat down and we volunteered the information that someone had indeed thrown up. We pointed along the carriage to the puddle.

This new man then volunteered the information that he was busting for a piss. He’d tried to go at the last station but there just wasn’t time.

“You could piss on the sick.” said my mate, with drunkard’s logic.

“Can I?” said the man “Can I piss on the sick?” he asked us with an earnestness that was quite endearing, as if we owned the carriage and could indeed grant him permission. He also said it without any trace of humour whatsoever.

This struck us as quite the funniest thing we had heard in a long time.

We laughed and pointed out that we didn’t own the carriage, it was a free world, and if he wanted to piss on the sick, who were we to stop him?

I then wondered what would happen if he did piss on the sick. Would it be noticed by whatever poor sod had the job of cleaning it up in the morning?

“’Ere, Mavis. I think someone’s pissed on this sick.”

We laughed and repeated the phrase “Can I piss on the sick?” so many times over the next hour that it ceased to have any meaning, which in itself became funny. Making our stumbling walk home from the train station through sub zero temperatures much more manageable.

And for those of you who hate loose ends and were wondering;

In the end, he didn’t.