I have been commuting!!!

Years ago, I used to travel into town from an Essex commuter town that must remain nameless and secret. Later, I upgraded to London accommodation, my choice of area governed by – and this is 100% true – a radius of one bladder’s worth at closing time from the pubs near my place of employment.

Now I just walk downstairs, unless I have important meetings, which have been frequent this week. In this case, I need to get the TRAIN TO LONDON.

The line from King’s Lynn to London is one of the great railway journeys of the world. This is for two reasons – a) the ticket collector is quite friendly, and b) there is a proper café at the station who will do you a bacon sandwich and a tea just how you like it.

If I am ever asked to go on the popular BBC television programme ‘Room 101’, my main thing to choose apart from people who make modifications to their cars, R & B singers doing duets, marzipan, obsequious MPs at Prime Minister’s question time, Anthony Worrell-Thompson, Realplayer, diversity awareness training, people who send you ‘amusing’ email circulars, the film ‘Sliding Doors’, car stereos that you can’t understand, Otis Ferry, the man in charge of buying apples in supermarkets, ground elder, JD Wetherspoons, silver service dining and anything that has ever been presented, endorsed or touched by Noel Edmonds, will be ‘retail facilities at airports and stations’.

It is clear that retail facilities at airports and stations are rubbish. They are the soul-destroying arse end of the processed food industry. The staff in there have no means, ability or incentive to sell you anything that is not on the ten-point laminated overpriced menu. And yet they proliferate, like a rash.

Railtrack once trumpeted the results of a huge ‘customer consultation’ questionnaire process. “You said,” thundered big posters, “that you wanted more of your favourite retailers at our stations. We’ve listened. More are coming soon!”

The posters had to be withdrawn. Actually, people had said that they’d quite like the trains to run on time, thank you very much, and had not at all requested another Tie Rack, ‘Jardin du Paris’ or – God help us – Whistlestop.

I don’t know how long the café at King’s Lynn will be there. Sooner or later somebody will realise that three branches of Burger King will bring in more rent.

But it’s brightened up what has been a fairly tedious week. So I commend it to you for the weekend.

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