Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Prelude to a Trip

Start the morning early. Set your alarm for five and leap out of bed five minutes before it is set to go off. Blearily whip on your only clean t-shirt, only to discover that it is actually your only clean pair of trousers (it's the fact that there's nowhere to put your head that gives it away.) Frantically frisk through your clothes for a t-shirt (travelling half-naked is not recommended unless there are several other nudists on your trip). When you have put on the only remaining almost-not-dirty t-shirt in your collection, leap from your room with the grace of a gazelle. Don't forget to open the door when you do this; otherwise you may have a head-on collision with a solid object.
You are now ready for action: spring towards the nearest cupboard, and make yourself a bowl of cereal!!! Don't worry if there is no milk. This is not the sort of day to be worrying about minor things like that. The cereal's probably gone off, anyway. Dump the cereal in the nearest bin or receptacle, and head for your room again to pack.

The theory about packing clothes is simple.

Make sure you pack: one pair of socks, one pair of pants and underpants, and one shirt. Keep on packing until it looks like you have enough, or alternatively, you run out of clean clothes - probably the latter.

Being simple, this theory is even more simple to forget. Be creative with your clothes - for instance, throw in odd numbers of socks instead of the usual pair. (And if your socks are anything like mine, they will be very odd, indeed.) Furthermore, be ready to challenge conventional terminology. Who decided to call them a 'pair' of trousers? Considering what's happened to the legs of your trousers, this seems rather unrealistic. Spare 'Singlets', on the other hand, can be separated into two or more separate items of clothing, thereby making them 'Doublets' or 'Triplets'.
And 'underpants' - every sane person knows that 'underpants', so called, can be put to many uses, including:

- Novelty head-wear!
- Excellent substitute handkerchiefs!
- A cunningly disguised t-shirt!

Especially after a few drinks.
After you have crammed all these clothes into your bag with desperate efficiency, discover that you have several hours left until your train leaves.
It is at this point that you descend into a dreamlike state and feel as if you are sitting down, objectively observing somebody as they move about the room, performing everyday tasks:

The Subject moved from the kitchen to the loungeroom. He sat down for several seconds. He then sprang up again. He repeated this motion several times over. He then began to walk from one end of the room to the other, swinging his hands in front of his body. He tilted his head forward and then nodded it several times before returning to the couch and sitting down. He sat down for several seconds ...

Don't worry, you're not going mad. All the adrenaline has simply gone to your head, and is causing you to have mild hallucinations.
By the time you return to yourself, you will realise that you are running late for what is possibly the last tram. Gather up your books and bags and items and rush from the house, not remembering to close all the windows and lock and double bolt the door and close the gate behind you. You will be surprised how quick you can run while carrying several large and heavy bags.
It is at this point that you realise that you have forgotten to pack something Very Small but Extremely Important, and it is imperative that you return to the house, open the gate, double unlock the double bolts on your door, and rush into your room to retrieve whatever item it is that you have left there before rushing from the house to discover that you have just missed the tram.
Sit around impatiently before catching the next tram. When you finally arrive at the train station, realise that the train has not even arrived yet, and that you are standing at the end of a rather long queue of very fat people, and that you will probably be the last to find your seat.


I could go on and dwell on the train journey: but I find that it is probably best to focus on the positive things in life, and not the negative. It is probably wise to repress all the memories of the squealing children and the fat old man who sits next to you and, every minute, makes compulsive noises out of the side of his mouth, that smell oddly like farting (is THAT why his wife never looks in his direction)?
What matters is that you are on your way, and that, at some point between twelve hours and eternity, you will finally arrive at your destination, if nothing goes wrong. Congratulations!


Shelley said...

Train ride from Sydney to Point Clare - start point Strathfield [aka mistake #2]. Retarded man [literally] sitting behind, singing christmas carols, reciting the story of his life [higlights: parental abuse, droppings on head], also reciting medication and wanting to show as well as tell, fortunately he heads for the doors several stops before his journey ends at Woy Woy [yeah, funny that]. There is also the charmer across the aisle - mullet [of course], unicorn tattoo [of course], goon bag [of course], who kindly and staggeringly helps your mother with her luggage. His journey continues [probably to Niagara Park] and you are very thankful. Being a trip to the coast there are assorted bogans with their inbred children most of whom are irritating but who don't stand out so much as the man who ate plastic. You hide behind your headphones...
This Christmas thing is great fun. Let's do it again in ten years time.

The Aunt said...

The fat old man with the farting noise problem! He's the one who sits behind me at the cinema! Every time!

Does he come over from Australia especially to do it, or have they cloned him off so every country has one?

Shelley said...

They've cloned him off so every movie theatre, every train, and every bus in the world has at least two. One for everyday use and a spare in case the first gets a puncture.

Email: timhtrain - at -

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