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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Terracotta Worriers Bite Their Nails

As mum said: What a day.

It started out so well- a lie in, nice sunny weather, got to mums at 11:30 (1/2 hour earlier than 12 deadline)... and then things started to go wrong. We were intending to go to see the terracotta warriors, well, they'd been inviting us round for ages but we were always too busy. We expected to have to queue up for tickets to get in, hence we wanted to leave before 12.

1) by the time we got to the bus stop, I noticed mum's shoelace was undone. I knelt down -in a massive swab of gooey lung cookie and without thinking, went to wipe my knee with my finger, thus ensuing much panic and overuse of baby wipes. Yuck yuck yuck.

2) Victoria station underground was closed. We got on a bus

3) Bus got stuck in traffic for an hour near Piccadilly

4) The Terracotta warriors were booked up. Until JANUARY

5) We booked January but the lady got the date on the tickets wrong and so we had to wait again in the queue to get the right ones

6) Too jaded to look round the b-mus, we decided to get a bit of food. Although we were nearly the first people in the restaurant, EVERYONE was served before us and the brie in my "gourmet sandwich" was tasteless and salty. French cuisine, my foot.

7) The tube on the way back home caught fire. As soon as we got on at oxford circus I could smell burning rubber. I asked anyone if they were slightly perturbed by this. The couple opposite said: "if there is smoke, that is when you have to worry." Three tube workers were in my carriage, I asked them if they knew why there was a really bad smell of burning rubber. They just shrugged. By now mum was getting embarrassed by my harrying. Thankfully I was proved right when, at pimlico, the tube driver announced with characteristic understatement: "ladies and gentlemen, I have been informed there is an apparent defect on this train. Please get off here."

As we got off, there was billowing smoke from a few carriages up. "Apparent defect?!" I yipped, a little like a Westie, it has to be admitted. "The ruddy train is on FIRE."

The tube workers just laughed.

Mum and I decided to get the bus - but NOBODY else left the platform. Are people IDIOTS? There's a ruddy train on fire, there is no way it is suddenly going to open the doors and let people on again. All trains are going to be held up for hours to come, so WHY were they all (and I mean, at least 100 people) standing there gormlessly looking on? Are they complete and utter gooseberries? Did they drop out of the silly tree and hit every branch on the way down? Were they all at a convention for the protection of total plonkers? When they were born, did the doctor squeeze their heads a bit too tightly?

What if it had been a bomb? I cannot express my utter disbelief at this sorry batch of humanity. What morons. They deserve to have been blown up to prevent the gene pool being further diluted by these brainless imbeciles. Really, the case for involuntary sterlisation gets harder to argue against each day. When we exited the station, there was a worried-looking mother who came up to ask us whether there was a train on fire as she could smell the smoke from the foyer and was worried about her son, who she was meant to be meeting. I said: "Yeah, its on fire, but everyone else decided to stay down there and watch instead of coming up." It's like those horror films - people hear a creepy noise, the lights go out and they go to investigate to see where that unearthly shrieking and running water is coming from. Not me, matey. If I heard a scary noise I'd be out of that house like a shot, running hell for leather until I was in a crowded place, most likely a police station where there are lots of strong men and women with guns and things to protect me. "He who lives to run away, lives to run away another day." Curiosity will not kill this cat, no siree.

8) We finally get home and nip to Sainsbury's, where mum forgets to get cash back and then goes back for a second try. After which she is convinced that the dopey man serving her has memorised all her card details because she can't find her bill, so even though she actually has her card, she cancels it in case the man has stolen her identity. If he were really able to memorise all the numbers on a card in less than 20 seconds, he would not be a 30-year old Sainsbury's till assistant. Yet somehow it is MY fault for giving mum a nectar card and I have to listen to a whole saga about why he would not have given her a bill (my suggestion - that he just forgot - was considered "parochial" and "missing the point").

Seriously, you can't make this up. Mugabe himself could not imagine such torture for me. All because I cursed the person who swabbed on the ground. I bet that person has been having a wonderful day. I would damn him again, but I can't deal with any more bad karma. Seriously, Old Testament dudes cursed people all the time and they were blessed. Elisha was mocked by loads of asbos for being a baldy, so he curses them and a bear comes out and mauls 42 of them. I curse a pavement spitter and it's me that gets a shoddy day. Why couldn't a bear have come out of the sideroad and bitten that gobbing chump on the rear, just to assure me that there is retribution on this earth? Well, maybe not a bear, but perhaps a dog? Even a pigeon. Just anything.

9) At last I get home, with my Tiffin, hot chocolate drink and double-bill of Friends. I get a phone call from mum, where she informs me that she was chatted up by a local shopkeeper, but when she left the shop she realised her fly was open. It's not really retribution but it helped.

At the time of writing, it's 11:10. I don't think anything else can go wrong, but just in case I hear a creepy noise, I've got the police station right behind my flat. I take no chances.


melanie said...

I'm sorry you had such a bad day, but something good did come out of it: You entertained me by posting about it. And since it's my first day back at work after a long lovely weekend, I really needed that.
Thank you MoM.

When I have visited London I have always been upset by stations closed because of flooding on a slightly drizzly day or fires or no reason at all on the white eraseboard, and buses that suddenly announce "End of the line, everybody off!" when we are nowhere near the end of the line.
But then I always laughed because everyone else was just going on as if this is normal.
So it makes me happy that you were appropriately actually disturbed by the train being on fire.

Newmania said...

I knelt down -in a massive swab of gooey lung cookie and without thinking, went to wipe my knee with my finger, thus ensuing much panic and overuse of baby wipes. Yuck yuck yuck.

