I really appreciate being freelance when I have to travel a lot on the tube. During the rush hour. While I listen, ear half cocked and an expression of grump as the loudspeaker mumbles something about the circle line . . . limited service . . . under train . . sorry for incon-bleugh, all the poor people who have to listen to this shite every day adopt an expression of blank stoicism. Or maybe it’s just despair. Move down the platform shouts someone official with a loudspeaker as all the passengers squash together four deep like commuter lemmings. So I finally stuff myself onto the tube, listen to another announcement telling us in the ancient language of Incomprehensible Mumble that the train will not be going to Leicester Square after all but will terminate at Earls Court. But no matter. Buses will be laid on which might take us somewhere. Scotland? Or possibly back to Earls Court. And London Transport apologises for the inconvenience. Oh that makes it all better!
Squashing down the kind of helpless rage that eventually turns into cancer, I watch idly as a commuter reads the paper. On the back is a big picture of Liam Gallagher looking sulky (does he have any other expression?) and a headline about how the rift would never be healed. My first thought – I wonder what he’s flogging? And my second – twat. Probably because I bet he never travels by tube. Unfortunately I think I said the second thought out loud, because the owner of the paper looks at me sharply and says: Who me? And jerked out of my tube coma, I say: Oh no no – not you. I meant Liam Gallagher.
He looks at me. Where?
So as well as feeling fed up, and full of repressed rage I’m also feeling foolish. Other normal commuters will look at me pityingly – the mad woman who rants about Mancunian rock stars who aren’t actually there. Luckily, a young woman nearby saves the day by saying calmly: I met him once. He is a twat.