Tuesday 18 May 2010


I hate to deal in stereotypes. No, really, I do. But sometimes you're confronted with a humanoid who is the living embodiment of a cliche, and all you can do is sit back, mouth agape, and take it all in.

I was getting the train to Liverpool with the Bf, and we squeezed opposite a girl who was busy chatting on her mobile phone. She was early twenties, blonde, long hair, Katie Price permatan and sprayed on leggings. When I say "chatting", I mean, "stream of consciousness being poured into a Nokia."

"Yeah, I'm on a train... I know! Well, I thought, if I got a train into Liverpool I'd be able to sit back and relax and read a book."

(Editor's note: she did not have a book on her lap, and at no point did she reveal one to be about her person. I suspect by 'book' she meant ''Circle of Shame' in Heat'.)

The train starts up, and she continues: "Yeah, it's moving now... I know! You'll have to tell me where to go in Liverpool, or I'll get lost and I'll just wander round all day."

(Editor's note: there are four stations in Liverpool City Centre. All are within a mile of one another.)

Right after Birkenhead Park station, the train enters the tunnel for the long underground section into the city centre. Our Blonde companion starts squeaking into the phone - "Ooh, tunnel! Are you there? Are you there?" She then looks at the phone with a mixture of puzzlement and irritation, before shaking it. Yes, she shook it, as though it was a pepper mill that had got blocked.

The next station, Conway Park, is below ground, but open to the elements, and so Blonde's phone sprang back into life. She immediately dialled her friend back. "Yeah, I don't know what happened there. The signal just went."

The train takes off. Back into the tunnel. The very long tunnel which will take us under the river and into the city. So Blonde lost her signal again. What to do?

Well, first you shake it again. Because it worked last time, didn't it?

Then you squint at the screen.

Then you hold it up to the window, because despite being several hundred metres below ground, the window is open, and so, you know, some of the signal might be able to get through, right?

Then you try dialling again.

Then, as we enter Hamilton Square, Blonde realises she won't be able to make a call. She squints at the map and realises she won't be able to make a call for quite some time.

There's only one thing she can do in these circumstances.

She starts texting.



Mister Roy said...

There will always be a career for her on the Vodafone helpline

Jamie said...

A couple of years ago I travelled to Leeds on the Northern route via Victoria. This route has lots of tunnels and deep cuttings, possibly due to the mountains it runs through (I'm guessing).

The woman next to me - high flying HR consultant - was attempting to give instructions, including personal details about personnel, by phone to her secretary. Needless to say, the signal ranged from almost none to none most of the time.

She kept repeatedly redialling and starting again with the instructions etc, each time expressing bewilderment to her secretary as to what was wrong with her phone.

On her final redial, after several attempts in Morley tunnel, she got through and instructed her secretary to get her new phone.

"This one has developed the same fault as my old one did last week", she exclaimed. "Complain loudly to Orange about this - I simply can't put up with phones that go wrong every time I get on this train!"

Anonymous said...

Love it RJG...

MT, there's always the possibility that she was typing a text in readiness for sending when she emerges... I do it all the time on the train home.

Then of course there's the Moscow metro, which, despite being insanely deep underground, has mobile coverage almost throughout...

dreadedvacuumflaskmonster said...

Scott, this particular post made me spit out my drink all over my monitor. Very, very funny. More please!

Anonymous said...

i've never laughed so hard, my ribs are sore now!!!

Anonymous said...

The passengers are unbelievable aren't they !

They have to be dealt with day in and day out their brightness shines out.

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