Thursday, February 18, 2010

Snakes on a train.

Remember how whenever you suggest public transport to people they piss and moan like you're asking them to crucify themselves and not resurrect afterwards? They aren't opposed to public transport as a whole, they're opposed to Perth's brand of public transport/livestock shipment. I haven't really experienced any other public transport systems as consistently as i have Perth's and therefore have absolutely nothing else to compare it to or any solid foundation for my conclusion aside from some loose statistics gathered by myself and shitloads of personal experience. With that said, i can confidently state it as the worst in the world, if not the entire country. It's so bad that asian students fall into comatose as soon as they sit down and the train starts moving.

Unfortunately for me, It's not even the trip itself that i find so offensive. Well, it is, but that's not the only thing. How come when people are complaining about something they go "that's not even the worst thing about it!". If it's the first thing you mentioned and you go on to mention something else about it, shouldn't you list your grievances in order from the ones that upset you the most to the least upsetting? It's like ripping on a restaurant and saying "oh dear, the pasta was so dry but that's not even the worst thing! My wife actually choked on a Ciabatta crust and died".

An essential part of all train rides is the ticket purchasing process. Normally you walk to the ticket machine, insert the correct change and a ticket comes out, granting you access to the second level of the train station and a wealth of new benefits like a metal seat with no empty spots and crying babies. But what if i'm a little off my game one morning? What if i woke up thirty seconds later than usual and carrying an extra 50 cents over the price of my ticket? I'll tell you what! As i'm cautiously and effortlessly sprinting down the steps, dodging homeless people and school kids, i see a 20,000km line at the ticket machine. However, the line isn't full of people that are as keen to get their tickets as i am, it's full of war vets and other snooze button victims who can't seem to grasp the concept of the fucking train is coming and i'm going to kick the shins out of whoever is in front of me at the ticket machine if i miss my train. As the screeching of the train's brakes near the station, i'm standing at the ticket machine, fumbling awkwardly for my change as beads of sweat begin to congregate around my forehead. Here's the clincher though. Once i've paid my dues, the ticket machine takes on the form of a fucking prehistoric Epson dot matrix printer and every second of the thirty it takes to print is another pin in the loosely threaded cushion that is my patience. As i hear my train take off with me not on it i contemplate two scenarios. A). Breaking down in tears as the camera slowly spirals away in birds eye view or B). decimating 12 separate shin bones to the point of decimation.

After five of the most inconvenient minutes of my entire life i alight the next train and the platform turns into a multicultural bloodbath. My personal space was invaded by every country on the map. I didn't even have to walk onto the train, i just stood there and allowed the tide of jerk to sweep me into the mobile sardine tin full of more jerk. When you are on a packed train, the worst traits of humanity are laid out in front of you. Bad breath, gingivitis, protruding nose hair follicles, embarassingly oversized briefcases, backpackers, the clinically obese and school children all form together in a gelatinous glob of skin and leather and i'm trapped in it for the next 15 minutes. There's a human male standing next to me, sweating it out in his business attire and reading some lame book about even lamer issues by an author with a full degree in lameology. He drops his book once and as he bends down to pick it up, his backside rubs against my male, heterosexual human leg. It's uncomfortable the first time but then he does it again for reasons unknown and it reaches a completely different level of discomfort and all of a sudden i feel like i'm in one of those club videos where the rapper is yelling "DROP THAT ASS TO THE FLOOR BITCH, NOW PICK THAT MOTHERFUCKER UP etc etc", except it's not a girl dropping her ass and picking it up all over me in the club, it's a fat businessman and his bible of lame on a train full of other sweaty businessman.

It's not all bad i guess. I did get to listen in on an enthralling conversation between some Scotch College alumni about the size of their school bags and the contents of their lunch boxes. They were quite articulate considering their age and how stupid they were but what really blew my mind was that the token Asian friend's nickname was 'Short Stack'. Seriously, how pleased would you be during the ceremonial nickname delegation at the start of the year and you got 'Short Stack'. The kid had his nickname proudly displayed on the front pocket of his medium sized school bag in permanent white-out accompanied by a totally sweet checkerboard print in the bottom left corner, which was also composed with white-out and some black artline 70. Stack was also rocking a PSP slim on a heavy duty Yu-gi-oh key chain and had it carelessly dangling out the side pocket like he didn't even care, like a PSP ain't shit. It was the greatest thing i have ever seen on a train.

If you tried mugging a guy named 'Short Stack' all your homies would probably be like "yo, i don't think you know who that is, duke. That's motherfucking 'Short Stack".

1 comment:

Michelle said...

it gets worse everytime you use it.
if your really unlucky, you might get a lester sit next to you and talk to you really loudly, spitting and rubbing his bacteria all over you.
trust me, start saving for a car.
thank me later.