Saturday, July 02, 2005

The 16:05 Service to LaLaLand, Calling All Stations Via Airhead and Space Cadet...

Friday was the beginning of the summer holidays at the school, so we members of staff are now on holiday hours, 9-4. However, it being a Friday and the first day after school letting out, the Bursar let us all go at 3. Excellent! I'd be home by 4 (because the way the trains work, if I take the train that leaves on the hour, I can catch the Express to Greenock, getting me home half an hour earlier than if I took the long train). We packed up and left at precisely 3. Unfortunately, however, I was too late getting to the station and missed the 15:07 train to Glasgow Central, meaning I had to wait after all to catch the 15:37. Getting off work at 4 would've gotten me home by 5, but the 15:37 would now get me home at 5, too. Ah well.

At Glasgow Central I waited for the platform to be announced for the Gourock train. Platform 7. I got on the train, showed my ticket to the inspector and settled in for the long 45 minute journey to Greenock. I took out my journal and began jotting down some ideas for poems. I became fairly engrossed in my thoughts and started scribbling line after line after line of prenatal poetry. I happened to look out the window at one stop and made a mental note of how much longer it would be until I got home. I went back to my journal and became completely lost in my work.

Suddenly, the inspector came back through. I glanced up and smiled and went back to my work. He stopped in front of me.

"Where are you going?" he asked.

"Hmm? What?"

"Where were you supposed to get off?"

I looked about me. I didn't realise the train had even stopped. "Wha... Where am I? I was supposed to get off at Greenock." I glanced all about, thinking I must've ridden all the way to Gourock.

"You're at Glasgow Central."

I laugh. "What? No really, huh?"

"I assure you, you are at Glasgow Central."

"I... but I... I got on at Glasgow Central!"

The inspector looked at me questioningly, then realised my mistake and grinned. "You were supposed to get on the rear train for Greenock."

Suddenly I remembered there being another train at the platform. I'd gotten on the second one. "Damn it!" I exclaimed.

"If you hurry, you can catch the half past train."

I gathered my things and darted off the (wrong) train. I missed the half past and had to wait until 5 to catch the next train.

I didn't get home until a quarter to 6.

Good thing I got off work early, huh?

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