A few days ago, I was sarcastic about Merseytravel because they wouldn't send me any nice pictures but they were happy to plaster them all over the walls of Liverpool Central. Sarcasm really is the lowest form of wit, and I should have risen above it. Besides, the jokes weren't really that good.
Anyway, I'd like to make it clear that my beef was with Merseytravel, not Merseyrail. Merseyrail were lovely; their Customer Relations lady replied quickly, personally and was very very nice.
Also, they sent me stuff. Yay! I didn't expect it at all, and I certainly wouldn't have dreamt of asking for it, but those lovely people at Merseyrail sent me some little gifts which I'm presenting here for you, to try and make you jealous. I know that's a bit childish but screw it: I got Merseygifts and you didn't, so nur-nur-nur.
First up, we have a marvelous mouse mat and a couple of pens. This isn't the mouse mat that they use in the stations (one of which recently turned up on eBay; I'm not saying it was stolen or anything by an unscrupulous member of the station staff, just mentioning it in passing) but is instead a corporate mouse mat with the aims and aspirations of the company on it. There's a whole branch for customers, you'll be glad to hear; more excitingly, under "service" it lists "new rolling stock", "M to Go" and "Smart Card", all of which make me do a little happy dance. Something to look forward to. And you can never have enough pens.
Next, is a lovely Merseyrail train key ring, here displayed with the mass of metal I have to carry round with me. Trainspotters: it's number 508110, and I now have a sub-mission to find this train somewhere on the network, and possibly photograph it, or even better, me in front of it holding the key ring up and beaming. If that isn't crossing too far into anorak territory. Oh, who am I kidding? I crossed that line years ago.
Yes, that is a Lego Catwoman key ring beside it. It's Lego and it's Catwoman: two of the greatest things in humanity combined in one key ring. Awesome.
From here, we move on to the travel mug, which is absolutely lovely. Lovingly embossed with "Merseyrail" on one said, and "M to Go" on the other, this will be the perfect vessel for my lattes next time I'm out and about on the rails. Do Starbucks still do that thing where you get money off if you provide your own mug? Caramel macchiatos on the move sounds good to me.
The final item is the real doozy, I have to say. In fact, it's so good, it inspired me to break out the shorts and do my best Man at C&A modeling. Here's my attempt at Miss Tyra, America's Next Model posing: if I'd had more time I'd have broken out a fierce weave and a finger snap as well.
Look past my hairy shins and you'll see that I am, in fact, wearing Merseyrail flip-flops. How amazing is that? Not just that I have a pair of them, but that there was someone in Rail House who sat down and said, "you know what we need to do? What we haven't done so far? Combined the world of rail franchises with leisure footwear. That would be amazing."
Frankly this little parcel is the best gift I've received all year,
and certainly better than any of the crap I got for my birthday and most appreciated. It's so nice when a corporate behemoth turns out to be human and, more importantly, so human it gives me stuff. It's really made me smile.
For future reference: I am very, very easily bought. Know this now. If there's anyone out there who fancies currying my favour, send me stuff. I have no shame. No scruples. I'll do anything. I am a corporate whore, and proud of it!