I didn`t know you had a baby MM. Who is the father ? ...This sounds like my life .

The Hitch said...

Do you do the lottery merms?

It looks like your lucks in (+:

one of the many thing I hate about london is the spittle on the streets. It should be a flogging offence to spit, this is why i never wear shoes in the house and wash my hands after taking my shoes off, nor would have a dog down here.

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Thanks Melanie! Welcome back to work, eh?

Newmania. I have no offspring. I do have baby wipes. Don't ask. I think I may be slightly OCD.

Hitch - yeh, I went to buy a lottery ticket once but got run over on the way. I definitely agree about flogging spitters.

Mermaid of Moorgate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gorilla Bananas said...

I can't believe you meekly allowed yourself to be queue-jumped at the restaurant. That's not the mermaid I know. Anyway, now you have learned not to mock the man who carries a spittoon about his person. That alone is compensation for the indignities you suffered.

john.g. said...

What about splogging flitters?

The Hitch said...

My guilty secret
I verge on OCD
shower and moisturise twice a day
and wipe Mr Happy with a wet wipe everytime I pee.
Have been thinking of launching a range of flavoured ones.

Cider for the unemployed

Alcopops for those who change tyres or work in supermarkets

The possibilities are endless

Anonymous said...

People in groups especially Londoners on tubes are morons. They were all waiting for the train to pull out and some hallucinatory empty train to pull in. No wonder I hate London...

idle said...

Sorry about the terracotta yellow horde. You can come and see my toy soldier collection anytime. They are quite old and might be covered in lead paint, so no licking.

Nonny said...

I would have ran faster than my little legs could have carry me. My mother would have been left eating my dust. I am an awful scaredy cat.

Verge said...

Nice post, Mermaid, with a serious undercurrent - I seem to remember reading how some of the King's X fire victims were people who ignored station staff and carried on down towards the smoke - train to catch, dontcha know? Mustn't be late. It's the hive mind at its worst. Good for you for bucking the trend.

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Hey Verge. I know - why? people seem to zone out messages like that, or don't think it applies to them. Strange. Maybe being a bit more alert is the reason why none of my family have ever had a break-in or been mugged despite haunting south london since the 1940s.

Newmania said...

I was mugged and it was a salutary experience .

I see, no offspring ( I didn`t really think you had ...silly)pwrhaps people leave you alone because they find your niceness repellant to their evil soul`s. I think its lovely

-eve- said...

LOL! I especially like the parts about your mom... she's funny ;-)

> It's like those horror films - people hear a creepy noise, the lights go out and they go to investigate to see where that unearthly shrieking and running water is coming from.
Hah, I've done that... my dog touched a live wire and screamed, so I touched it and screamed too, then took him away from the place so he wouldn't do it again (it was hanging behind the piano in my house).

Verge said...

Mermaid - crimewise it's certainly possible to make your own luck. (Over the years I have had an uncanny knack of crossing paths with burglars - once when a stoned teenage tw@t on my way out & didn't realise what the guy was up to, so on that occasion the worse did come to pass - but twice afterwards I saw the bastards off, in a cowardly/smart non-confrontational kind of way.) You know the experiment where they randomly assigned prisoner/guard roles and had to stop it prematurely because the guards were too keen, tapping into a natural vicious tendency towards cruelty and control (and willingness to abrogate responsibility)? Along similar lines - which apply more to the who-cares-if-the-train's-on-fire brigade - there was another one where one volunteer and nine hirelings are asked to listen to a series of bells or some such, and tell the "researcher" how many they heard. The nine stooges all go first and give (the same) incorrect count - #10 invariably gives the same (wrong) answer, assuming the majority knows best. This ability to tune out reality also comes into play with the experiment where you're asked to count the number of passes in a basketball clip, and more ofen than not the subject doesn't notice a man in a gorilla suit gallumphing across the screen. I wonder if a similar mechanism is implicated in the collective failure to step in when someone is attacked in front of strangers, who - en masse - do nothing. Keep stapling reality checks to the bastards' foreheads, won't you?

EmmaK said...

What a crap day. I'm surprised you managed to keep smiling. I would have hit the booze as soon as I got home. You are a truly mature woman, Mermaid. Those terracotta warriors sound intriguing...

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

thanks Emmak and Newmania for your kind comments. not sure about being nice or mature though...

Verge- interesting thoughts on the herd mentality philosophy. You're right, people dont notice gorillas all the time. There's a gorilla on my blog that people just dont seem to notice.

Eve - she is funny, although does not always mean to. But you'd have to laugh about the day we'd had otherwise you'd just go mad.

Seeing as I've had a day like that on sunday, monday, tuesday and now today, however, I just really wonder whether it is worth bothering to chew through the leather straps tomorrow morning.

and my loo seat is wonky again.

Anonymous said...


Ed said...

If only tube trains were like footballers: one spray of the magic water and they could continue their journey.

electro-kevin said...

Spitting, gormless travelling public, poor food in restaurants.

Now I know why I wanted to move out West ...

... but only to find it's exactly the bloody same here !

Well done on being individualistic enough to break free of the maddening crowd. I'm sure you'll go far in life.

Lilith said...

I would love to see the Terracota Warriors. But I probably won't. Booked up till January you say. Damn!

Do you see yourself as a *lucky person* Merms?

Old Tarf said...

It's all in the genes. It appears that you managed in the end to have a interesting day. Give me a call over the weekend. The Mac is still at the shop.

Hitch- "Mr. Happy" you sure it really isn't " Mr. Slappy"?

Last time your Mom and I stood in line at the museum was to see "Tutankamen". Some things never change. Still trying to leave her there!!!

Old Tarf said...

I just heard a strange noise. Oh, it was me.