I am addicted to heroin and it is the rail networks fault.

Posted: December 23, 2012 in Publishing

JonnyGibbingsIf you want to stress your coping mechanism to the point where the thoughts of killing someone don’t just exist as a fleeting thought or a joke. Catch the train. Over the last eight days, I have had to ride the train to destinations all over the country for a book tour and to do some talks on creative thinking. I know – me! I now would rather be gang raped by a heard of rhino than ride another train. Once upon a time, there was British rail. One company. ONE. And this one company ran all the shit to do with trains. Now, because, one company running one service is too easy, our government sold the trains. I say trains, not the railways, because they privatised the trains, but the sneaky mother fuckers kept the tracks. So we still spend as much in tax as we did when we paid for the whole fucking lot. That is a kind of ‘so what?’ fact that doesn’t hold much emotional value until they have fucked you over so much you are having erotic fantasies about the ticket collectors head in a bucket of bleach. The trains, run by private companies now have a ticket price that is so expensive you have to sell your kidney to afford to use them. When you are left stranded on a platform in the middle of fuck knows where, the very fact that you have paid twice, just pushes you over the edge. Heroin. You need it just to cope with not knowing where you are or if you will ever get to where you paid to go, while suffering a level of poor service that is to akin to Guantanamo torture. Who knew trains were a gateway drug?

There are twenty five different rail franchises operating in Britain. TWENTY FIVE! In a tiny fuck island like Britain! Who ever thought this shit would work needs to die. Let me put it this way. Imagine you had to hold a banquet, and it needed to have the worst food possible. So, you got McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC and Pizza Hut to work together. Do you think they would actuallywork together? Of course not! They would do everything they can to fuck over the competition to maximise sales? There would be more semen, saliva, blood and fecal matter in that food than in a prison rape. Whoever the dick-neck it was whom believed these rail companies would actually work together, is mad man. I don’t care how old he is, I want to set him on fire.

When you pay for your ticket, the sales clerk sits behind bullet proof glass, and now I know why. I wanted to go from East Sussex, to Devon. That cost me £91.00, for what would have been four hours in a car. The train said it would take five and a half hours. TEN fucking hours is actually what it took! I could have flown from London to New York, had a meal and flown back quicker than riding the train. HOW is that even possible?
There should be a little window in the plastic screen, that once you have paid for your ticket, they slide it open, and then punch you right in the face. At least that pain would distract you from how badly you have been fucked over. If you want to know what riding the train is like in Britain. Stand outside in the rain for about 6 hours and have random members of staff piss on your feet. Then bend over, try to pull the hair out of the back of your head as hard as you can while running as fast as you can face first into a brick wall. Every single train was late on epic proportions. One just didn’t even come at all!
At one point, during one of the five changes I had to make on one fucking trip, the train to a place called Salisbury just said CANCELLED. No other information. A crowd of concerned people gathered, looked at each other, panic grew. Nobody, not one member of staff came to help. So I searched and eventually found one.
“Excuse me, my train has been cancelled.”
“And?” He said.
“Do you work here, or are you just wearing that uniform for kicks?” I asked.
“Well then do your motherfucking job! There is a platform of people who need to know what the fuck to do.”
“Southwest train cancelled. This is a Southern Trains station.” He said.

Eventually, because I was near to shitting in my hands and writing ‘HELP ME’ on the walls, the station manager turned up. He informed me, the trains were cancelled due to the floods. It felt like I was shaking him down to wrestle a secret from him. Turns out, coaches were being called to take us to our destinations. No signs were paced to inform us, no extra staff to tell the rabble of stranded passengers. Nothing. So I was placed on a coach, that efficiently took me to Yeovil, a further hundred miles in the wrong direction from where I needed to be.

Where do they find the genetic disasters that work there? The a café in the main reception had a sign that said:
“We serve breakfasts – any time”
So I asked, “Do you do a veggie breakfast?”
“Like it says,” he said, “Breakfasts served ant any time.”
“Uh, that isn’t what I asked. I didn’t ask wheat times you serve a breakfast, I asked if you serve a vegetarian one?”
“It does say, breakfasts at any time.”
So I asked for a vegetarian breakfast during the industrial revolution. Mother fucker. So then, a train eventually turns up and it is a Virgin train, and you think ‘WOO-HOO – virgin? That isn’t going to fuck anyone!’ and it whisks you off miles from where you were supposed to go.

The resulting anger meant my opening line when getting on stage for a reading started with something like, “First of all – I have no fight with you people!” Then anger flowed. Train travel in Britain is extraordinary, you would never believe it is that bad. It is genuinely assisted suicide. I didn’t know I was depressed till I took the train. I am confident people have taken themselves off to a cheap hotel and hung themselves rather than get back on the train. My next book is dedicated to all of my friends on the British Rail network who helped me get to where I am today. And by that, I mean lost and not even close to where I am supposed to be – you know who you are…. and when I find you I am going to kill you.


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